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F&D logo
A quarterly magazine of the IMF
  September 2001
Volume 38, Number 3
Social Sector Reform

Social Sector Reform in Transition Countries
Christian Keller and Peter S. Heller
Transition countries need to reform their social sectors to promote the welfare of their citizens and spur economic growth. In part, this means building up and redesigning social safety nets and addressing problems in such areas as social insurance, budgetary transfers, health care and education, labor markets, and tax administration. It also requires cutting some benefits and privileges.

The Truth About Pension Reform
Nicholas Barr
Aging populations in industrial and transition countries have provoked heated debate about pension reform—in particular, about the desirability of abandoning pay-as-you-go schemes in favor of private, funded pensions. What kind of pension plan would best meet the needs of future retirees?

Debt Relief and Public Health Spending in Heavily Indebted Poor Countries
Sanjeev Gupta, Benedict Clements, Maria Teresa Guin-Siu, and Luc Leruth


Trade, Growth, and Poverty
David Dollar and Aart Kraay
How has many developing countries' increased participation in international trade affected their economic growth rates, and what implications has this had for the international distribution of income and the incidence of poverty?

Transition Countries

Confronting the Challenge of State Capture in Transition Economies
Joel Hellman and Daniel Kaufmann
"I only want to draw your attention straightaway to the fact that you have yourselves formed this very state, to a large extent through political and quasi-political structures under your control. So perhaps what one should do least of all is blame the mirror."

—Vladimir Putin, in a meeting with
Russia's business leaders
in July 2000 (Hoffman, 2000).

Intergovernmental Fiscal Relations in Russia
Nadezhda Bikalova
Although Russia is legally a federation, it has experienced serious problems in developing and maintaining satisfactory fiscal relations between its central government and regional and local governments. How have these problems arisen, and what steps might make Russia's fiscal federalism work better?

The Odessa Initiative: A Model for Institutional Reform in Eastern Europe
Caroline Mascarell
An initiative that involved local residents in reforming Odessa's housing and water sectors demonstrates how popular participation can contribute to the success of development projects.

Other Topics

Was Suez in 1956 the First Financial Crisis of the Twenty-First Century?
James M. Boughton
The IMF's lending to the four countries directly involved in the 1956 Suez crisis, and particularly to the United Kingdom, raised the institution's profile and established its role in helping member countries cope with international financial crises.

Lessons from California's Power Crisis
John E. Besant-Jones and Bernard Tenenbaum
"This is a dreadful mess for a state that is held up around the world as a model of innovation. . . ."

The Economist,
January 20, 2001

On the Global Digital Divide
Ashfaq Ishaq
Why is the global digital divide an important issue, and what benefits would result from bridging it?

Public-Private Partnerships
Michael B. Gerrard
What are public-private partnerships, and how do they differ from privatizations?

Optimal Water Management in the Middle East and Other Regions
Franklin M. Fisher and Hossein Askari
Serious conflicts over water pervade the Middle East. How might these be resolved or eased, and how could water management models and international financial institutions help?


From the Editor

Point of View

Targeting Rich-Country Protectionism: Jubilee 2010 et al.
Jagdish Bhagwati


Book Reviews

The Wind of the Hundred Days: How Washington Mismanaged Globalization by Jagdish Bhagwati

Future Positive: International Co-operation in the 21st Century by Michael Edwards

The Elusive Quest for Growth: Economists' Adventures and Misadventures in the Tropics by William Easterly

Book Notes

Financial Reform in China: Bridging the Gap between Plan and Market edited by Henk van Gemert

The Demand for Money in Malaysia: A Study of M2 by Subramanian Sivaraman Sriram

Emerging Markets: A Practical Guide for Corporations, Lenders, and Investors by Jeffrey C. Hooke

The International Monetary System: An Issue of Convertibility, Stability, and Liquidity by Edward Nemecek

Letters to the Editor