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  • 1. FDFINANCE and DEVELOPMENTDecember 2012 $8.00 Philanthropy Sowing ChangeBill Clinton on Creative CooperationJeffrey Sachs ProfiledLIBOR Explained I N T E R N A T I O N A L M O N E T A R Y F U N D
  • 2. FDFinance & Developmentis published quarterly in English, Arabic,Chinese, French, Russian, and Spanish.English edition ISSN 0015-1947 Finance & Development A QUARTERLY PUBLICATION OF THE INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUNDEDITOR-IN-CHIEFJeremy Clift December 2012 • Volume 49 • Number 4Managing EDITORMarina PrimoracSENIOR EDITORSCamilla Andersen James L. Rowe, Jr. FeaturesHyun-Sung Khang Simon WillsonNatalie Ramírez-Djumena catalysts for changeOnline Editor 8 Good WorksGlenn Gottselig Can philanthropy and social entrepreneurship step inASSISTANT EDITORSKhaled Abdel-Kader Jacqueline Deslauriers where official aid leaves off?Maureen Burke Lika Gueye Marina PrimoracPRINT/WEB PRODUCTION SPECIALIST 10 Every Which Way We CanLijun Li Philanthropy and private investment are increasingly 8SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER important in the global fight against povertySara Haddad Dean KarlanSENIOR EDITORIAL ­ASSISTANT 14 Learning LaboratoryNiccole Braynen-Kimani Social entrepreneurship offers innovativeEDITORIAL ­ASSISTANTHarris Qureshi cost-effective development solutions J. Gregory DeesCREATIVE DIRECTORLuisa Menjivar 18 Point of View: The Power of CooperationGraphic Artists Networks of creative collaboration can transform livesKenneth Grubby Michelle Martin Bill ClintonSeemeen Hashem 18ADVISORS TO THE EDITOR also in this issueBas Bakker Thomas HelblingNicoletta Batini Laura Kodres 22 China Prompting Western CreativityHelge Berger Paolo Mauro Chinese manufacturing exporters are capturing low-skill productionTim Callen Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti but driving high-skill innovation in the WestPaul Cashin Paul MillsAdrienne Cheasty Martin Muhleisen Nick Bloom, Mirko Draca, and John Van ReenenAlfredo Cuevas Laura Papi 25 When Commodity Prices SurgeMarcello Estevão Uma Ramakrishnan A price spike is likely to have more impact on countries with alreadyDomenico Fanizza Abdelhak SenhadjiJames Gordon high inflation levels and weak institutions Gaston Gelos and Yulia Ustyugova© 2012 by the International MonetaryFund. All rights reserved. For permission to 28 Spend or Sendreproduce any F&D content, submit a request Developing countries can spend commodity windfalls on physical investment,via online form (www.imf.org/external/ but it may be better in the short run to distribute part of them to their citizensterms.htm) or by e-mail to copyright@imf.org. Permission for commercial purposes Rabah Arezki, Arnaud Dupuy, and Alan Gelbalso available from the Copyright Clearance 34 Fair ShareCenter (www.copyright.com) for a nominal fee. Fighting income inequality with redistributive social spending has been moreOpinions expressed in articles and other effective in advanced than in developing economiesmaterials are those of the authors; they do Francesca Bastagli, David Coady, and Sanjeev Guptanot necessarily reflect IMF policy. 38 Straight Talk: Rethinking Sustainable DevelopmentSubscriber services, Changes of address,and Advertising inquiries A new development agenda needs to be truly global, relevant to all, andIMF Publication Services realistic in assigning responsibilitiesFinance & Development Nemat ShafikPO Box 92780Washington, DC, 20090, USA 40 A Relative QuestionTelephone: (202) 623-7430 The developing world isFax: (202) 623-7201 reevaluating what it meansE-mail: publications@imf.org to be poorPostmaster: send changes of address to Martin RavallionFinance & Development, International MonetaryFund, PO Box 92780, Washington, DC, 20090, 44 Sheltered from the Storm Europe’s central, eastern, and 40USA. Periodicals postage is paid at Washington,DC, and at additional mailing offices. southeastern countries have beenThe English edition is printed at Dartmouth ­ largely insulated from the ongoing euro area crisis, but that could change quicklyPrinting Company, Hanover, NH. Bas B. Bakker and Christoph Klingen Subscribe online at www.imfbookstore.org/f&d
  • 3. FROM THE EDITORMarch of the Billionaires: The Art of GivingB y combating malaria with mosquito nets or building society can get things done better to solve the world’s most schools and providing basic sanitation, philanthropy pressing problems.­ is helping transform the developing world. Rich do- Also in this issue, Prakash Loungani profiles superstar nors are devoting fortunes—many of them earned economist Jeffrey Sachs, who helped campaign for debt reliefthrough computer software, entertainment, and venture capi- for developing economies and championed the Millenniumtalism—to defeating poverty and improving lives, supplement- Development Goals. We look at how, instead of spendinging and in some cases surpassing official aid channels.­ commodity price windfalls on physical investments, which From billionaires Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren are often sources of corruption, governments of poor coun-Buffett to Aliko Dangote and George Soros, the titans of tries are sometimes well advised to hand some of the incomecapitalism are backing good causes with their cash. Whether over to their citizens. We examine moves by major centralfinancing new vaccines, building libraries, or buying up banks to ease our way out of the crisis enveloping advancedAmazon rain forest to protect the environment, philanthro- economies in our Data Spotlight column, and we hear aboutpists are supporting innovations and new approaches that are how China’s growth inspires creativity in the West.­changing lives and building dreams.­ ******** This issue of F&D looks at the world of targeted giving and After a decade working in different roles on F&D, this will besocial entrepreneurship.­ my final issue as Editor. I am moving to the job of Publisher of “Philanthropy’s role is to get things started,” says Microsoft the Fund. Jeff Hayden will take the baton as Editor-in-Chief,co-founder Bill Gates, who is the world’s most generous giver. ably supported by the editorial team led by Managing Editor“We used foundation funds to set up a system to make mar- Marina Primorac and our design team, long headed by Luisaket forces work in favor of the poor.” He says that catalytic Menjivar. F&D is nearing a half century of spotlighting globalphilanthropy can make a big difference. “Good ideas need development issues and has never been in finer fettle.­evangelists. Forgotten communities need advocates.” Former U.S. President Bill Clinton tells us that networks of Jeremy Cliftcreative cooperation between government, business, and civil Editor-in-Chief48 Reconfiguring Growth 43 Data Spotlight To stimulate growth, the euro area must combine Ballooning Balance Sheets aggressive structural reform and policies to Major central banks have been injecting liquidity promote demand to contain the effects of the global financial crisis Bergljot Barkbu and Jesmin Rahman Ricardo Davico and Brian John Goldsmith52 Japanese Youth Speak Out 54 Book Reviews Winning essays by Japanese university students The Land of Too Much: American Abundance and Tomoko Kaida, Daisuke Gatanaga, and Kenji Nakada the Paradox of Poverty, Monica Prasad Making the European Monetary Union, Harold Jamesdepartments 57 Index of 2012 Articles2 In Brief4 People in Economics A Project in Every Port Prakash Loungani profiles Jeffrey Sachs, peripatetic Illustration: Cover, pp. 8–9, Michael Gibbs; pp. 20–21, Seemeen Hashem. development economist Photography: p. 2, Jane Sweeney/JAI/Corbis; Latin Stock Collection/Corbis; Nic Bothma/EPA/Corbis; p. 3, Gideon Mendel/Corbis; Craig Lovell/Corbis;20 Picture This Ric Ergenbright/Corbis; p. 4, Ted Aljibe/AFP/Getty Images; p. 10, Jay Directo/ Investing in People AFP/Getty Images; p. 14, Pawan Kumar/Reuters/Corbis; p. 18, Bryan Bedder/ A new study says the global recession underscored EPA/Newscom; p. 22, Bo Zaunders/Corbis; p. 25, Peter & Georgina Bowater the importance of education Stock Connection Worldwide/Newscom; p. 30, Yaw Bibini/Reuters/Corbis; Dirk Van Damme, Corinne Heckmann, and p. 34, Margie Politzer/Lonely Planet; p. 38, IMF photo; p. 40, Rene Mattes/ Elisabeth Villoutreix Hemis/Corbis; p. 44, Tibor Bognar/Corbis; p. 48, Paul White/AP/Corbis; pp. 52–53, Yuko Ide/IMF; pp. 54–55, Michael Spilotro/IMF.32 Back to Basics What Is LIBOR? The London interbank rate is used widely as a R e a d o n l i n e a t w w w. i m f . o rg/ f a n d d benchmark but has come under fire V i s i t F & D ’s Fa c e b o o k p a ge : John Kiff w w w. f a c e b o o k. c o m / F i n a n c e a n d D ev e l o p m e n t Finance & Development December 2012   1
  • 4. IN BRIEF Smart growth Moving up the ranks Global urbanization will have significant implications for Global foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows rose 16 biodiversity and ecosystems if current trends continue, ac- percent in 2011, surpassing the 2005–07 precrisis level, cording to a new assessment by the United Nations Conven- the United Nations Confer- tion on Biological Diversity. ence on Trade and Develop- The Cities and Biodiversity Outlook report, which draws ment reports. The agency’s on contributions from more than 123 scientists worldwide, World Investment Report says that more than 60 percent of the land projected to be 2012 predicts that the growth urban by 2030 has yet to be developed. This presents a major rate of FDI slowed in 2012, opportunity to improve global sustainability by promoting however, with flows leveling low-carbon, resource-efficient urban development that can off at about $1.6 trillion. reduce adverse effects on biodiversity and improve quality of The report’s FDI attrac- life, the report says. tion index, which measures The world’s total urban area is expected to triple betweenBayterek Tower, Astana, Kazakhstan. the success of economies 2000 and 2030, with the urban population set to double to in attracting FDI, features more developing and tran- about 4.9 billion in the same period. This expansion will sition economies in the top 10 than in previous years. draw heavily on water and other natural resources and will Newcomers in 2011 to the top ranks include Ireland consume prime agricultural land. and Mongolia. Resource-rich Chile, Kazakhstan, The new report highlights a wide range of successful ini- Turkmenistan, and the Republic of Congo also made tiatives at various levels of government both in devel- the list. oped and developing Just shy of the top 10, a number of countries, including economies. In Bogotá, Ghana and Peru, exhibited sustained improvement in their Colombia, for example, ranking: both these countries moved up the list in each of measures such as clos- the past six years. ing roads on weekends, improving the bus tran- sit system, and creating Better educated, lower paid bicycle paths resulted in increased physical activ- Despite recent narrowing, the wage gap between men and ity among residents and a women in Latin America prevails, according to a new study by reduction in greenhouse the Inter-American Development Bank and the World Bank. gas emissions. New Century, Old Disparities: Gender and Ethnic Earnings Gaps in Latin America and the Caribbean compares sur- veys of representative households in 18  Latin American and Caribbean countries. It finds that Events in 2013 men earn 17 percent more January 15–17, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates than women of the same World Future Energy Summit age and educational level. This wage gap has been January 23–27, Davos Klosters, Switzerland decreasing in recent years, World Economic Forum Annual Meeting but at an unacceptably March 14–18, Panama City, Panama slow pace, the report says. Inter-American Development Bank Annual Meeting Though slightly bet- April 19–21, Washington, D.C. Students in Buenos Aires, Argentina. ter educated on average Spring Meetings of the World Bank Group and the than men, women still dominate lower-paid occupations International Monetary Fund such as teaching, health care, and the service sector, the study says. According to the household surveys, women hold only May 2–5, New Delhi, India­ 33 percent of the better-paid professional jobs in the region, Asian Development Bank Annual Meeting which include those in the fields of architecture, law, and May 10–11, Istanbul, Turkey­ engineering. In these professions, the wage gap between men European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and women is significantly higher: 58 percent on average. Annual Meeting A change in household roles and stereotypes is essen- May 30–31, Marrakech, Morocco tial to achieving gender equality in the labor market, the African Development Bank Annual Meeting study concludes.­ 2   Finance & Development December 2012
  • 5. 2013: Year of water cooperation The United Nations has designated 2013 the Interna- tional Year of Water Cooperation. The objective is to raise awareness of the poten- tial for increased cooperation and of the challenges facing water management in light of the increase in demand for water access, allocation, and services. The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) will lead the outreach efforts. In its awareness campaign, UNESCO will high- light the history of successful water cooperation ini- tiatives and identify key issues in water education, water diplomacy, transboundary water management, financing cooperation, national and international Malnourished children in Zimbabwe line up for food. legal frameworks, and linkages with the Millennium Development Goals.One in eight is hungryNearly 870 million people, or one in eight, were sufferingfrom chronic undernourishment in 2010–12, according to aUnited Nations (UN) report on hunger. The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2012—jointlypublished by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization,the International Fund for Agricultural Development, andthe World Food Program—finds that the number of hungrypeople worldwide declined by 132 million since 1990. But hunger has risen in Africa and the Near East, andoverall progress in reducing hunger has stalled since 2007,the report says. With appropriate action, the Millennium DevelopmentGoal of halving the number of hungry people in the devel- Anisakan Falls, Pyin u Lwin, Myanmar.oping world by 2015 can still be achieved, the report notes. Addressing climate change in Afghanistan The government of Afghanistan has launched a $6 mil- flow of rivers that originate in the Central Highlands lion climate change initiative, the first of its kind in the area. Natural ecosystems throughout the country are country’s history. very fragile, however, and the degrading effects of This landmark effort—to be implemented by the increasing human activity in many areas are worsened United Nations Environment by current climatic variability, Program (UNEP)—aims to help mainly frequent droughts and communities vulnerable to such extreme-weather-induced floods effects of climate change as and erosion. drought and build Afghan insti- The initiative includes plans tutions’ capacity to cope with cli- for more efficient water manage- mate change risk. ment and use, community-based UNEP has identified Afghanistan watershed management, improved as one of the most vulnerable coun- terracing, agroforestry, climate- tries in the world to climate change, related research and early warning because it is both more exposed systems, improved food security, to and less able to grapple with and rangeland management. the effects. Agriculture provides a livelihood Many of the agricultural activi- for more than 60 percent of the ties in Afghanistan depend on the Irrigated fields in Bamiyan province, Afghanistan. Afghan population. Finance & Development December 2012   3
  • 6. PEOPLE IN ECONOMICS Prakash Loungani profiles Jeffrey Sachs, peripatetic development economist A Project in Every PortI t is hard to imagine a more accomplished—and more at the time, noted economist Robert Barro, recalls that Sachs varied—career than that of Jeff Sachs. Harvard Univer- once invited him to lunch with Bono to discuss the campaign. sity granted him tenure in 1982 when he was only 28. In Barro says his “instinct was to decline,” but he was overruled his early thirties, he helped Bolivia end its hyperinflation by his teenage daughter, who said: “Dad, this is the coolestand restructure its debt. Only a few years later, he was drafting thing imaginable . . . Of course you have to go.”the Polish government’s blueprint for transition from com- Sachs’s work also provokes criticism that the policies hemunism to capitalism. Stints as advisor to the governments champions often have painful side effects. It’s a charge he vigor-of Russia, Estonia, Burkina Faso, and India—among many ously denies: “In Bolivia, Poland, and Russia, my work was likeothers—followed. Sachs campaigned for debt relief for poor an emergency room doctor’s. The patient was already in shock:countries and, as an advisor to UN Secretary General Kofi hyperinflation, mass shortages, political instability, a collapsingAnnan, developed a plan to achieve the Millennium Develop- currency, and pervasive fear. Armchair critics have little con-ment Goals. Since 2002, as director of the Earth Institute at cept of the nature of such tumult, and of the challenges of devis-Columbia University, Sachs has set his sights even higher. The ing policies in such confusion. Don’t blame the doctor for theInstitute, an interdisciplinary group of 850 people, addresses condition of the patient coming into the emergency room.”some of the world’s most difficult problems, from eradicationof disease to global warming. Harvard ties All this has given Sachs a superstar status few economists Sachs was born in Detroit in 1954. His family’s roots are inenjoy. In 2005, MTV aired a documentary of Sachs travel- Grodno, once part of Poland and then of the Soviet Union. Hising in Africa with the actress Angelina Jolie. Earlier, he had father was a prominent labor attorney who was active in U.S.toured with Bono, the lead singer of the band U2, as part of Democratic Party politics. His sister, Andrea, recalls that theira campaign for debt relief. One of Sachs’s Harvard colleagues father always reminded them “to do good while you are doing4   Finance & Development December 2012
