Reforming Government in Industrial Countries
Vito Tanzi and Ludger Schuknecht
Public spending in industrial countries started growing during World War I but really took off after 1960, mainly to fund social expenditures. But it does not seem to have led to major measurable gains in economic or social welfare. Governments could scale back their activities without necessarily compromising their objectives.
Enterprise Contracts: A Route to Reform?
Mary M. Shirley
Changing the relationship between government and the managers of state-owned enterprises is key to improving enterprises' performance. Enterprise contracts can accomplish this, but only under certain conditions.
Reforming the Civil Service
Civil service reform often meets with resistance because it is seen only as a tool for curbing government spending through personnel and wage cuts. But the true aim of reform is the creation of a skilled and efficient government workforce.
EU Mediterranean Strategy
The European Union's New Mediterranean Strategy
Saleh M. Nsouli, Amer Bisat, and Oussama Kanaan
Establishing a free-trade area with the southern Mediterranean region is the centerpiece of the European Union's new Mediterranean strategy. Strong adjustment and reform efforts by the countries of the region will be essential for the strategy's success.
The Association Agreement Between Tunisia and the European Union
Abdelali Jbili and Klaus Enders
The Association Agreement between Tunisia and the European Union provides for extensive trade liberalization and enhanced cooperation in many areas. It offers Tunisia an opportunity to build on the economic progress already made and to further strengthen relations with its most important trading partner.
World Development Report
Integrating Transition Economies into the Global Economy
Zhen Kun Wang
The successful integration of transition countries into the world economy will benefit all countries. The transition countries themselves face steep adjustment costs, but these should be outweighed by the benefits of being part of a larger and more competitive global marketplace.
People in Transition: Reforming Education and Health Care
The education and health of the labor force have a significant impact on a country's economic performance. To reap the benefits of modern technologies and increase productivity, the transition countries need urgently to reform their education and health care systems.
Also in this Issue|
European Monetary Union: Operating Monetary Policy
Charles Enoch and Marc Quintyn
The Maastricht Treaty provided a road map for the unification of the currencies of European Union members. But unification requires that monetary policy be operated by a single monetary institution, and many operational issues must be addressed.
Overcoming Agricultural Water Pollution in the European Union
Susanne M. Scheierling
As the European Union's member countries make progress on controlling water pollution from homes and industry, their attention is turning to reducing water pollution from agriculture. Their experience shows that this can be achieved only through further integration of agricultural and environmental policies.
Using Warehouse Receipts in Developing and Transition Economies
Richard Lacroix and Panos Varangis
Warehouse receipts provide an important addition to the store of negotiable instruments in a country's financial sector. They can be especially useful in developing and transition economies where new market instruments need to be created.
Germany's Social Assistance Program: The Dilemma of Reform
Germany's social assistance program is the subject of intense national debate. Its large and rapidly growing costs do not make fiscal consolidation easy and, more important, it aggravates Germany's most pressing economic problem: structural unemployment.
A Reform Proposal for Costa Rica's Pension System
Asli Demirg��-Kunt and Anita Schwarz
Costa Rica's public pension system, like those of many other countries, faces long-run financial problems. As its authorities consider reform, they should bear in mind that although a radical approach inevitably entails higher initial costs than a gradual approach, the benefits of the former may make it worth pursuing.
Disparities in Global Integration
Milan Brahmbhatt and Uri Dadush
Thanks in part to the benefits of global integration, more developing countries are on course to start catching up with industrial countries. But slow integrators run the risk of falling further behind unless they change their policies.