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Mr. A. J Hamann and Mr. Ales Bulir

facilities ( Appendix I ). III. D ata and M easurement I ssues Compared with Bulíř and Hamann (2003) , we extended the sample, added a few countries, filled some gaps in the coverage of domestic fiscal revenue (see Appendix II for a detailed description of all series and their transformations), and tested robustness of our results using alternative aid definitions and smoothing techniques. Our database contains 76 countries from 1975 to 2003, with both gross and net aid series and domestic revenue series (both tax and nontax). Given that not all the revenue

Mr. A. J Hamann and Mr. Ales Bulir
The positive impact of foreign aid is limited by the erratic behavior of aid flows. The introduction in 1999 of various initiatives anchored in Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs) which were aimed at strengthening coordination among donors, improving the design of financial support programs, and improving domestic records of policy implementation should have led to an improvement in the time series properties of aid flows. We find no evidence of any fundamental changes in the way aid has been delivered in the past five years. If anything, aid volatility has worsened somewhat and the information value of long-term lending commitments has declined. We take these results to mean that the main causes of the volatility and unpredictability of aid, and the broader issue of macroeconomic instability in low-income countries, have not been addressed in a systematic manner by the donor community.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

through regression analysis of a tax policy adjusted revenue series. Expenditures Unlike in industrial countries, expenditure commitments tied to the economic cycle (for example, unemployment benefits) do not play a major role in Latin American budgets. For this reason, the standard approach in the fiscal literature on Latin America is to assume that all government expenditure in these countries is “structural,” i.e., driven by policy, without an automatic countercyclical link to output and employment. In fact, expenditures in Latin America have in the past

International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.
In this issue, authors from the IMF and from Argentine institutions team up to review how different banks behaved and were hurt during the country's crisis. Atsushi Iimi looks at how countries can escape from the resource curse in a comparative analysis that focuses on Botswana. John Cady and Jesus Gonzalez-Garcia examine the relationship between exchange rate volatility and the transparency of reserves. The issue also includes a comprehensive index of all Volume 54 papers by author, title, subject, and JEL classification.