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International Monetary Fund

Abstract

The speeches made by officials attending the IMF–World Bank Annual Meetings are published in this volume, along with the press communiqués issued by the International Monetary and Financial Committee and the Development Committee at the conclusion of the meetings.

Vaclav Havel

with the end of their own stay on the Earth. Humankind depletes nonrenewable natural resources and interferes with the planet’s climate; becomes estranged from itself by gradually liquidating appreciable human communities and human proportions in general; and tolerates a cult of material gain as the highest value to which everything else has to yield, and before which even democratic will sometimes falls on its knees. Almost apathetically, we reconcile ourselves with the warning indications that, although the numbers of population on the Earth are rapidly growing

Kerri Wright Platais and Michael P. Collinson

collections will increase in value as biotechnology expands and the genes contained in the seed material gain importance for the global research community. To date, the centers involved with crop commodities have chosen not to patent their discoveries. But they will eventually have to consider negotiating for the use of proprietary technologies. This might mean purchasing the rights to use a certain technique or product of biotechnology, such as a virus resistant gene, to make it available for use by its developing country partners. Assuming the use of these products does

Ms. Victoria J Perry, Ms. Katherine Baer, and Mr. Emil M Sunley

; and (v) loss of about $20 million on coal and other fuels. Of these, virtually all the net raw material gain is explained by Uzbek cotton imports, and half of the net loss on energy exports would have been with respect to Kazakstan. The overwhelmingly main revenue shift on trade among the other CIS countries, excluding Russia, would have been a loss of over $300 million to Turkmenistan, presumably largely on its 1993 energy exports (although the sectoral breakdown is not available). 19/ 1994 and 1995 Tables As Table 4 shows, the truly significant

Rania A. Al-Mashat

forward guidance, the lack of a strong positive macroeconomic effect should not be surprising. More systematic, and more explicit, interest rate guidance might well yield material gains. Canada The rate of inflation in September 2008, when the global financial crisis broke, was about 2 percent, and the Bank of Canada’s policy rate was above 4 percent. Over the next two years, the central bank exploited the ample room for action during the global recession, cutting the policy rate to near zero. The Canadian dollar depreciated. Exports fell sharply with the drop

Ms. Victoria J Perry, Ms. Katherine Baer, and Mr. Emil M Sunley
In all of the new countries formed after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, other than the Baltics, the value-added taxes (VATs) adopted were “hybrid” VATs that treat CIS trade differently from trade with the rest of the world. This paper inquires whether this is appropriate. The paper concludes that it would be better if all CIS countries applied the destination principle to CIS trade as well as to trade with the rest of the world. The paper addresses the economic, administrative and revenue allocation considerations underlying this decision.
Mr. Maurice Obstfeld, Kevin Clinton, Mr. Ondrej Kamenik, Mr. Douglas Laxton, Ms. Yulia Ustyugova, and Hou Wang
Routine publication of the forecast path for the policy interest rate (i.e. “conventional forward guidance”) would improve the transparency of monetary policy. It would also improve policy effectiveness through its influence on expectations, particularly when there is a risk of low inflation, and the policy rate is constrained by the effective lower bound. Model simulations indicate that a potent macroeconomic strategy, for returning the Canadian economy to potential, combines conventional forward guidance with a fiscal stimulus. As a response to the effective lower bound constraint, and the decline in the world equilibrium real interest rate, this strategy is preferable to raising the inflation target.
Mr. Maurice Obstfeld, Kevin Clinton, Mr. Ondrej Kamenik, Mr. Douglas Laxton, Ms. Yulia Ustyugova, and Hou Wang

economic news. Engen, Laubach, and Reifschneider (2015) suggest the net stimulus to real activity and inflation was limited by the gradual nature of the changes in expectations for the interest rate and term premiums. In view of the limited sample size, and of the shifts in the nature of forward guidance, the lack of a strong positive macroeconomic effect should not be surprising. More systematic, and more explicit, interest rate guidance might well yield material gains. III.3.3. Canada The rate of inflation when the crisis broke out was about 2 percent, and

Mrs. Katharine M Christopherson Puh, Audrey Yiadom, Juliet Johnson, Francisca Fernando, Hanan Yazid, and Clara Thiemann
It is well established that a wide range of legal impediments in countries’ domestic laws have prevented women from achieving full economic empowerment, which in turn has negative macroeconomic implications. In many countries, laws often reflect and perpetuate gender norms that limit women’s economic participation, and removal of these impediments through legal reform has been shown to be an effective method to catalyze greater participation of women in the economy—along with the related macroeconomic benefits. Once legal barriers are removed and provisions for more equal treatment under the law are embedded, the law can also be employed as a powerful tool to incentivize women to pursue equal opportunities, change mindsets regarding the role of women, and hold institutions and individuals accountable for achieving results. Accordingly, it is imperative for countries to focus on eliminating existing legal impediments and designing appropriate incentives to increase women’s participation in the economy. This paper goes beyond previous Fund work by categorizing the key sources of laws that impede women’s economic empowerment, as well as ways in which the law can be used as a tool to create behavioral changes and shifts in perceptions of women in the economy. Case studies of six countries (Iceland, Peru, Rwanda, The Philippines, Tunisia, and the United States) that rank high in gender equality in their respective regions demonstrate how legal reforms have been implemented in differing contexts to help achieve women’s economic empowerment. Given the relevance to the Fund’s mandate, the paper also notes the case for a stepped-up role for the IMF in advising on legal reforms that remove barriers to, and incentivize, women’s economic empowerment. Although this paper highlights dominant belief systems and cultural norms that have contributed to limiting the economic empowerment of women, it does not intend to render any judgment on these systems or norms.
Mrs. Katharine M Christopherson Puh, Audrey Yiadom, Juliet Johnson, Francisca Fernando, Hanan Yazid, and Clara Thiemann

collateral for credit. In addition, the ability to control and accumulate assets provides non-material gains by providing tangible rewards for a person’s efforts. Laws that prevent women from owning property and other assets can effectively hinder or significantly disincentivize them from participating in the economy. Research shows that control over earned income increases female labor supply and labor force participation. 31 Legal impediments related to property law appear in various forms. Some laws prohibit women from owning movable and/or immovable property on their