Authors' views are not necessarily those of the IMF, Letter to the Editor, By Raghuram G. Rajan, Economic Counselor and Director, Research Department, IMF

July 5, 2005

Letter to the Editor
By Raghuram G. Rajan
Economic Counselor and Director, Research Department
International Monetary Fund
Financial Times
July 5, 2005


Andrew Balls' article "Aid will not lift growth in Africa, IMF warns" (June 29), reporting on my research with Arvind Subramanian, is misleading; nor does it represent the International Monetary Fund's position.

First, the aim of research papers is to inform and generate internal and external debate, but every research paper, including the ones on which Mr. Balls reports, clearly states that the views are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the IMF, its management or its board. What is more, the pessimism in your headline mischaracterises the implications drawn by us, as well as the position of the IMF. Your editorial "Time to prove aid works" (July 1) helps clarify what our studies do, and do not, say and is most welcome.

Consistent with the implications drawn out in our research, the IMF has long held that promoting growth in Africa, and developing countries generally, requires comprehensive efforts by all concerned. The approach suggested by the Commission on Africa of experimentation to find what works is absolutely spot on and should be supported by the needed resources. The achievement of the Millennium Development Goals demands a truly global partnership. The developing countries themselves must take the lead through good governance and sound economic policies. But these efforts will work only in harmony with a global trading regime that is conducive to their exports and more - especially more effective - financial assistance.

With so much of the world's attention focused on initiatives to reduce poverty, this is indeed a time of great possibilities. Our ambitions should be informed by a better understanding of the past, so that we can help forge a better future for those who most desperately need it.


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