  • 7. well.” After considering becoming a lawyer like his father, he “this was a battle royal with the IMF and the banks, sinceturned down Harvard’s law school in favor of its economics the principle of debt reduction was not yet established indepartment. It was to become his home for 30 years. international circles.” Sachs led the negotiations for the As an undergraduate he completed all the course require- Bolivians, and in the end 90 percent of the external debt onments for a doctorate in economics. In 1982, he pub- the books was canceled.lished a paper in the profession’s leading technical journal, By early 1986, the hyperinflation was gone, “and Bolivia’sEconometrica, titled “Multiple Shooting in Two-Point been one of the lowest-inflation countries in all of theBoundary Value Problems.” It’s true he had some help on Americas.” The country’s economic growth, however,the paper; his coauthors were David Lipton, now the IMF’s remained modest, which gnawed at Sachs and led him laterfirst deputy managing director; Jim Poterba, now president to important work on the roadblocks to growth.of the National Bureau of Economic Research (the pre-eminent U.S. economic research organization); and Larry Walesa’s woesSummers, former U.S. treasury secretary and former presi- Sachs’s success in Bolivia led to business in many other capi-dent of Harvard. Even among such a talented cohort at tal cities. In early 1989, Poland’s government approached himHarvard, Sachs stood out, which the university recognized for help with the transition to capitalism. Sachs had long dis-by giving him tenure at age 28. cussions with the leaders of the Solidarity union movement What singled out Sachs, however, was not just his technical “about market economics and what could be done.” The lead-brilliance but also his interest in tackling the pressing eco- ers were pessimistic about the chances for Poland’s economicnomic issues of the day, formulating solutions, and lobbying transformation.for their adoption. Paul Krugman, the economics Nobel lau- Sachs assured them that it could be done. Markets couldreate, once wrote that “what sets Jeff apart is that he is a first- work if they were liberalized—that is, if prices were set byrate theorist who is also a major political force. It’s a pretty demand and supply rather than fiat. Once markets got going,amazing combination.” domestic investment and foreign investment from the rest of Europe would rejuvenate Polish industry. And, echoing theMiracle cure advice he gave the Bolivians, Sachs told Solidarity: “ForgetSachs’s first major project was as economic advisor to Bolivia the foreign debt—it’s going to be canceled.”in 1985. The country was grappling with an annual inflation After a few months, Solidarity began to come around. Onerate of 60,000 percent. Sachs says inflation rates that high night, Sachs and Lipton—his Harvard comrade—went tomean that “if by accident you leave [money] in your wallet the apartment of one of the leaders, Jacek Kuroń. Sachs andfor a week or two you’ve lost a quarter of the value.” Lipton sketched out a plan for the transformation. At last, Of course, in such a situation people don’t generally leave Kuroń said, “Clear—write up the plan.” Sachs said that he andtheir money in their wallets. In fact, people get paid with Lipton would write it up once they were back in the Unitedhuge stacks of money and immediately run to the market totry to turn the soon-to-be-worthless paper into goods that Asian dramawill retain value. Sachs says that “you really feel the urgency, Sachs has been a longtime critic of the IMF, and this did notand you, you really rack your brain to try to figure out any- change during the Asian crisis of 1997–98. In joint workthing that might work.” with Steve Radelet, Sachs wrote that “explanations that attri- The answer in the end, says Sachs, was “very, very simple.” bute the contraction to deep flaws in the Asian economies,Hyperinflation arises when governments face a budget defi- such as Asian crony capitalism, seem to us to be stronglycit they try to close by printing money. The key to stopping overstated.” Radelet and Sachs attributed the crisis ratherhyperinflation is therefore to give governments some source to a “combination of financial panic, policy mistakes byof real revenue. In Bolivia, this required a sharp increase in the Asian governments at the start of the crisis, and poorlythe price of government-owned oil, which had been heavily designed international rescue programs,” which deepenedsubsidized by the state. Raising the price of oil to a realistic the crisis more than was “necessary or inevitable.”level ensured that when the government sold the oil, it “was Although they agreed that interest rates had to rise fol-earning enough money to pay the teachers.” This closed the lowing the withdrawal of foreign capital, Radelet and Sachsbudget deficit enough that the hyperinflation stopped. questioned the “IMF’s insistence on raising interest rates Sachs says the end of the oil price subsidies was “a progres- even higher and demanding a fiscal surplus on top of thesive step.” He says the poor bore the burden of the hyperinfla- huge withdrawal of funds that was already under way.” Thetion through the erosion of the value of their cash while “the IMF’s advice was based on the assumption that higher inter-rich benefited from the very low prices of gasoline.” The big- est rates would lead to “stability or appreciation of the cur- rency and that the benefits of currency stabilization in termsgest “beneficiaries were actually the smugglers, who bought of lower external debt servicing costs would outweigh thepetroleum products in Bolivia and smuggled them into Peru.” short-run output costs from higher interest rates.” Along with the increase in oil prices, Sachs also fought Radelet and Sachs, like many other observers, such asfor debt relief for Bolivia—the country’s public debt in 1984 Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz, questioned whether the ben-was 110 percent of its income. This put him at odds with efits were worth the cost.the IMF, and not for the last time (see box). Sachs says that Finance & Development December 2012   5
  • 8. States and send it in as soon as they could. Kuroń said, “No. At the end of 1991, Sachs was officially appointed an eco-Tomorrow morning I need the plan.” nomic advisor to Boris Yeltsin. Lipton and Anders Åslund, So Sachs and Lipton headed back to their office, where now a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for InternationalSachs says they had put “slabs of wood over the sinks so you Economics, were his key associates. Åslund says that “apartcould put down a computer terminal.” They wrote up a plan from the Gaidar team of leading young Russian reformers,that night, “working from about 10 in the evening until I don’t there was little domestic expertise to draw on.” Therefore, theknow if it was 3 or 4 in the morning.” The Solidarity leaders team consisted of young Russian economists with Westernlooked at it and told Sachs, “You can get on an airplane and training and economists recruited from the West, includinggo to Gdansk. It is time for you to go see Mr. Walesa.” Berg and Andrew Warner, then a recent Harvard graduate and now in the IMF’s Research Department.Polish pride Sachs says they “were given the ultimate measure of trustWork on the essential elements of the Sachs-Lipton all- in those days: a permanent pass to the Council of Ministersnighter continued over the course of 1989, with the coun- building and a few offices inside for our permanent Moscow-try’s finance minister, Leszek Balcerowicz, playing a key based employees.” Berg recalls that when he landed at therole. Finally, Solidarity’s economic plan was announced Moscow airport, he was whisked through immigration into aon January 1, 1990. Sachs says the moment was “terrifying waiting limousine, and “there were separate lanes for limos.”[because] here was a country in hyperinflation, in chaos, in Yet, Berg says, there was an air of disintegration: “There wasdespair, financially bankrupted, shops empty, starting an a smell of gasoline in the air which I was told was becauseexperiment, as it were, that had never been done before.” it was being stored in the trunks of limos and cars.” Russia’s Andrew Berg, now in the IMF’s Research Department, was economic mainstay, oil and gas production, had been hit bythen a Massachusetts Institute of Technology Ph.D. student the plummeting oil prices of the mid-1980s.working in Poland: “You could say I was the Polish resident rep- The region lacked the history and practice of market eco-resentative for Sachs-Lipton Associates,” says Berg. He recalls nomics. Warner says that much of what Sachs and his teamthat working with Sachs was “empowering; the hierarchy that did was “commonsense economics,” explaining the basics. “Wemattered was the hierarchy of good ideas.” Sachs’s ideas often were trying to stop credit from growing 25 percent a monthturned out to be the best. Berg says, “Jeff could cut to the bot- and carry out basic budget reform.” Sachs was “intellectuallytom of complicated things,” knowing exactly which “two- honest,” says Warner, “always trying to get the numbers rightdimensional graph would really summarize the situation.” and promote good analysis.” As Sachs and Lipton had advocated, the economic planquickly liberalized prices and immediately opened up the Russian reversaleconomy to trade to relieve shortages of consumer goods In Russia, however, Sachs and his team could not pull off theand key production inputs. The plan deferred privatization success they had achieved in Poland. In a long defense of hisof major state-controlled industries, Sachs says, since he record titled “What I Did in Russia,” Sachs argues that the“did not have detailed plans and this would take years to results were disappointing because his advice was ignored tocomplete.” a large extent by the Russian team and almost entirely by the But the economic plan also led to a surge in prices, com- West. While Sachs’s recommended elimination of price con-pounding the hyperinflation. Food prices doubled in a month, trols took place at the start of 1992, his advice to tighten theand the price of coal, critical to Poland’s energy production, money supply and end subsidies to firms was ignored. As awent up sixfold. Wages stagnated. “You go into this knowing result, high inflation “continued unabated for several years,”that wages won’t be able to rise as fast as prices,” says Sachs. giving the reforms a bad name.“That’s the whole idea.” Åslund says that Sachs and his team also “did not manage Sachs also lobbied for financial support for Poland from to get through the deregulation of energy prices and foreignWestern governments and international agencies. Berg trade.” This meant that “some people could buy oil for a dol-recalls using his AT&T phone calling card so that Polish lar and sell it for $100 on the world markets and hence hadFinance Minister Balcerowicz could call IMF Managing no incentive to reform.” Sachs’s advice that the large naturalDirector Michel Camdessus to request assistance. resource companies remain in state hands was also ignored; The initial pain caused by the plan led to criticism of Sachs instead, says Åslund, the “sector was privatized in a corruptthen and since, but there can be little question about the manner, giving rise to the oligarchs.”longer-term gain. But Åslund says the biggest reason for the failure was that, contrary to Sachs’s advice, “the West didn’t lift a fingerA bigger challenge for Russia.” The Group of Seven (G7) countries (Canada,As Poland started to turn the corner, its experience attracted France, Germany, Italy, Japan, United Kingdom, Unitedinterest in Russia. Sachs started working in 1990–91 with States) gave little financial assistance themselves, butthe Soviet economist Grigory Yavlinsky to design a plan of instead passed the buck to international financial institu-democratization and economic reform, backed by Western tions such as the World Bank and the IMF. John Odling-technical assistance and financial support of $150 billion Smee, then director of the IMF department with oversightover five years. The plan took the name “Grand Bargain.” over operations in Russia, has written that “by not provid-6   Finance & Development December 2012
  • 9. ing large-scale financial support themselves” the G7 put study. Their statistical analysis established that “resource-the IMF in roles that “were sometimes contradictory.” On poor economies often vastly outperform resource-rich econ-the one hand, the IMF was expected to lend to Russia on omies in economic growth.”the basis of policies that met the “normal standards” of theinstitution. On the other hand, the institution was expected An end to povertyto relax those standards when the G7 wanted to show its Over the past decade or so, Sachs’s attention has been focusedpolitical support for the Russian government. on Africa and on bringing about an end to poverty there. Odling-Smee says that as a result of these dual roles “an He was instrumental in the success of the Jubilee 2000 debtatmosphere was sometimes created, for example at the end relief campaign to persuade creditor nations to cancel theof 1993 . . . in which the IMF felt that it should err on the huge debt of developing nations. Sachs and Bono lobbiedside of supporting weak policies rather than interrupt” loans presidents and prime ministers—and Pope John Paul II.to Russia. Sachs continued to advise the Russian government The effort was successful. In 1999, the Group of Eight (G8) countries (G7 plus Russia) committed to $100 billion in debt cancellation by the end of 2000. “When this man gets going, After 30 years focusing on he’s more like a Harlem preacher than a Boston bookworm,” wrote an admiring Bono about Sachs. problems around the globe, Sachs In 2002, Sachs left Harvard after more than 20 years as a professor to become director of Columbia University’s Earth has now also turned his attention Institute. There he launched his most ambitious project to date. Called the Millennium Villages Project, it is Sachs’s to ills closer to home. attempt, with the backing of the United Nations, to help rural Africa achieve the Millennium Development Goals, the global targets for improving human development, by 2015.through 1993, but when that year turned out to be “even The project provides large-scale aid to a total of 15 villagesmore dreadful [in terms of policy actions] than 1992,” he in 10 countries to help combat poverty and disease. The vil-and Åslund publicly announced their resignation in January lages receive high-yield seeds, fertilizer, drinking wells, mate-1994. Berg says that Russia turned out to be an “eye-opener rials to build schools and clinics, insecticide-treated nets, andabout the limits of good people and smart ideas to bring antiretroviral drugs.about change for the better.” The early returns from the project are in. Human devel- opment indicators are better on most counts in the mil-Resource curse lennium villages. But it’s possible that these improvementsIn the mid-1990s, Sachs turned his attention to the question would have occurred even without help from Sachs’s project.of why some countries were rich and others poor. His experi- Establishing that the project made a decisive impact—say, byence in Bolivia and Russia was a motivating factor. Bolivia comparing the results to those of villages that were not partlicked hyperinflation in the 1980s but its economic growth of the project—is a matter of active debate.remained modest. Sachs felt that this was due to the country’s“precarious reliance on a few primary commodity exports,” Homeward bound?as well as “its extraordinary geographical situation as a land- On a trip to Washington, D.C. in 1972 as a high schoollocked Andean country divided between the extreme high- senior, Sachs sent his girlfriend a postcard of the Whitelands and tropical forest lowlands.” House and wrote “Home at last” on the back. After 30 years At first blush, commodity exports would appear to confer focusing on problems around the globe, Sachs has now alsoeasy riches on a country. But Sachs and Warner noted the turned his attention to ills closer to home. His latest bookempirical regularity that growth was slow in many resource- is titled The Price of Civilization: Reawakening Americanrich countries, tapping into an early vein of work claiming Virtue and Prosperity. The Financial Times says that Sachsthat “easy riches lead to sloth.” The French philosopher Jean “has the air of the world traveler who returns home to findBodin wrote in 1576 that “men of a fat and fertile soil are his country a much worse place than he remembered.”most commonly effeminate and cowards,” whereas a barren Sachs laments such U.S. problems as lack of job creation,country makes men “careful, vigilant, and industrious.” decaying infrastructure, falling educational standards, Sachs and Warner noted that several historical examples increasing inequality, soaring health care costs, and blatantappeared to bear out Bodin’s belief. The Netherlands out- corporate dishonesty.stripped gold-rich Spain in the 17th century. In the 19th and Sachs is characteristically optimistic about the United States20th centuries, resource-poor Switzerland and Japan surged despite this laundry list of complaints. “If Poland can make itahead of Russia. And in the 1970s and 1980s, several Asian from communism to capitalism,” he says, “we can surely makecountries, such as Korea and Singapore, raced ahead ofresource-rich African and Latin American countries. it from one form of capitalism to a better form.” ■ Sachs and Warner confirmed the adverse effect of resource Prakash Loungani is an Advisor in the IMF’s Researchabundance on growth through a worldwide comparative Department. Finance & Development December 2012   7
