Oil and Gas Projects in Developing Countries
In the future, investment opportunities in the oil and gas sector are
likely to be concentrated in developing countries. Project financing is scarce, however,
because of the commercial and political risks. What can be done to mitigate the risks and
in Russia's Oil Sector
Charles P. McPherson
Despite difficult circumstances, policy reform in Russia's oil sector has
been impressive. Nevertheless, further reforms and investments in excess of $60 billion
over the next 10 years will be needed to help the sector realize its potential.
and the Environment: Technical and Economic Possibilities
Total energy consumption in developing countries is expected to soar over
the next few decades. But this does not necessarily bode ill for the environment.
Technological advances are making it possible to reduce pollution considerably, even as
energy use increases.
Adjustment and Growth
Successful Are IMF-Supported Adjustment Programs?
How successful have countries been during adjustment programs? While most
have seen a quick turnaround in their external accounts, a sharper focus on medium-term
sustainability, firm nominal anchors, and better coordination of fiscal and monetary
policy would help to raise growth and stamp out inflation.
Response of Investment and Growth to Adjustment Policies
Erik C. Offerdal
The basic pillars of economic growthinvestment and savingare
strongly influenced by the private sector's confidence in a country's policies. The
timeliness, sustainability, and consistency of policies are therefore critically
Quality of Fiscal Adjustment and Growth
George A. Mackenzie and David W.H. Orsmond
Fiscal adjustment is usually the first step on the road to macroeconomic
stability. But sustained growth requires that as much attention be paid to the way the
government's deficit is cut as to the size of the cut.
The Tobin Tax
and Exchange Rate Stability
Paul Bernd Spahn
Recent turbulence in world financial markets has rekindled interest in the
so-called Tobin tax on international financial transactions as a way to discourage
speculative currency trading and reduce exchange rate volatility. A two-tier structure
might be more effective than a pure transaction tax.
Two-Tier Tobin Tax Won't Work
Janet G. Stotsky
Financial market variability is a perennial problem for investors and
policymakers alike. While attractive in some ways, a two-tier Tobin tax would not solve
this problem and would have a number of undesirable side effects.
Also in this Issue
Decline in the Countries of the Former Soviet Union
In almost all the countries of the former Soviet Union, severe revenue
losses have complicated stabilization efforts. The situation can be alleviated by measures
to broaden tax bases and improve tax administration.
Implicit Pension Debt
Cheikh Kane and Robert Palacios
Underfunded pension plans are a serious problem for industrial and
developing countries alike. Because this implicit pension debt has important macroeconomic
implications, governments need to tackle the problem as soon as possible.
New Data Standards Online
Convergence: Divergence Past, Present, and Future
Looking for evidence of income convergence among the world's nations has
become a fashionable pursuit. Far from narrowing, the gap between the incomes of the rich
and poor countries has grown markedly and is likely to widen further.
Transactions: The Power of Collateral
In many developing countries, businesses are unable to get low-cost,
long-term loans from private lenders to finance investment projects. Reforms that make it
easier for borrowers to use movable property as collateral would give comfort to lenders,
stimulate investment, and boost productivity and growth.
Market Development and Corporate Finance Decisions
Asli DemirgŘš-Kunt and Vojislav Maksimovic
In developing countries, how is the growth of stock markets affecting
corporate financing decisions? Initially, stock market development tends to be accompanied
by higher corporate debt-equity ratios and more business for banks.
The Challenge for the Next Century
from the Editor
Economy in Transition
Social Indicators of Development
IMF Programmes in Developing Countries (Design and Impact) by Tony
reviewed by Mark Allen
Russian Reform/International Money by Yegor Gaidar and Karl Otto P÷hl
reviewed by Donal Donovan
North-South Trade, Employment and Inequality: Changing Fortunes in a Skill-Driven World
by Adrian Wood
reviewed by Alun Thomas
Coping with Austerity: Poverty and Inequality in Latin America, edited by Nora
reviewed by George A. Mackenzie
Fiscal Decentralization in Latin America, edited by Ricardo Lˇpez Murphy
reviewed by Gerd Schwartz
The New Multilateralism in Japan's Foreign Policy by Dennis T. Yasutomo
reviewed by Mark S. Lutz