|Economic Policy and
Be a Goal of Economic Policy?
During periods of economic expansion, people see their incomes rise and
living standards improve. Even in good times, however, an unfortunate few may be left
behind. When and how should governments intervene to ensure not only that the size of the
pie increases, but that everybody gets a fair share?
Participants Agree on Key Issues
On June 89, 1998, the IMF held a conference on economic policy and
equity at its headquarters in Washington. Despite a diversity of views that made for
lively discussions, the participants agreed on a number of key policy issues.
Spending on Human Development
Sanjeev Gupta, Benedict Clements, and Erwin Tiongson
Social indicators are improving in many developing countries as public
spending on education and health increases. But a greater share of investment in human
capital should be channeled toward primary education and preventive health care.
How Has the
Asian Crisis Affected Other Regions?
IMF Area Department Directors
The Asian crisis was the cover theme of the June issue of Finance &
Development, which included several articles on various aspects of this topic. It is
now possible to provide a preliminary assessment of the impact of the crisis on the rest
of the world. The directors of the IMF's five departments covering regions outside Asia
provide brief assessments of how the Asian crisis has affected those regions during the
the Social Costs of the Asian Crisis
A preliminary analysis of the impact of the Asian crisis shows that
poverty could increase significantly in Indonesia, Korea, and Thailand. These countries'
IMF-supported programs incorporate many measures to mitigate the effects of the crisis.
But if the crisis deepens, additional policy options will need to be considered.
Ten Years of
Transition: A Progress Report
It has been nearly ten years since the countries of Central and Eastern
Europe and the former Soviet Union began the transition to a market economy. The radical
changes required have made the process difficult and, at times, painful. Progress has been
remarkable in a number of countries. But in others, successful market economies have not
Transition: Patterns and Prospects
Julian Exeter and Steven Fries
Most formerly centrally planned economies have laid the foundations for a
market economy. Their future development will depend on how they respond to the challenges
of the next phase of transition: developing the public and private institutionsin
particular, a strong financial sectorneeded in a healthy market economy.
Reform in Russia and Other Former Soviet Union Countries
The taxation of oil and gas production and consumption has become an
important fiscal issue in most countries of the former Soviet Union. How can these
countries modify the taxation of their energy sectors to increase fiscal revenues, improve
efficiency, and encourage foreign investment?
with Azerbaijan's Oil Boom
Christoph B. Rosenberg and Tapio O. Saavalainen
How can transition countries in the Caspian Sea region and Central Asia
that are rich in natural resources manage them to maximum advantage, while limiting the
risks they pose?
White and the International Monetary Fund
James M. Boughton
Harry Dexter White profoundly influenced both the design of the IMF and
its development, yet his important work is not widely appreciated today. The fiftieth
anniversary of his death offers an opportunity to review his accomplishments and career.
Meets Civil Society
Jan Aart Scholte
The International Monetary Fund is an organization of its member
countries, and its primary relationships are with governments. However, it also conducts a
dialogue with civil society. Both the IMF and civil society have much to gain from
developing this dialogue.