  • 10. Can philanthropy and social entrepreneurship step in where official aid leaves off?­8   Finance & Development December 2012
  • 11. Good WorksMarina PrimoracC HARITY and social entrepreneurship are nothing porting a lot of possible winners, increasing the odds that new. Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, and someone will find new solutions to any given social problem. the Vanderbilt family helped build the cultural in- Companies are increasingly under pressure to contribute frastructure of the United States. Maria Montessori, to society, or at least to appear to be doing so. Cynics argueJohn Muir, and Florence Nightingale were early social entrepre- that the corporate world does only what is necessary toneurs in the fields of education, conservation, and public health. help the bottom line. Large firms are setting up corporate But philanthropy is becoming an increasingly importantpart of the fabric of the global economy. While many govern-ments contemplate pulling back, rich people are becoming Philanthropy is becoming anmore creative and strategic about their giving, and—if Bill increasingly important part of theGates has his way—more generous and proactive. Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates established fabric of the global economy.The Giving Pledge in June 2010: a public commitment bysome of the world’s richest people to give away at least half social responsibility divisions and touting their products’of their wealth, which in turn is meant to inspire more giv- do-good qualities, in the realms of the environment, educa-ing. To date, 81 billionaires have signed on, with Buffett tion, health, and culture. When pharmaceutical companiesalone pledging $37 billion. offer lifesaving medications such as AIDS or tuberculosis Philanthropists are motivating their peers to do the same, medications at reduced cost in poor countries or free upand more. Donating fortunes and solving social problems patents for generic production companies’ use, are theytoday has taken on more cachet than passing on a huge inher- doing so to improve the lot of the sick and poor or underitance or setting up posthumous monetary contributions. legal or political pressure? U.S. universities, from Stanford to Georgetown, from Duke Forbes, a magazine for and about the wealthiest people into Michigan, have established courses and even centers for the world, hosted a summit on philanthropy in June of thisthe study of philanthropy. One approach is to study how to year, inviting 161 billionaires and nearly-theres to listen toincrease philanthropy, to get more funds for a project. Another keynote speakers Buffett, Steven Case, Gates, and Oprahis how to measure the effect—the impact—of philanthropy, to Winfrey talk about how they could change the world. Andget more out of giving. But there are gaps in the research: lim- the World Economic Forum now holds a session on socialited data are available on private giving from countries other entrepreneurship—what Greg Dees defines as “pursuit of anthan the United States, though anecdotal evidence tells us that innovative solution to a social problem.”it is becoming more important. For example, Li Ka-shing, a New York City is experimenting with creative financing toHong Kong–based businessman and billionaire, has given solve social problems—financing that not only measures butaway over $1.5 billion and has pledged a third of his fortune— in fact depends on results. Goldman Sachs has invested in aan estimated contribution of $9 billion—to charitable causes. “social impact bond” that is funding a nonprofit to design How much a person gives is one thing. How much change and run a program to reduce recidivism in the city by a targetit effects is another. So philanthropists and academics are amount. If the project achieves that target, Goldman Sachsfocusing on impact—what difference a contribution makes— gets its money back; if it exceeds the target, the investmentand the best way to measure that impact. firm will profit. Losses are limited to one-fourth of the ini- Gates says the private sector underinvests in innovations tial $9.6 billion investment, thanks to a subsidy by Mayorbecause investors—those taking the risk—receive only a Bloomberg’s philanthropic foundation—demonstrating oncesmall portion of the returns. The state has traditionally inter- again the importance of philanthropic risk takers.ceded to meet needs that fall between the cracks, but Gates In this issue of F&D, we look at the intersection of phi-argues that governments—at least those democratically lanthropy, private investment, and social entrepreneurship:elected—don’t take the long view and are averse to risk. how people are finding better ways to solve society’s most That is where the philanthropist can fill the gap, with whatGates calls “catalytic philanthropy.” Government is good at pressing problems. ■finding a few likely winners, but philanthropy is good at sup- Marina Primorac is Managing Editor of F&D. Finance & Development December 2012   9
  • 12. Dean KarlanEvery Which Way We CanPhilanthropy and private investment are increasingly important in theglobal fight against poverty­G lobal poverty reduction was once a battle fi- wide in nominal terms (but not nearly the largest as a share nanced by well-off countries with the support of of GDP) has fallen as a proportion of GDP over the past international organizations such as the United Na- 50 years. Much of this decline was driven by a drop in assis- tions and the World Bank. But times are changing.­ tance from 1980 to 2000—aid actually increased percentage- Philanthropic contributions by the likes of the Bill & wise from 2000 to 2010.­Melinda Gates Foundation and George Soros’s Open Society The U.S. government now contributes about 0.2 per-Foundation, social enterprises such as the Grameen Bank, cent of its gross national income to foreign assistance; theand the increasing flow of investment funds to develop- Scandinavian countries Denmark, Norway, and Swedening countries are now taking on a higher profile in the fightagainst poverty.­ Spectrum of aid Developing economies are attracting more direct invest- Financial flows to developing economies for poverty reduc-ment. But they still need official aid and money from private tion run the gamut from grants to private sector investment.­donors to help correct market failures and catalyze solutions Grants, of course, are 100 percent subsidies to a govern-for the poor (see box).­ ment or nongovernmental organization to provide some service or transfer. In the middle of the spectrum are invest-Giving trends ments that aim to generate a social return above and beyondThe total flow of financial resources to developing economies their private return—in the form of loans to governments orhas been rising. The absolute level of global foreign aid (also equity or loans to private firms. Such social net benefits mayknown as official development assistance), private invest- arise through positive externalities such as a smaller carbonment, and philanthropic grants to developing economies footprint or a reduction in contagious diseases.­combined has increased since 1960 (see Chart 1). However, At the other end of the spectrum is private investment thattotal bilateral and multilateral foreign aid has fallen as a per- generates strictly private returns, benefiting the investor, the firm, and the clients of the firm. Falling nowhere on the spec-cent of global GDP over the past half-century.­ trum are investments that cause negative externalities, with a Consistent with global trends, foreign assistance from the social return lower than private returns.United States, which is the largest single contributor world-10   Finance & Development December 2012
  • 13. all give close to 1 percent (United Nations Millennium nection to the next level and allow individual donations toDevelopment Goals Indicators database). In absolute flow directly to beneficiaries without an intermediary.amounts, the United States contributed $31 billion in 2011,while France, Germany, and the United Kingdom com- Thinking about sustainabilitybined—with two-thirds the population of the United States— A major question for today’s philanthropists involves thatcontributed $58 billion. On a per capita basis, the United alluring yet vaguely defined term “sustainability.” CharitableStates contributed $99 in official aid, while these three donations often play an important role in supportingEuropean countries combined gave $280.­ the vulnerable in times of need when markets or govern- Some aid is direct budget support, whereas other aid takes ments can’t or won’t do so. But nonprofits’ dependence onon particular forms, such as technical assistance (e.g., Japan) donations makes them vulnerable to fluctuations in theiror investment in infrastructure and industry (e.g., China). funding, which can threaten their ability to achieve theirAll these approaches ultimately aim to improve the quality goals—in other words, they’re not financially sustainable.of life in developing economies, while often also serving the Given the shortfalls of the nonprofit approach, some poten-donor country’s interests. tial charitable donors have shifted from the grant-based end of the spectrum toward the middle—investments withShifts in public opinion social returns higher than private returns—and even off theU.S. views on foreign aid can seem paradoxical. A 2010 spectrum, to investments with no social benefit beyond the Karlan, corrected 11/6/12survey showed that most people in the United States vastly private benefits.­overestimate how much federal spending goes to foreign The primary advantage for-profit firms have over nonprof-aid, pegging it at 25 percent on average. The actual figure is its is that their revenues are tied directly to their productsless than 1 percent. Ironically, most Americans would liketo “reduce” the foreign aid budget to 10 percent of overall Chart 1spending—a sum that would actually represent a tenfoldincrease in aid (WorldPublicOpinion.org, 2010).­ Going up Attitudes toward aid are changing, however. In the United Total aid, investment, and grants to developing countries has risenStates, the share of people who would like to cut back on over the past 50 years.aid has declined steadily over the past 40 years, from a high (billion dollars, constant 2010 dollars) 350of 79 percent in 1974 to a low of 60 percent in 2010, with a Official development assistance from all countriescomparable increase in those who consider aid levels about 300 Private flows at market terms (including foreignright or even too low (General Social Survey, 2010). But 250 direct investment and portfolio investment)even though they mistakenly believe that aid is quite high, Net private grants 200Americans are on average more likely to say it should behigher still. They are also increasingly likely to commit their 150charitable dollars abroad: private donations to international 100causes began rising steadily as a percent of GDP beginning in 50 Karlan, 11/2/12the early 1980s (see Chart 2).­ The growth of private philanthropy may be driven by 0 1960 65 70 75 80 85 90 95 2000 05 10Americans’ perception that nongovernmental assistance ismore effective than government aid in promoting develop- Source: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.ment (KFF, 2012). The accuracy of this perception is subjectto debate, but new approaches, such as microcredit, led by Chart 2nongovernmental organizations are certainly getting moremedia attention than reliable-yet-stodgy aid standbys like Giving another waybudget support.­ U.S. aid to developing countries is lower than in 1980 but private Microcredit is in fact a particularly apt example of this charitable donations have steadily increased.phenomenon. A recipient of both private philanthropy (percent of U.S. GDP)and investment, it has risen to prominence on the back of 0.0030tremendous fanfare, including a Nobel Peace Prize to the 0.0025Grameen Bank and Muhammad Yunus in 2006. Web 2.0 ser- Total U.S. (nonmilitary) foreign assistance 0.0020vices like Kiva also helped bring an already popular approachto a large retail audience, by promoting personal connected- 0.0015ness to aid recipients. Kiva allows donors to read the stories 0.0010of individual clients and track their loan repayment, and it 0.0005 U.S. international charitable givingoffers donors social recognition by featuring their storiesand giving histories on its website. These are the Facebook 0 1980 85 90 95 2000 05 10generation’s equivalent of sponsor-a-child programs. New Sources: U.S. Census Bureau (foreign assistance); and Giving USA (charitable giving).approaches, such as GiveDirectly, take the idea of direct con- Finance & Development December 2012   11
  • 14. and services, providing financial feedback when the goods grow faster than their high-income counterparts because ofon offer are rejected by the market and ensuring financial expected higher marginal returns to capital, which is likely tosustainability when they’re in demand.­ attract investment.­ For donors concerned about financial sustainability,investment in developing countries offers the chance to Investment on the upswingbetter align revenues with beneficiaries’ outcomes and to Investment in developing countries has been on a variablecreate more financially sustainable organizations in the but generally upward path in the past half-century.process, because demand from beneficiaries keeps success- Such countries saw a large upswing during the globalful programs afloat. Microcredit was one of the first major boom after World War II, an even larger drop during thedevelopment industries to shift from a donation-dependentmodel to one that provides services at market rates to low-income clients.­ In fact, it took some creativity to figure out how to lower When market failures do exist,market rates from moneylender levels to rates closer tothose offered by commercial banks to wealthier individuals. innovations can help solve them.For-profit microcredit banks have been criticized for valu-ing revenues over poverty alleviation, but often the productdelivered to the client is more or less the same, and the few political and economic turmoil of the 1980s, and a reboundrandomized trials to date do show more of an impact on pov- from the 1990s to today (aside from temporary drops in theerty compared with the nonprofit model. Few programs have aftermath of the September 11, 2001, attacks in the Unitedbeen tested rigorously, but the burden of proof is shifting, States and the 2008 financial crisis).and proponents of the nonprofit model must show just how it Two shifts in policy and the economic environment inis more effective than one driven by profit.­ developing economies deserve particular credit for higher Of course, other factors may also influence investment investment: lower transaction costs and better informa-levels. Donors likely turned their interest to financial sus- tion—concepts straight out of Economics 101. Market effi-tainability because they were disillusioned by the ability ciency requires perfect information and zero transactionof traditional aid to produce lasting change in developing costs. The world may not work that way, but it is a goodeconomies. Although the impact of donor disenchantment starting point for analysis and a way to figure out whereis hard to gauge and perhaps plays a smaller role than other things went wrong.