This book, edited by Paul R. Mason, analyses the policy challenges that face the French economy in the second half of this decade, highlighting the need for structural changes to enhance the economy's flexibility. The authors argue that budgetary constraints will oblige France to address structural economic problems by reducing social benefits and cutting government expediture.
International macroeconomic policy coordination is generally considered to be made less likely—and less profitable—by the presence of uncertainty about how the economy works. The present paper provides a counter-example, in which increased uncertainty about portfolio preference of investors makes coordination of monetary policy more beneficial. In particular, in the absence of coordination monetary authorities may respond to financial market uncertainty by not fully accommodating demands for increased liquidity, for fear of bringing about exchange rate depreciation. Coordinated monetary expansion would minimize this danger. A theoretical model incorporating an equity market is developed, and the stock market crash of October 1987 is discussed in the light of its implications for monetary policy coordination.
The coexistence of urban and rural poverty and migration to cities is studied in a dual economy model where the acquisition of skills is costly and involves migration to urban areas. In this model, both the distribution of innate abilities and the distribution of wealth matter for the migration decision, and costs of backmigration may produce an urban poverty trap if unemployment lowers household wealth below the cost of skills acquisition.
Several concepts of contagion are distinguished. It is argued that only models that admit of multiple equilibria are capable of producing true contagion. A simple balance of payments model is presented to illustrate that phenomenon, and some back-of-the-envelope calculations assess its relevance to the coincidence of emerging market crises in 1994–95 and in 1997.
The paper surveys the types of models producing multiple equilibria in financial markets. It argues that such models are consistent with observed phenomena, such as the greater volatility of financial asset prices than of macroeconomic fundamentals. Alternative explanations are compared with the stylized facts concerning capital flows, portfolio shifts, and exchange rate crises. Implications for crisis prediction and prevention are then discussed.