­factors, it is likely no less real. Among the other influences First, take “information,” which to economists has a par-on investment flows are technological innovation, trade bar- ticular meaning. Beyond mere data, information meansriers, international tax policy, U.S. monetary policy, and the the ability to complete transactions, to trust that a contractpolicy environment in the recipient country. will be fulfilled, to ensure that all parties have symmet- Despite good reasons for enthusiasm about investment, ric information about the risks and rewards of a transac-a basic conundrum persists: many ideas indeed require and tion. Improvements in institutional quality, in the spirit ofdeserve a subsidy to make up for a market failure. And some Douglass North and, more recently, Daron Acemoglu, Simonlevel of redistribution makes good policy sense for reasons Johnson, and James Robinson, are all about removing infor-both positive (improved welfare of the poor helps society mation asymmetries.­function better) and normative (ethics dictates some level of Improved information can lead to the creation andaltruism and charity to those less fortunate). We cannot rely improvement of actual markets. For example, Robert Jensen’son investors to solve all the world’s problems. seminal work on information and markets in Kerala, India, An understanding of the structural shifts from aid and found that the introduction of cell phone towers allowedphilanthropy to investment and a grasp of the appropriate fishermen to call or text colleagues on shore about marketlevers for specific problems call for a good look at markets prices before choosing a port. Access to this information ledand when and why they work or fail. When market failures to a dramatic reduction in price differences across villages,do exist, innovations can help solve them. Sometimes the higher incomes, more transactions, and less wasted fishanswer lies in technology, such as cell phones or better bed (Jensen, 2007).­nets to ward off disease-carrying mosquitoes, or in medicine. Transaction costs have fallen considerably over the past half-Sometimes it is about a business process, such as microcredit. century. In the aftermath of the Cold War, as it became clearWhen the problem is solvable without subsidy, market forces that state management of the economy was bad for growth,pull in investment.­ many developing economies adopted market-oriented eco- The belief that the developing world’s problems are increas- nomic policies with an eye toward removing informationingly solvable without subsidies motivates many to focus on asymmetries for investors and reducing transaction costs.investment. Microcredit, for example, began as a nonprofit To promote domestic investment, developing economiesidea, blossomed, and is now dominated by for-profit inves- found it increasingly necessary to compete for internationaltors seizing profit-making opportunities. This is akin to sup- funds on the open market, which sparked additional roundsporting basic growth theory: low-income countries should of reform to outdated tax codes and regulations for investor12   Finance & Development December 2012
  • 15. protection. Improved roads, less-restricted capital markets, positive externalities could claim to be more impact orientedlower trade barriers, faster and more reliable telecommu- than traditional investors.­nications, and of course the Internet have all helped lower Still, the belief that an investment will generate positivethe everyday cost of doing business. The result has been externalities doesn’t absolve firms from the ethical respon-a steady reduction in the cost of starting a business. Data sibility and pragmatic need to evaluate the actual benefits,from the World Bank’s Doing Business index show a steady just as charities must take a realistic look at the effects ofdecline in the number of days it takes to start a business or their programs.­register property in the average low-income country since Impact investors can point to profit as an indication that2005, when such data were first collected. And as institutions their bed nets or cookstoves are in demand, but sales andimprove, investment flows. participation rates alone do not prove that an investment has improved customers’ lives. After all, some of the most profit-Making an impact able products sold in the developing world are alcohol andWhat is investment’s impact on poverty reduction in the devel- tobacco (or local substitutes like khat), hardly known foroping world? Where on the philanthropic spectrum does a their widespread societal benefits.­given type of investment fall? And does it really matter? Microcredit is a case in point. For decades, microcredit “Impact investment” is a term many people use to practitioners made grand claims about poverty reductiondescribe investment in developing economies that carries based on assumptions rather than evidence and quantifiedconsiderable societal benefits, meaning that citizens in these their so-called success simply by tallying the number of par-countries are better off receiving “impact investment” funds ticipants. But stories appeared in the media that warned ofthan mere investment funds. But all investment should overindebtedness, and people began to worry that micro-leave people better off than they were before, even in devel- credit was actually harming its participants. To make thingsoping economies, as long as it doesn’t have negative con- more complicated, the negative stories suffered from as littlesequences—“externalities” (and assuming away behavioral analysis and data as the positive ones. Half a dozen recentirrationalities that lead people to addictions, for example, randomized controlled trials have taught us that despiteto tobacco or alcohol, that they prefer not to have). Impact some positive impact from access to microcredit, it is not lift-investment suggests causality, but rarely do the investors or ing millions out of poverty.­firms produce rigorous research that convincingly demon- Philanthropist investors start out with a desire to generatestrates a program or investment produced a change in peo- broad social benefits, believing investment is the way to getple’s lives that wouldn’t have happened otherwise.­ there. But good cost-benefit analysis has a high price tag, and Economists agree that not all investments are equal. it is naïve to expect for-profit investors to pay for it if it doesn’tInvestments that produce negative externalities—pollu- improve their bottom line. So who should pay? It needs to be ation, for example—may actually leave people worse off than philanthropist who wants to measure whether the social returnsbefore. And in some cases, an investment may merely shift exceed the private returns. This philanthropist could also bewealth from one place to another. Investing in a firm that the investor. Not all investments (or aid projects for that mat-offers products already available in a community but whose ter) should be rigorously evaluated; that would be an unethicallyadvertising is more persuasive does not improve the lot of the high allocation of resources to research. But we need more evi-poor; it simply shifts profits from one firm to another. But dence than we have now.­in the aggregate, any investment that improves competition Money flows will continue through foreign aid, privateand efficiency without causing negative externalities is likely philanthropy, and investment. Each has its purpose, its mer-to make people better off.­ its, its drawbacks. But if our goal is to make a dent in societal If impact investing is to be anything more than a market- problems, we owe it to our future selves and to future gen-ing slogan, it must be more than an ordinary beneficial mar- erations to make the time and effort to sort out what is goodket transaction.­ The question is, does the gain in societal welfare benefit from what only sounds good. ■third parties? In other words, are the social returns higher Dean Karlan is Professor of Economics at Yale University andthan the private returns? For example, a firm may come up President and Founder of Innovations for Poverty Action.­with clean cookstove technology that uses less firewood thanordinary stoves. Customers save time and money when they References:need to collect less wood, other household members enjoy bet- General Social Survey, 2010 (May). www3.norc.org/GSS+Websiteter indoor air quality, and the entire population benefits from Jensen, Robert, 2007, “The Digital Provide: Information (Technology),reduced carbon dioxide emissions. Unfortunately, the rigorous Market Performance, and Welfare in the South Indian Fisheries Sector,”evidence we have doesn’t support this picture perfect story for Quarterly Journal of Economics, Vol. 122, No. 3, pp. 879–924.­the cookstoves.­ Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), 2012, “2012 Survey of Americans on Similarly, the production of insecticide-treated bed nets the U.S. Role in Global Health.” www.kff.org/kaiserpolls/8304.cfm.­doesn’t just protect customers from malaria, it also lowers WorldPublicOpinion.org, 2010, “American Public Vastly Overestimatesthe prevalence of the disease in the neighborhood. Investors Amount of U.S. Foreign Aid.” www.worldpublicopinion.org/pipa/articles/who choose projects with the potential for both profits and brunitedstatescanadara/670.php?lb=btda&pnt=670&nid=&id Finance & Development December 2012   13
  • 16. Learning Laboratory Social entrepreneurship offers innovative cost- effective development solutions J. Gregory Dees Children study by kerosene lamp in Lucknow, India.A pregnant South African mother diagnosed education, health care (from drug and technology development with HIV is scared and has no idea what to do. She to delivering supplies, selling products, and providing care), is reassured when introduced to a “mentor mother” and much more. Sometimes their work is effective; sometimes from the nonprofit mothers2mothers who also has it is not. Often, success depends on credibility and relationshipsHIV; her mentor’s counseling helps raise her chance of survival with major players—government agencies, prominent founda-and lower her baby’s likelihood of infection.­ tions, multilateral development organizations, large established A young Cambodian woman faces a bleak future of pov- nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and corporations. Iferty and a terrible job market until she spots an opportunity those players can reach beyond the hype and the moving storiesto learn about digital data conversion and get a job in the to draw out and apply hard lessons about effective and scalablefield with the social enterprise Digital Divide Data (DDD) solutions, the payoff can be significant.­while earning a scholarship for higher education.­ Social entrepreneurs bring private resources, ingenuity, In India, a father spots a stall in the marketplace sell- determination, business skills, and, in some cases, deep localing solar-powered lanterns, manufactured by the for-profit knowledge to the problems that hold societies back. Theyd.light. His home has no electricity. He replaces his kerosene innovate, test, and refine new approaches. Their successes andlamp with the d.light lantern, saving on kerosene and provid- failures, once identified, are a source of valuable informationing better light for his children to study in the evenings.­ about what works and what doesn’t. These social endeavors These are just three examples, out of thousands, of how form a living—and vastly underutilized—learning laboratorysocial entrepreneurs are working to address development prob- for development innovation. We have a long way to go beforelems such as HIV/AIDS, youth unemployment, and lack of governments and development institutions take full advan-reliable electricity. Their scope of activities is nearly boundless, tage of this creative problem-solving activity. But as rigorouscovering microfinance, sustainable forestry, water purification, assessment becomes more common, we can begin to identifysanitation, agricultural productivity, women’s employment, which solutions are effective and have the potential to scale up14   Finance & Development December 2012
  • 17. and learn what we can from those ideas that looked promising populations and to less than 5 percent where breast-feedingbut failed to deliver cost-effective results. (See “Every Which is the norm.­Way We Can” in this issue of F&D.)­ Founded in 2001, m2m now operates in more than 600 sites in seven sub-Saharan African countries and employs nearly 1,500Misunderstood concept mentor mothers to serve the 240,000-plus expectant mothersMany people confuse social entrepreneurship with a narrower enrolled in its programs in 2011. Mentor mothers educate andidea of “social business,” moneymaking enterprises that also empower their peers and are a more effective and lower-costcreate social good. Combining powerful social innovation resource than a nurse or professional health care provider.­with a fully profitable business model may be the Holy Grail Funding for m2m comes largely from aid agencies, foreignfor many social entrepreneurs, but it is not an essential charac- government grants, corporate contributions, and the like,teristic. This is apparent in leading proponents’ definitions of but its model saves health systems the significant expensethe concept (see box). What is essential is pursuit of new ways of treating a generation of children born with HIV. It hasto tackle a social problem. Business models range from grant- worked to pivot its operating model: in addition to direct ser-dependent nonprofits to commercially viable for-profits. ­ vice delivery m2m now advises governments, helping them Whatever the model, social entrepreneurs use business embed Mentor Mother programs in national health sys-tools in creative ways as they attempt to craft more cost- tems—an approach launched in Kenya in 2010 with the helpeffective, sustainable, scalable solutions. They often draw on of the United States Agency for International Developmentcreative business models to generate a better social return (USAID). In 2011, the United Nations Program on HIV/on investment. Although it is not necessary to show a profit, AIDS endorsed mentor mothers as a best practice.these entrepreneurs must be savvy when it comes to cost DDD is a social enterprise that provides data entry, conver-structures, revenue streams, and capital requirements. If they sion, and digital preservation to a wide range of customers. Itwant to change the world, they need to find an economically trains, employs, and awards higher-education scholarships toviable path for getting there.­ disadvantaged young people in Cambodia, Kenya, and Laos Our three examples illustrate a range of business models.­ so they can develop marketable skills to move out of poverty. mothers2mothers (m2m) is a South Africa–based NGO Initiated in 2001 in Cambodia, DDD moved into Laos in 2003that employs mothers with HIV as mentors to HIV-positive and into Kenya in 2011. In 11 years, it has trained more thanpregnant women to reduce mother-to-child transmission of 2,500 young people, 900 of whom are currently employed in itsthe virus. The NGO has demonstrated that in health care three offices. These numbers may seem small given the mag-facilities with mentor mothers, more women access and nitude of the problem in each of the countries, but DDD hascontinue with prenatal care and fewer babies are infected been recognized as a pioneer and model in the now sizable andwith HIV. Without treatment, between 20 and 45 percent growing “impact sourcing” field (business process outsourcingof babies born to HIV-positive mothers become infected that also achieves positive social impact by employing poor(about 390,000 infants a year worldwide as of 2008). and vulnerable people). A recent report by consulting firmWithout treatment, approximately half will die before Avasant, commissioned by the Rockefeller Foundation, placestheir second birthday. With treatment, transmission can impact sourcing sector employment at more than 560,000,be reduced to about 1 to 2 percent in non-breast-feeding with the potential to grow to 2.9 million by 2020. ­ It is hard to predict the long-term effect of these jobs, but DDD’s recent impact assessment shows its graduates are What are social entrepreneurs? earning incomes four times higher than comparable high Leading organizations define them in various ways.­ school graduates. While DDD has a thriving business, gen- Ashoka: Innovators for the Public—“Social entrepreneurs erating over $2.4 million in revenue in 2011, it is legally set are individuals with innovative solutions to society’s most up as a nonprofit and raised an additional $2 million in con- pressing social problems. They are ambitious and persistent, tributions to support its extensive training and scholarship tackling major social issues and offering new ideas for wide- programs. This is not the business model of all the organiza- scale change.” See www.ashoka.org/social_entrepreneur tions classified as “impact sourcing service providers”—indi- Skoll Foundation—“Social entrepreneurs are society’s cating that they employ poor or otherwise vulnerable people. change agents, creators of innovations that disrupt the status Organizations that do not provide the same level of training quo and transform our world for the better.” See www.skoll- or scholarships may not see the same results, but this conclu- foundation.org/about sion awaits further comparative evaluation.­ Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, an affili- d.light design, Inc., is a for-profit social enterprise started ate of the World Economic Forum—“Social entrepreneurs in 2007 to provide affordable lighting to poor people who do drive social innovation and transformation in various fields not have reliable electricity. Its primary products are inexpen- including education, health, environment and enterprise devel- opment. They pursue poverty alleviation goals with entrepre- sive solar-powered lights, ranging from small study lanterns to neurial zeal, business methods, and the courage to innovate and higher-powered household lanterns that can also charge now overcome traditional practices.” See www.schwabfound.org/sf/ ubiquitous cell phones. It sells products in more than 45 coun- SocialEntrepreneurs/Whatisasocialentrepreneur/index.htm tries. In its brief life, d.light has reached nearly 10 million peo- ple and aims to reach 50 million by 2015. By replacing kerosene Finance & Development December 2012   15
  • 18. lamps, d.light products not only provide better light, they also tions engaged in entrepreneurial activities with a social goal”save households money, prevent loss of life from accidental fires, (Terjesen and others, 2012, p. 8). The average proportion ofand reduce health costs from indoor pollution. The company the adult population ages 18–65 engaged in some form ofestimates that it has benefited more than 2.2 million school-age social entrepreneurship activity (from nascent to establishedchildren, offset an equivalent of 276,000 tons of carbon diox- social enterprises) was significant at 2.8 percent—more thanide, and saved its customers over $100 million in energy-related 1 in 40 adults—ranging from 0.2 percent in Malaysia toexpenditures—though these numbers have not yet been con- 7.6 percent in Argentina (see chart). The variations betweenfirmed by independent assessment. (An IMF study—Anand countries present fascinating research opportunities, but theand others, forthcoming—suggests that d.light and others may data clearly show that the activity is widely distributed.have overestimated the amount households spend on kerosene,particularly in markets such as India, where kerosene is heav- Wide-ranging benefitsily subsidized by the government.) Because d.light is a private From a development perspective, the potential benefits ofcompany its financial information is also private, but it hopes to social entrepreneurship fall into three categories.­be profitable and has promised to set aside 10 percent of the net Testing innovative solutions: Social entrepreneurs bringproceeds from sales in the United States and Canada to provide a portfolio of potential solutions to development problems,lighting to distressed communities through partnerships with which can then be examined critically to identify those thatbest-in-class established nonprofits.­ are effective and scalable. They have the flexibility to con- It is only one of many experiments to bring solar and other ceive of and experiment with ideas for solving persistent andforms of distributed electrical power to rural areas in develop- troublesome development problems that would be stifled ining countries that lack electricity. These kinds of market-based larger organizations or would never spring up in the firstinterventions must pass the market test. If the products do not place. Social entrepreneurs keep costs and risks low by test-provide value, through savings or improved quality of life, peo- ing their ideas on a small scale, providing room for adjust-ple will not buy them. Performance in the marketplace demon- ment before scaling up. Businesses understand the valuestrates value to customers, but from a development perspective, of independent entrepreneurship as a testing ground andthese products must be evaluated against other solutions. For often scout out innovations among start-ups in their sector.instance, widespread adoption of d.light or other alternatives Even as inventive a company as Google has made more than(such as whole-house solar panels or village-based microgrids) 200 such acquisitions, including Android—which it turnedmight reduce or eventually eliminate the need for government into the largest mobile platform in the world.­subsidies for kerosene—a major expense for the Indian gov- Leveraging resources: At a time of scarce public resources,ernment. Even this market-based experiment is worth serious social entrepreneurs bring a nimble business mind-set andscrutiny from a development perspective.­ tangible private resources to the table. In many cases, private Dees, corrected 10/25/12 All three projects are works in progress that will surely resources fund part or all of their experimentation and canevolve over time and stimulate further innovation, both also fund expansion. Social entrepreneurship business modelwithin these organizations and by others. The examples were innovations can lower costs relative to impact and help lever-selected to illustrate various kinds of ventures at different age public funds with earned income and private philan-stages of progress rather than large-scale success. Examplesof large-scale success are Aravind Eye Care System, the larg-est ophthalmological services center in the world, providing Getting involvednearly 350,000 surgeries a year—at least half to the poor—and Engagement in social entrepreneurship varies widely among boththe Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC), an developed and developing economies.NGO that touches the lives of more than 100 million people (percent of adults ages 18–65 engaged in social entrepreneurship activity)in Bangladesh and 10 other countries, through innovative 8schools, health outreach programs, and businesses that employ 7poor people. Aravind funds itself through fees from patients 6who can afford them, and BRAC pays the bulk of its expenses 5through income from its enterprises. Some experiments haveblossomed into great successes, but we need to be more sys- 4tematic in harvesting the benefits of this learning laboratory.­ 3 2Global practice 1The concept of social entrepreneurship is relatively new,but the practice is widespread, according to the Global 0 Malaysia Saudi Arabia Brazil Guatemala Spain Hong Kong, SAR Korea Germany Serbia Algeria South Africa Italy Romania France Chile Hungary China Israel Peru United Kingdom Uganda Venezuela Croatia Colombia United States Iceland Jamaica ArgentinaEntrepreneurship Monitor (GEM). In 2009, the GEM net-work conducted a survey of social entrepreneurship activityin 49 countries as part of its general annual entrepreneurshipsurvey. For the survey, the GEM project adopted a broad def- Source: Terjesen and others (2012).inition of social entrepreneurship: “individuals or organiza-16   Finance & Development December 2012
  • 19. thropy. In some cases, they eliminate the need for subsidies How do those in the world of development—public andaltogether with market-based models that become sustain- private players, unilateral and multilateral—integrate thisable and scalable on their own.­ activity into their work? Enhancing adaptive capacity: Social entrepreneurs help In parallel with the three benefits of social entrepreneur-societies adapt. Development can best be seen as build- ship, development players can take these steps:ing a society’s capacity for adaptation. How? Nobel laureate •  Promote smart social innovations: Facilitate the devel-Douglass North argues that “adaptive efficiency” is strength- opment of social innovation, support rigorous evaluation, and promote adoption of ideas with proven impact.­Social entrepreneurs bring a portfolio •  Support resourceful approaches: Encourage and pro- vide incentives for the development of resource-efficientof potential solutions to development business models, especially models that do not use scarce public resources—or use them efficiently.­problems. •  Enhance local adaptive capacity: Invest in local mecha- nisms that foster decentralized problem solving and harvestened by “decentralized decision making processes that will the benefits, such as competitions for solutions to pressingallow societies to maximize the efforts required to explore problems, funding tied to performance, rigorous evaluation,alternative ways of solving problems” (North, 1990, p. 81). and incubators for social entrepreneurs.­Social entrepreneurs are decentralized problem solvers craft- Many agencies are taking the first step, as USAID did withing and testing those alternative solutions.­ m2m in Kenya.­ Support for resourceful approaches, the second step listedBuilding a better laboratory above, might involve foundations, impact investors, and oth-As North says, the ability to adapt is “concerned with the will- ers in building an environment that supports market-basedingness of a society to acquire knowledge and learning, to and government cost-saving approaches, through hybrid orinduce innovation, to undertake risk and creative activity of all for-profit social enterprises. The Rockefeller Foundation’ssorts, as well as to resolve problems and bottlenecks of the soci- work on impact sourcing such as DDD is one example of thisety through time.” The more trials in the laboratory, the better, kind of support.­but only as long as it is part of a learning process. That’s the rub.­ The third step requires helping local actors (such as govern- Decentralized problem solvers alone won’t do the job. ments, local philanthropists, investors, and universities) build anWithout proper support and discipline, decentralized infrastructure to stimulate and capitalize on social entrepreneur-problem solving can be fragmented, duplicative, and mar- ship. This could mean convening leaders and sharing lessonsginal—with the occasional exceptional success, many dis- learned about topics such as new legal entities, new financingappointments, failures that teach little, and efforts whose mechanisms, national offices for social innovation, and so on.effectiveness is largely unknown. Fortunately, many players It could even mean stimulating the development of universityhave begun to strengthen this laboratory.­ programs on design for extreme affordability, such as the one at The Skoll Foundation, the Schwab Foundation, Ashoka, Stanford University that generated d.light.­Echoing Green, Acumen Fund, Omidyar Network, and As a living learning laboratory of problem solving, socialothers are identifying and supporting promising innova- entrepreneurship is the key to building societies’ adaptivetors. The HUB, based in Vienna, Austria, is developing a capacity. But it can succeed only if national leaders recognizenetwork of incubators for social innovators in cities around its value and help build institutions and cultures that providethe world: there are now 25 on five continents with more tocome. Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) and the Jameel the right mix of discipline and support.­ ■Poverty Action Lab are applying rigorous evaluation tech- J. Gregory Dees is Clinical Professor of Social Entrepreneurshipniques to many innovations. IPA started the Proven Impact and cofounder of the Center for the Advancement of Social En-Fund to support initiatives with positive results. Impact trepreneurship at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.Investment Exchange Asia is working on a social enterprise He is currently a Visiting Professor at the Graduate School ofstock market. Some countries, such as the United States and Business at Stanford University.­the United Kingdom, are experimenting with new typesof legal entities. Community interest companies and ben- References:efit corporations are examples of this new class of company, Anand, Rahul, Adil Mohommad, James P. Walsh, David Coady,which allows for a mix of social purpose and business struc- and Vimal Thakoor, forthcoming, “India’s Fuel Subsidies: Incidence andture. Creative financial instruments, such as social impact Reforms,” IMF Working Paper (Washington: International Monetary Fund).­bonds, are repaid by the government only if stated perfor- North, Douglass C., 1990, Institutions, Institutional Change andmance thresholds are met. Colombia and the United States Economic Performance (Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridgehave created national offices for social innovation. Many University Press).­universities around the world have launched research and Terjesen, Siri, Jan Lepoutre, Rachida Justo, Niels Bosma, andeducation programs in this area. This is all still experimental Global Entrepreneurship Research Association (GERA), 2012, Globaland nascent.­ Entrepreneurship Monitor, 2009 Report on Social Entrepreneurship. Finance & Development December 2012   17
  • 20. POINT OF VIEW The Power of CooperationNetworks of creative collaboration can transform livesPresident Bill ClintonI ntelligence, hard work, and ability are evenly dis- Through vigorous discussion, leaders from different sec- tributed around the globe, but investment and opportu- tors forge partnerships and develop innovative solutions to nities are not. If we’re to fulfill the promises of the 21st our modern challenges. For example, for the past two years century, we need to find new ways to extend the circle Coca-Cola has lent its expertise in supply chain managementof opportunity so that every person—in every country—has to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria.the chance to succeed, with systems, infra- Together they’ve found better ways to getstructure, and networks that enable growth. vital drugs and medical supplies to thoseWhen people are able to take control of their who need them most, and at our meetingown destinies, it gives them something to this September they announced expan-look forward to every day and expands ev- sion of the scope of the project. Gap, Inc.,eryone’s understanding of what is possible. is working with a team of NGOs to startIt enhances the stability of societies, and the Personal Achievement and Careerequally important, it shifts the work of the Enhancement—P.A.C.E.—to empowerinternational aid community from philan- female garment workers through skillsthropy to partnerships.­ training. The program began in India and Our world is more interdependent than has been so successful that partners haveever, and our effectiveness as global citi- begun implementing it in Bangladesh,zens will be judged by what we do to create Cambodia, and Vietnam.­an environment that allows everybody to In eight years of CGI meetings, ourdo better and lift themselves up.­ President Bill Clinton is the members have made more than 2,300 The good news is we can all do some- founder of the William J. Clinton commitments across a diverse range ofthing, big or small, to advance opportu- Foundation and 42nd President of issues—reducing poverty, creating edu-nity. Enlightened government policies, like the United States. cational opportunities, resolving con-Brazil’s Bolsa Família program, which pays flict, and pioneering green technology,families to send their children to school and to get annual to name a few. Their commitments have improved the livescheckups, have proved that countries can reduce income of over 400 million people in more than 180 countries, andinequality while growing the national economy. Corporations once fully funded and implemented they will total more thanare realizing that sales increase when societies and markets $73.1 billion. Our members continue to prove how much weare strong and are increasingly integrating the public good can accomplish when we work together, and they help answerinto their business models. The number of nongovernmen- the “how” question—how can we transform good intentionstal organizations (NGOs) operating in all parts of the world into real improvements in people’s lives?has exploded in recent years, and technology now allows mil- Over the years, I’ve found that within networks of creativelions of people to donate small sums via text message or the cooperation, NGOs are uniquely positioned to answer thisInternet, democratizing charitable giving like never before question. NGOs often measure themselves by the long-termand transforming NGOs’ work in the field.­ human benefits they generate—which allows them to take We’re making the most progress in places where people risks and figure out what works. Then they can work to takehave formed networks of creative cooperation—where the solutions to scale with partners in government and thestakeholders from government, business, and civil society private sector. And the best NGOs are those that conceivehave come together to do things better, faster, and cheaper projects from day one with the explicit purpose of workingthan any could alone. This is what drives the Clinton Global themselves out of a job by empowering citizens to take overInitiative (CGI), a meeting held in New York each September without reliance on external donations.­since 2005 around the opening of the UN General Assembly. I learned firsthand about the power of the “how” questionWe bring people together from all over the world: heads of shortly after leaving office. For the 30 years I was in politics,state, business leaders, philanthropists, and nongovernmen- we mostly debated only two questions: what are you goingtal pioneers, and we ask them to make a specific commit- to do, and how much money are you going to spend on it?ment to solve one of the world’s most pressing problems.­ When my foundation was approached to help solve the AIDS18   Finance & Development December 2012
  • 21. crisis in 2002, I quickly realized the flexibility NGOs have to who found success in Latin America’s mining industry andaddress global problems.­ has since devoted himself to empowering the local commu- At that time, only 230,000 people in the developing world nities there. We’re helping small-scale local vendors sharewere receiving HIV/AIDS treatment because the prices of anti- in the benefits of the country’s successful tourism industryretroviral medications were prohibitively high. It wasn’t just the by connecting them with large luxury hotels. We’ve startedcosts of production that made them so expensive—the manu- the country’s first on-site job certification program for con-facturers had to build in a precautionary high profit margin struction workers, which has already provided free trainingbecause payment from low-income countries was uncertain. for more than 5,000 people. We’ve worked with Shakira’sAt the time, it was the only way they could stay in business.­ Fundación Pies Descalzos to provide nutritious meals, voca- I thought that if we could put together enough donors to tional training, and educational assistance to more than 4,000guarantee prompt payment, we could convince the drug mak- students throughout Colombia.­ers to change to a high-volume, low-margin business model. Frank and I have also joined with Fundación Carlos SlimSo my foundation approached wealthier governments to help to start a $20 million investment fund to help small andbuy generic drugs for the developing countries that had asked medium-sized enterprises expand their operations. Theyfor my assistance, and we were able to get several—led by employ about 30 percent of Colombia’s labor force, but areIreland and Canada—to commit.­ severely underserved by existing Our team, led by Ira Magaziner, capital markets. We’ve set up asat down with the manufactur- The planet’s most similar fund in Haiti to help smallers and argued that they would and medium-sized enterprisesmake more money if they lowered successful species are overcome the obstacles to growththeir prices. If we were wrong, I they have long faced, which werepromised, we would rewrite the the great cooperators. made even more challenging bycontracts so they wouldn’t take a the devastating 2010 earthquake.loss. They agreed, and today more than 8 million people in These two funds carefully invest in businesses that, just likedeveloping countries receive lifesaving treatment at a much the smallholder farmers in Malawi, show every potential tolower cost—more than half under contracts we negotiated. succeed once given the opportunity to overcome the disad-And the drug companies’ profits are better than under the vantages of poverty and geography with targeted assistance.­old model. They were able to align their financial interests In today’s interdependent world, we all have a vital stake inwith our social ones, and everyone came out a winner.­ helping other people succeed. When I look around the world This experience taught me the power of NGOs—working today, I am convinced the positive forces of our interdepen-with businesses and governments—to expand and organize dence will beat out the negative.­markets in a way that enables people to help themselves. My I feel optimistic when I see the death rates from AIDS,foundation put this idea into practice in the poorest farming tuberculosis, and malaria going down. I feel optimistic whenregions of Africa, where people have the skills and the will to I see poor communities putting more girls in school thansucceed but lack the tools to do so.­ ever before, an investment with an amazingly outsized rate At our Anchor Farm Project in Malawi, we operate a large of return. I feel optimistic when I see NGOs like Partners infarm that partners with thousands of nearby smallholders so Health, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Starkeythey can buy seed and fertilizer at bulk prices. We also provide Hearing Foundation touching lives. I feel optimistic when Idirect access to the market—most farmers don’t own a wagon, see large corporations like Procter & Gamble, Walmart, andlet alone an automobile, so they often must pay a middleman Deutsche Bank aligning their financial interests with ourabout half their yearly income just to transport their crops.­ social ones, and sharing their expertise with civil society. I The results have been remarkable. The talented small- feel optimistic when I see countries like Ireland, Norway, andholder farmers who have worked with us are reaping better the United Kingdom heroically preserving their foreign aidyields and, on average, have increased their incomes fivefold. budgets amid a weak global economy.­They are forging their own paths out of poverty with a system As the biologist Edward O. Wilson details in The Socialthat is life-changing and sustainable.­ Conquest of Earth, the planet’s most successful species are This model, if scaled up, has the potential to dramatically the great cooperators: ants, bees, termites, and humans.improve the quality of life in agriculture-based nations across We humans enjoy the blessings and bear the burdens ofthe developing world. It can help governments use their consciousness and conscience. We are capable of self-valuable farmland in a way that boosts domestic food secu- destruction, but we have an amazing capacity to overcomerity, reduces reliance on imports, takes advantage of export adversity and seize opportunities when we choose coopera-opportunities, and increases farm productivity and incomes. tion over conflict.­It means countries can begin to build the capacity they need We make the best decisions when we talk to people whoto succeed without foreign aid.­ know things we don’t and understand things differently. If A similar market-based approach can address any num- NGOs, businesses, and governments can work together cre-ber of challenges. My foundation works on several programs atively, we can help all the world’s people live in dignity. Wein Colombia with Canadian philanthropist Frank Giustra, ■ can all be effective global citizens.­ Finance & Development December 2012   19
  • 22. PICTURE THISINVESTING IN PEOPLE T he recent economic crisis reinforced the importance of a good education. People with more education were in general better able to get and keep jobs, even during the global financial crisis, according to a new study from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). For example, between 2008 and 2010, unemployment rates in OECD countries for people with only a high school education increased from 4.9 percent to 7.6 percent. By contrast, rates for people with a college education were much lower, rising from 3.3 percent to 4.7 percent during the same period.­ 4.9% 7.6% 3.3% 4.7% 2008 2010 2008 2010 UNEMPLOYMENT RATE UNEMPLOYMENT RATE FOR HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATES FOR COLLEGE GRADUATES The Education at a Glance report reveals stark differences between ONLY 20 % countries when it comes to higher education opportunities for young people, particularly children from poor families and those whose par- ents are undereducated. To tackle the growing problem of young people who are not employed, in school, or in training, OECD countries must OF PEO give priority to policies that ease the transition from school to work PARENT PLE WHOSE LEVELS S HAVE LOW and examine such measures as vocational education and training thatPT 1, corrected 11/2/12 COMPL OF EDUCATIO can productively engage this crucial age group.­ EDUC ETE A COLLE N ATION GEEmployment prospects increase with the level of education.(percent of 25- to 64-year-olds in employment, by educational attainment level, 2010) Tertiary Upper secondary and postsecondary nontertiary Below upper secondary education100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Iceland Switzerland Sweden Netherlands Slovenia Germany Denmark Austria Brazil Portugal United Kingdom Luxembourg Poland Finland Australia Belgium New Zealand France Czech Republic OECD average Israel Slovak Republic Canada Ireland Mexico United States Estonia Greece Spain Japan Chile Hungary Italy Korea Turkey Norway Note: Data for Brazil are for 2009.20   Finance & Development December 2012
  • 23. A new study says the global recessionunderscored the importance of education PT 2, corrected 11/2/12 62% 17% OF YOUNG ADULTS The number o f students wh o were not su ENTER ENTER moving from e ccessful in ducation to w COLLEGE VOCATIONAL (percent of 15 ork peaked in nor empl - to 29-year-old s in OE 2010. PROGRAM PROGRAM oyed) CD countries wh o were neither in education 16.0 15.5 EXTRA ANNUAL INCOME FROM COMPLETING 15.0 14.5 14.0 HIGH SCHOOL COLLEGE 13.5 $4,000 $12,000 13.0 12.5 2005 06 07 08 09 10 NET RETURNS FROM A COLLEGE EDUCATION OVER MALE COLLEGE FEMALE COLLEGE WORKING LIFE COMPARED WITH GRADUATE EARNS GRADUATE EARNS A HIGH SCHOOL EDUCATION MEN $162,000 $110,000 WOMEN 59% 67% MORE THAN HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATE Prepared by Dirk Van Damme, Corinne Heckmann, and Elisabeth Villoutreix. Text and charts are based on Education at a Glance 2012: OECD Indicators, published by the OECD in September 2012. (Unless indicated otherwise, data are for 2010.) The report provides data on the structure, finances, and performance of the education systems in the OECD’s 34 member countries plus Argen- tina, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and South Africa and is available at www.oecd.org/edu/eag2012.htm Finance & Development December 2012   21
  • 24. China Prompting Western Creativity Apple store in Grand Central Terminal, New York City.Chinese manufacturing exporters are capturing low-skill productionbut driving high-skill innovation in the West­Nick Bloom, Mirko Draca, and John Van ReenenW hen the California high-tech company Eye- and the United States is good news for the economic prospects Fi introduced a new memory chip in 2005 of Western economies, which must be based on innovation. with built-in wi-fi capability it faced a chal- Chinese exports have encouraged the best firms in advanced lenge common to many technology firms: how economies to get better, powering the innovations that will Bloom 1, 10/24/12, correctedto take a promising prototype and turn it into a mass-market, provide future growth. Of course not everyone will gain—low-low-cost product—and get it to market before its rivals.­ skilled workers in Europe and the United States are suffering as Eye-Fi’s solution was an approach that Western firms employers switch to more highly skilled employees.­increasingly are taking in response to the emergence of Chinaas a manufacturing superpower. It used a local California Chart 1boutique manufacturer to develop prototypes, which Eye-Fi’sengineers refined on an almost daily basis. As demand took On the cheapoff and the product was widely marketed, Eye-Fi moved from China accounted for nearly all of the sharp growth in imports fromlow-volume boutique production in the United States to low-wage countries to the United States and Europe betweenhigh-volume, low-cost production in China. The high-skill 1987 and 2007. (share of imports to Europe and the United States, percent)innovation and development took place in the United States, 20but the lower-skill mass production was moved offshore. As All low-wage countriesChinese mass manufacturing increasingly dominates global Chinaproduction, this story is being repeated across the United 15States, Europe, and Japan.­ The stories of Apple’s iPhone and iPad are similar. Bothwere designed and prototyped in California, then produced 10in China. Chinese manufacturing competition is increasinglycapturing low-skill production while simultaneously foster-ing high-skill innovation in the West.­ 5 This reflects how many Western firms are successfully facingthe growing economic power of China. The tenfold increase 0 1980 82 84 86 88 90 92 94 96 98 2000 02 04 06in China’s share of imports to the United States and Europebetween 1987 and 2007 may have cost many low-skilled work- Source: Authors’ calculations. Note: Low-wage countries are those whose GDP per capita was less than 5 percent of U.S.ers their jobs (see Chart 1). That is the bad news. But as Eye-Fi GDP per capita between 1972 and 2001.illustrates, the dramatic surge in Chinese exports to Europe22   Finance & Development December 2012
  • 25. Take footwear, a classic low-tech sector. Under conven- ing their productivity—adopting better IT, boosting R&Dtional wisdom, shoe production would be totally offshored spending, and increasing patenting. Unsurprisingly theseto a low-cost producer like China or Vietnam. Indeed, many actions led to major increases in productivity.­shoe manufacturers in the United States and Europe have Overall, our findings are consistent with a “trapped fac-disappeared. But some are innovating with designs that serve tor” explanation of how trade from China drives innovationparts of the market in which China is less able to compete.­ in exposed firms (Bloom and others, 2012). The intuition For example, Masai Barefoot Technology (MBT), which behind this model is that some factors of production aremakes posture-correcting shoes, began when Karl Müller, costly to move between firms because of adjustment costsa Swiss engineer with a bad back, found reliefby walking barefoot on Korean grass. He pat-ented a design to emulate the effect, which Firms have responded to the threat ofhas gone on to great success and now attractsmany imitators.­ Chinese imports by increasing their Many firms, like MBT and Eye-Fi, haveresponded to potential inroads by Chinese man- productivity—adopting better IT, boostingufacturers by investing in new technology andhuman capital and by innovating with highly R&D spending, and increasing patenting.customized designs. There were far fewer firmsdoing such innovation before trade integration with China and sunk investment—that is, partially irreversible invest-because it is much easier to keep doing things the same way. ments (say in firm-specific skills) that cannot be fullyBut a big shock, like competition from Chinese manufactur- recovered. Although Chinese imports reduce the relativeers, reduces the opportunity cost of innovation and discour- profitability of making low-tech products, firms cannot eas-ages firms from coasting along doing business as usual.­ ily dispose of their “trapped” labor and capital factors. As a result, the shadow cost of innovating and producing a newChinese accession to WTO good falls. That is, by reducing the profitability of currentA big part of the shock to manufacturers in advanced econo- low-tech products, Chinese trade reduces the opportunitymies came when China joined the World Trade Organization cost of innovation, which frees up inputs to produce new(WTO) in December 2001 and many trade barriers to products and revamp processes.­Chinese goods were eliminated over the ensuing four years, The trapped factor effect is well illustrated at a U.S. machin-particularly in textiles. This led to a huge surge in Chinese ery parts firm we recently visited. Until the early 2000s, theimports in those economies and to a battle between retailers firm churned out a broad mix of products to supply the mar-looking for low-cost products and domestic manufacturers ket. But Chinese firms entered and were able to produce allseeking to preserve their markets. Domestic manufacturers, the standardized catalogue parts at almost half the price. Soin fact, had partial success in restoring some quotas. Chinese- the U.S. firm simply stopped supplying the catalogue market.made clothing, notably women’s underwear, piled up in This led to some downsizing at the company—low-skilledEuropean ports until the European Union and China bro- workers were laid off and parts of the production line werekered a deal to end the so-called bra wars.­ closed down. But at the same time the firm saw it had a mar- Events such as China’s accession to the WTO are natural ket for small production runs that required a fast turnaroundexperiments for examining the effect of competition from low- (parts needed “tomorrow”), for sensitive customers (mili-wage countries—an opportunity we put to use in our research. tary or commercial prototypes), and for products orderedIn the largest ever study of the impact of China on Western to specification (like the initial production runs for firmstechnological change, we tracked the performance of almost such as Eye-Fi). So innovation increased and more engineershalf a million manufacturing firms in 12 European countries were hired, while many low-skilled employees were laid off.over the past decade (Bloom, Draca, and Van Reenen, 2011).­ Management practices also had to improve substantially to We looked in detail at firms’ investments in informa- cope with the greater product range and faster turnaroundtion technology (IT), patenting, research and development times. Overall, the company shifted from being a mass-mar-(R&D) expenditures, management practices, and productiv- ket to a niche-market operation, increasing its innovationity growth across all manufacturers. We then quantified the and IT intensity.­natural experiment offered by WTO accession using detailed In our study we found rigorous statistical evidence ofinformation on European textile, clothing, and footwear this trapped factor effect. Big increases in the threat ofimport quotas.­ Chinese competition boosted technical change on aver- age, but the effects were much stronger where there wereChina effect on technology and jobs higher levels of firm-specific or industry-specific capital.A startling finding is that about 15 percent of techni- Still, not all firms have responded positively by turningcal change in Europe in the past decade can be attributed to innovation. Inefficient low-tech firms have been muchdirectly to competition from Chinese imports, an annual more likely to shed jobs and simply disappear. This inbenefit of almost €10 billion to European economies. Firms itself raises productivity through the brute force of naturalhave responded to the threat of Chinese imports by increas- selection, as economic activity shifts from inefficient com- Finance & Development December 2012   23
  • 26. panies to their more nimble-footed competitors. About a an offshoring effect as well on intermediate, or downstream, third of the overall effect of Chinese competition occurs goods used as inputs by firms in upstream industries. We cal- in the form of this “creative destruction.” Practically, we culated the effects of this offshoring channel and found that find that investing in technology can do much to shield it generated additional positive effects on productivity.­ firms in all types of markets from the negative job impact of Chinese competition.­ What policies are needed? Chart 2 shows creative destruction in action through an There are many benefits of Chinese trade beyond increasing examination of job growth in different types of firms in the innovation rate of Western firms. For example, consumers Europe. In the left panel are plants in industries with relatively enjoy lower prices, bigger export markets spur investment, slow growth of Chinese imports—for example, pharmaceuti- and integration means classic gains from specialization.­ cal and medical device firms. Unsurprisingly, high-tech firms Although openness improves overall prosperity, the grew faster than low-tech firms. (In the chart we show this burden of adjustment falls more heavily on poorer, largely disparity for IT intensity, but the same pattern holds for all unskilled workers, who are now competing with work- other technology indicators, such as patents and productivity.) ers in Beijing rather than Birmingham. In addition to the The right panel shows job growth in industries such as fur- usual channels, our data predict decreased demand for less- niture, apparel, and textiles in which Chinese import growth educated workers because of accelerated technical change was rising dramatically. Just as for the industries less affected induced by competition from China. Barring retraining or by Chinese imports, job growth in high-tech plants was about other work support, low-skilled workers face an increas- 10 percent. Although low-tech plants downsized on average ingly bleak future.­ in all sectors, many more jobs disappeared in industries more It is job losses like these that generate political resistance affected by competition from China. In those plants, employ- to trade with China and lead to pressure to act. More export ment declined nearly 20 percent compared with 10 percent in subsidies, labeling China a currency manipulator, and plants less affected by competition from China. Chart 2 actu- higher trade barriers to benefit industries that are losing ally underestimates the low-tech decline because it counts out to China are likely to accomplish little and may actually only firms that survived. We also found that competition from be harmful. Not only will such activities drive up domestic China increased the failure rate of low-tech firms, but not of prices—take a walk around a Walmart to see how Chinese high-tech firms.­ goods are saving shoppers money—but restricting importsBloom 2, 10/24/12, correctedeffects of Chinese import competition on We measured the will also delay necessary restructuring and chill innovation. final goods—those consumed by the purchaser. But there is In fact, trade barriers are likely to persuade firms to divert spending from science and innovation to lobbying and political donations.­ Chart 2 The better policy response is to enhance human capital High-tech saves the day through education and training. This would ease the tran- Jobs in low-tech plants in Europe shrank across the board between sition of displaced workers across jobs and allow competi- 2000 and 2005, especially in those more exposed to competition tors to seize the opportunity for Chinese trade to drive their from China. Jobs in high-tech plants grew, even in industries with creative sectors while producing cheaper goods for their heavy import competition from China. consumers, benefiting both China and the West. And when (employment growth, 2000–05, percent) training is difficult or uneconomic—for example, for work- 10 ers nearing retirement in heavily depressed areas—regional Industries with the lowest Chinese Industries with the highest Chinese assistance and generous compensation will soften the blow 5 import competition import competition and help those who wind up losers from globalization.­ ■ 0 Nick Bloom is a Professor of Economics at Stanford University and a Research Associate at the Centre for Economic Perfor- –5 mance (CEP). Mirko Draca is a Research Economist in CEP’s –10 productivity and innovation program. John Van Reenen is Director of CEP and a professor of economics at the London –15 School of Economics.­ –20 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 References: low IT intensity high low IT intensity high Bloom, Nicholas, Mirko Draca, and John Van Reenen, 2011, Source: Authors’ calculations. “Trade Induced Technical Change? The Impact of Chinese Imports Note: The chart covers job growth between 2000 and 2005 at 21,000 plants in 12 European on Innovation, IT and Productivity,” CEP Discussion Paper No. 1000 countries. The left panel depicts industries that were in the bottom 20 percent of Chinese import growth, such as pharmaceuticals. The right panel depicts industries in the top 20 percent of (London: Centre for Economic Performance). Chinese import growth. Information technology (IT) intensity measures computers per worker. Plants in the lowest 20 percent (1st quintile) had the fewest per worker; those in the top 20 Bloom, Nicholas, Paul Romer, Stephen J. Terry, and John Van Reenen, percent (5th quintile) had the most. 2012, “A Trapped Factors Model of Innovation” (unpublished; Stanford, California: Stanford University). www.stanford.edu/~nbloom/TF.pdf24   Finance & Development December 2012
  • 27. When Commodity Prices SurgeGaston Gelos and Yulia UstyugovaT A price spike he recent surge in food prices understand which policy frameworks (such means that many countries are as the type of monetary policy pursued and soon likely to face a new round of exchange rate approach taken) and structural is likely to inflation pressure. A severe drought characteristics—from labor markets to finan- have morein much of the United States and eastern Eu- cial markets—help contain the inflationaryrope and problems in other food-producing effects of commodity price shocks. To date, impact oncountries have reduced crop yields. Prospects there has been surprisingly little systematic countries withfor continued deterioration in the supply research on this issue.­mean prices are likely to stay high in the near already highterm. Oil prices, too, have picked up, driven Myriad questions inflation levelsby geopolitical risks.­ Among the dimensions of the policy In the current global environment of response to soaring commodity prices are and weakuncertainty and slow economic growth, high such questions as these: Do countries with institutionsand volatile commodity prices, as in 2008, more independent central banks or thosepose a complex challenge. Policymakers must whose monetary policy targets a specificstrive to keep the surge in commodity prices inflation rate experience lower pass-throughfrom triggering a sustained overall increase of commodity price shocks to domesticin inflation—that is, to prevent the com- inflation—including core inflation? What ismodity price shock from passing through to the role of an economy’s openness to tradeso-called core inflation (inflation stripped of or the level of development of its financialvolatile fuel and food prices).­ sector in the transmission of international This global environment not only causes price shocks? How important is the preex-policymakers to weigh the appropriate pol- isting level of inflation in determining pass-icy response, it also highlights the need to through? To what extent does a country’s Finance & Development December 2012   25
  • 28. governance framework—beyond the institutional features more developed financial sectors and deeper financialof the monetary regime—influence the impact on inflation? markets. On the other hand, high financial dollarizationWhat role does exchange rate flexibility play? (use of a foreign currency, often the dollar, in lieu of the To explore the role of these and other factors, we studied domestic currency) is expected to limit the effectiveness31 advanced and 61 emerging market and developing econo- of monetary policy, making it harder to ward off pass-mies, using several methodological approaches (Gelos and through. However, we did not find evidence that eitherUstyugova, 2012). To begin with, we examined how inter- higher financial development or extensive dollarizationThere is clear evidence that the higher the inflation rate before the shock,the higher the inflationary impact of a commodity shock.national commodity price swings affected domestic infla- significantly influenced the way international price shockstion rates across the countries during 2001–10 by estimating affected domestic inflation.­the pass-through from international commodity prices to Neither could we document a statistically significantdomestic prices and relating them to country characteristics relationship between the pass-through of commodity priceand policy frameworks (not, though, to any specific policy shocks to domestic inflation and labor market flexibility;response). We did this using both country-by-country esti- economic theory predicts that economies whose firms canmations and panel estimations (which use data from various more easily adjust wages and their workforce will experi-countries simultaneously). We also analyzed the performance ence lower inflation pressure in response to such shocks.of headline (or overall) inflation and core inflation across the Nor can trade openness (measured by the share of exportscountries in the months surrounding the large 2008 com- and imports in total economic activity) generally be blamedmodity price increases, because the behavior of economic for high pass-through of commodity price inflation tovariables may be different when large shocks occur.­ domesticcorrected 10/24/12 Gelos1, prices. However, there is some indication that fuel The findings confirm that commodity price shocks have price shocks have stronger effects on domestic inflation instronger effects on domestic inflation in developing than in more open developing economies.­advanced economies. For example, in advanced economies,the median long-term pass-through to domestic inflation of Chart 1a 10 percentage point food price shock was 0.2 percentagepoint. It was about four times larger in emerging market and Varieties of pass-throughsdeveloping economies. When it comes to fuel prices, the dif- Countries with the smallest share of food in their consumerference is less dramatic. But there is a much greater variance market baskets, lowest oil intensity, and whose inflationamong developing countries in the size of the pass-through. expectations are anchored (not widely dispersed) had theThis could reflect the use of price controls and subsidies in smallest pass-through of commodity price spikes tosome of these countries.­ consumer price index (CPI) inflation during the commodity Not surprisingly, food shocks are more likely to have sus- price surge of 2007–08. (change in CPI inflation around 2007–08 commodity price shocks,tained inflationary aftereffects in countries with food as a siz- percentage points)able portion of the basket of goods and services measured by 10the consumer price index (CPI)—although the difference in Lowest fifth of countries Highest fifth of countriespass-through is not fully explained by the different weights 8assigned to food in advanced and developing economies (seeChart 1). Similarly, fuel price shocks are passed through more 6in highly oil-intensive economies. According to our panelestimates, a 10 percentage point shock to international food 4prices, for example, is associated with a 1.4 percentage pointincrease in inflation in countries whose CPI food share is in 2the top fifth; the pass-through is only 0.3 percentage pointfor those with a food share in the bottom fifth.­ 0 Food share in Oil intensity Dispersion of Governance Central bank CPI basket inflation autonomySome surprises expectationsWhat came as a surprise, however, is that some other coun- Sources: Arnone and others (2007); authors’ calculations; Consensus Forecasts (2012); and International Country Risk Guide (ICRG).try factors do not seem to affect the inflation response to Note: The chart depicts countries in the bottom and top fifth of the conditions described.commodity price shocks in the way economic theory pre- Oil intensity measures oil usage as percent of GDP. Governance is based on the ICRG index, which reflects for 140 countries such things as bureaucratic quality, corruption, democraticdicts they should. For example, economic theory suggests accountability, and law and order. Central bank autonomy measures the independence of monetary policy from political influence.that monetary policy is more effective in economies with26   Finance & Development December 2012
  • 29. There is clear evidence that the higher the inflation rate easier to contain the inflationary impact of commodity pricebefore the shock, the higher the inflationary impact of a shocks over the period 2001–10. This result holds even whencommodity shock. For example, after the 2008 shock, econ- controlling for economies that target a CPI inflation rate. Inomies with initial inflation above 10 percent experienced, response to a 10 percent increase in food price inflation, aon average, a 6 percentage point higher rise in CPI infla- country in the bottom fifth of the governance rating—whichtion than countries with preexisting inflation below 10 per- covers bureaucratic quality, corruption, democratic account-cent (see Chart 2). Taylor (2000) suggests that the reason ability, and law and order—on average experienced a 0.9 per-for this disparity is that the extent to which firms respond centage point higher increase in inflation than a country into increases in costs by raising their own prices depends on the top fifth. Similarly, countries with more autonomoushow persistent the increase is expected to be, and persis- central banks experienced less increase in CPI inflation at thetence is higher in high-inflation environments. Therefore, time of the 2008 food price shock and had a smaller pass-low and more stable inflation is associated with a lower through during 2001–10.­inflationary impact of commodity price shocks (Choudhri However, inflation targeting had a relatively modestand Hakura, 2006). There is also some indication that a impact on the pass-through from commodity price pres-larger dispersion of inflation expectations (a proxy for the sure during 2001–10. A 10 percentage point increase indegree of anchoring of inflation expectations) is associated international fuel price inflation, for example, was asso-with higher inflation pass-through. (For an early assessment ciated with a long-term inflationary impact on inflationof monetary policy around the 2008 shock, see Habermeier targeters that was only 0.2 percentage point lower than onand others, 2009.) economies whose central banks do not target CPI inflation. Moreover, although there are indications that in 2008 infla-Resisting price swings tion targeters were somewhat more able than other coun-What else can be done by policymakers to limit the sensitiv- tries to prevent pass-through of the commodity price surgeity of domestic inflation to international commodity price to general inflation (headline and core), the difference isswings? Our analysis suggests that better overall governance, not statistically significant.­greater central bank autonomy, and, to a lesser extent, the It does appear that in the face of commodity priceadoption of inflation-targeting frameworks seem to help shocks, overall confidence in institutions is more impor-anchor inflation expectations and reduce second-round tant than whether a country formally declares itself an ■ Gelos1, 10/22/12effects of international commodity price shocks.­ inflation targeter. For example, countries with better governance frameworksas measured by the International Country Risk Guide found it Gaston Gelos is an Advisor in the IMF’s Institute for Capac- ity Development, and Yulia Ustyugova is an Economist in the IMF’s Western Hemisphere Department.­ Chart 2 Difference makers References: Many underlying conditions influenced how much of the Arnone, Marco, Bernard J. Laurens, Jean-François Segalotto, and 2007–08 surge in commodity prices was passed through to Martin Sommer, 2007, “Central Bank Autonomy: Lessons from Global headline (that is, overall) inflation, including how high the Trends,” IMF Working Paper 07/88 (Washington: International Monetary rate of inflation was before the price shock. Fund).­ (change in CPI inflation around 2007–08 commodity price shocks, percentage points) Choudhri, Ehsan U., and Dalia S. Hakura, 2006, “Exchange Rate 10 Pass-Through to Domestic Prices: Does the Inflationary Environment Matter?” Journal of International Money and Finance, Vol. 25 (June), 8 pp. 614–39.­ Gelos, Gaston, and Yulia Ustyugova, 2012, “Inflation Responses to 6 Commodity Price Shocks—How and Why Do Countries Differ?” IMF Working Paper 12/225 (Washington: International Monetary Fund). 4 Habermeier, Karl, and others, 2009, “Inflation Pressures and Monetary Policy Options in Emerging and Developing Countries: A Cross Regional 2 Perspective,” IMF Working Paper 09/1 (Washington: International Monetary Fund). 0 International Monetary Fund (IMF), 2011, World Economic Outlook pe tha n pe tha n r r IT T r r r te rte e e 10 ater tio 10 less atio n-I ort ort rce n rce n po po fla No (Washington, September).­ Ini nt nt fl mp xp im gre al in l in ex e i el el od tia od Roger, Scott, 2009, “Inflation Targeting at 20: Achievements and ti Fu Fu Ini Fo Fo Challenges,” IMF Working Paper 09/236 (Washington: International Sources: Authors’ calculations; and Roger (2009). Note: IT refers to inflation targeting, which makes the prime objective of monetary policy Monetary Fund). achieving a certain rate of consumer inflation. A country is considered a food importer if its five-year average of food imports exceeds its five-year average of food exports; the opposite Taylor, John, 2000, “Low Inflation, Pass-Through, and the Pricing denotes a food exporter. The same yardstick is used to determine whether a country is a Power of Firms,” European Economic Review, Vol. 44, No. 7, pp. fuel exporter or importer. CPI = consumer price index. 1389–408.­ Finance & Development December 2012   27
  • 30. Spend or SEND Rabah Arezki, Arnaud Dupuy, and Alan GelbDeveloping countries can spend commodity windfalls on physicalinvestment, but it may be better in the short run to distribute part ofthem to their citizens T he decade-long boom in com- Still, the future is not without its dark side. modity prices has boosted govern- New oil income will almost certainly relax ment coffers in many traditional constraints on government budgets, but it will producing countries. Following also create challenges—as conditions in other a wave of discoveries, new oil and gas pro- resource-rich countries show. Many citizens ducers—such as Ghana, Mozambique, Tan- of these countries remain poor, despite large zania, and Uganda—are also emerging (see revenues from resources. In some cases com- table). They may not all be major players petition over resource wealth has fueled or at the global level, but the revenues they sustained civil conflict. Economic diversifica- raise will be substantial for them and will tion is a further long-run challenge: nonre- brighten the prospects for growth and pov- source sectors tend to lose competitiveness as erty reduction.­ a result of exchange rate appreciation.­Chart 1 Less than 6Beyond commodity wealth 6 to 12The wealth of poor countries tends to be concentrated in natural capital—such as oil 12 to 17and gas deposits and mineral reserves—while advanced economies have moved from 17 to 24natural capital to physical and human capital. 24 to 36(share of natural capital, percent) More than 36 No data Source: World Bank (2006). Note: This map was produced by the Map Design Unit of The World Bank. The boundaries, colors, and any other information shown on this map do not imply, on the part of The World Bank Group, any judgment on the legal status of any territory, or any endorsement or acceptance of such boundaries.28   Finance & Development December 2012
  • 31. arezki, corrected 11/1/12 The big payoff Chart 2 Recent oil and gas discoveries in Africa may not move world oil Different strokes markets but are likely to provide a substantial income stream for Good management of public investment and the quality of a these countries. country’s business climate often do not go hand in hand. Country Date Reserve estimates (index, quality of management of public investment) Chad 1973 Oil, 1.5 billion barrels 4.0 Sudan/South Sudan 1979 Oil, 5 billion barrels Equatorial Guinea 1995 Oil, 1.2 billion barrels 3.5 Uganda 2006 Oil, 3.5 billion barrels 3.0 Ghana 2007 Oil, 660 million barrels 2.5 South Africa 2009 Shale gas, 16 trillion cubic meters Mozambique 2010 Gas, 2.8 trillion cubic meters 2.0 Tanzania 2010 Gas, 6.5 trillion cubic meters 1.5 Kenya 2012 Proving reserves Sources: Industry and news reports. 1.0 Note: The year listed denotes the first substantial discovery of reserves of likely commercial interest. 0.5 0 0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0 1.2 1.4 1.6 All of these effects have been seen, for example, in Nigeria Business climate, measured as non–resource sector total factor productivityin past years. The long-run issues surrounding development Sources: Kyobe and others, (2011); Heston, Summers, and Aten (2006); World Bank (2011);become starker in light of the need to rebalance economies by and authors’ calculations. Note: The data cover low-income countries eligible for the IMF’s Poverty Reduction and Growthfostering non-commodity-based industries to produce higher- Facility. Management quality is measured by the Public Investment Management Index, which hasvalue-added goods and provide a livelihood for people after 17 indicators covering strategic guidance and project appraisal; project selection; project implementation; and project evaluation and audit. The scale runs from zero to 4, with a highercommodity reserves are depleted. Advanced economies have score reflecting better public investment management performance. The business climate is measured by non–resource sector total factor productivity (NRTFP), which is the portion ofmoved away from natural capital—such as oil and gas depos- non–resource sector output not explained by the amount of inputs used in production. NRTFP isits and mineral reserves—to physical and human capital (see calculated so that the maximum is 1 and corresponds to the level prevailing in the United States.Chart 1). But the wealth of poor countries tends to be concen-trated in natural resources.­ Commodity windfalls, because they move directly The traditional argument is that countries should use their through government coffers, offer public officials ampleresource revenues to finance public investment. But there opportunity to divert them for personal gain. Manipulationare questions about whether this is always the best approach. of public spending, especially in the letting of construc-The limited state capacity of many resource-based coun- tion contracts, is a major impediment to the successfultries makes appropriate and effective investment difficult to use of windfalls. A study of 30 oil-exporting countries forachieve. Limited capacity reflects not only a government’s lack the period 1992–2005 shows that large oil windfalls causeof technical ability to identify, implement, and monitor key a significant increase in corruption (Arezki and Brückner,investment projects. It is often also the result of public sector 2012); this both raises the cost of public investment andcorruption that allows those with clout to misspend and mis- reduces its quality. An index of the quality of public invest-allocate the resource windfall, including through high-value ment management produced by the IMF shows markedlyconstruction contracts that are especially susceptible to mis- lower quality in resource-exporting countries (Kyobe andmanagement. As a result, in some cases sharply scaled-up pub- others, 2011). In addition, spending booms triggered by oillic investment may be the wrong way to go. It may be more revenues have often overshot available resources and ledeffective in the short run to distribute some of the windfall as producing countries, especially those with weak institu-a direct dividend to citizens and rely on their spending choices tions, to fall into debt (Arezki and Brückner, 2011).­to create and foster nonresource industries. In the medium To avoid such problems, commodity producers must takeand long run, countries should beef up their governing capac- into account their institutional conditions when determiningity—investing in investment capacity, so to speak—to relax the long-term level and type of spending following a commod-some of the constraints on the use of revenues.­ ity windfall. We can model optimal spending decisions for countries with weak governing capacity by assuming that thereAvoiding past mistakes are inefficiencies—due to poor governance and public institu-During the booms of the 1970s, many traditional commodity tions—that make the costs of public investment exceed its faceexporters embarked on ambitious, but often wasteful, public value, and we can assume that those costs increase with the sizespending—including on infrastructure such as roads, ports, of the commodity windfall. We can also consider the implica-and railroads. Case studies document investment projects tions of a better or worse investment climate faced by privatethat were plagued by inefficiency and also contributed to businesses, which will affect how strongly private investmentresource misallocation (Gelb, 1988). Even when completed, responds to the opportunities created by public infrastructurelarge projects sometimes failed to provide benefits because spending. Different countries face different combinations ofgovernments were unable to cover the high costs of operating these two institutional conditions (see Chart 2). Some mayand maintaining them.­ have a relatively strong public administration but a poor Finance & Development December 2012   29
  • 32. and improve children’s growth indicators, encourage school attendance, and improve access to health services. There is also little evidence that transfers to poor people discourage people from working. On the contrary, recipients seem to use the money to search for jobs. Moreover, transfers appear to encourage productive household activity. Poor households are less constrained by the deficient credit and insurance markets that characterize less developed economies. Small but reliable flows of transfers have helped poor households accumulate private productive assets, avoid distress sales in bad times, obtain access to credit on better terms, and diversify into higher-risk and higher-return activities. There is also some evidence that the introduction of transfers into poor remote areas can stimulate demand and local market development. Transfers are increasingly being integrated into social pro- tection programs. Evidence from many social programs sug- An oil refinery near Ghana’s capital, Accra. gests that resource-generated transfers can help both recipient households and the country.­business climate (for example, Algeria), while others with Not long ago, it would have been difficult, if not impossi-relatively low scores on perceived quality of state institu- ble, to send a windfall dividend to citizens in poorer countriestions manage to sustain quite an efficient private sector without much of it being lost or appropriated by corrupt civil(for example, Kenya). We also consider an alternative to servants. But new technology has opened up ways to transferpublic spending: the direct transfer of windfall resource funds accurately and efficiently to households—and at lowrevenues to citizens to supplement their wage income and cost. Cellular phones and biometric smartcards are increas-raise their opportunity to invest and consume.­ ingly being used, even in countries with poor institutions and low capacity. For example, Pakistan’s Watan Card pro-Citizen gain gram delivered reconstruction support to more than 1.5 mil-The direct transfer of resource windfalls to citizens has been lion flood-affected households. South Africa’s system of socialdone. The U.S. state of Alaska and the Canadian province grants effectively uses this technology, as does a program toof Alberta send their citizens a yearly payment based on oil support demobilized militias in the Democratic Republic ofrevenue. Each Alaska resident, for example, received a divi- the Congo. Biometric technology can overcome traditionaldend of about $1,300 in 2009 (Ross, forthcoming). Mongolia difficulties in identifying recipients, preventing multiple pay-distributes part of its mining revenues to its citizens and has ments, and eliminating “ghost” recipients. Gelb and Deckerrecently pledged to endow each Mongolian with a portfolio (2012) consider 19 programs. Not all programs have beenNew technology has opened up ways to transfer funds accurately andefficiently to households—and at low cost.of dividend-yielding preference mining shares. One argu- comprehensively evaluated, but the evidence indicates thatment for citizen dividends draws on evidence that taxation they can be implemented on a large scale with nearly all fundshas historically been central to the creation of effective mod- going for their intended use (“little leakage,” in economic par-ern states: by distributing resource revenues and then taxing lance), using identification and payment technologies thatback part of them governments improve public accountability provide benefits beyond the transfer program itself—such asbecause citizens are more inclined to monitor the use of pub- access to a bank account for precautionary savings and fullerlic funds (Sala-i-Martin and Subramanian, 2003; Moss, 2011). and accurate electoral rolls. Because these technologies canMore direct arguments relate to the observed inefficiency in minimize the costs of distributing an oil dividend uniformlypublic spending, especially as programs are scaled up, and the across the population, it is reasonable to assume that policy-frequent failure of ordinary people to benefit from the scaled- makers can use part of a commodity windfall to provide directup public spending programs. Still more immediate arguments transfers at essentially zero cost.­relate to increasing evidence of the development impact ofcash transfers and the possibility of making them effectively.­ What to do Social transfers work and are one of the most effective— Considering all these elements in a model of optimal wind-and evaluated—mechanisms of development assistance, fall use leads to a number of conclusions that can help guideespecially when those transfers are conditioned on actions by policy. All decisions should of course be made in a long-recipients—such as keeping children in school. Many studies run context that encourages saving when resource incomedocument how such transfers help households reduce poverty is high to enable spending to continue when that income is30   Finance & Development December 2012
  • 33. low. But beyond these considerations, institutional features lication of public procurement contracts can help improveshape how the windfall could best be used. Weaker public investment quality and reduce contract costs and cost over-administrative capacity reduces the optimal level of public runs (Kenny and Karver, 2012).­investment in favor of larger transfers to citizens: it is better Countries can also boost their technical ability to iden-to give private households part of the funds directly than tify and implement projects. An example is Chile, which forto waste them on ineffective spending. Moreover, all else three decades has subjected all public projects to disciplinedequal, a larger commodity windfall should induce lower and transparent cost-benefit analysis. The South Americanrather than higher public investment, because the behav- nation standardized the approach to evaluating a projectior of officials seeking to appropriate the windfall further and separated the institution that evaluates a project fromweakens the country’s capacity. These conditions bolster the the one proposing it. The National System of Investments isargument for transfers to citizens.­ based at the Ministry of Planning and is administered jointly The underlying business climate also plays a role in deter- with the Ministry of Finance. A combination of efforts tomining the optimal use of resource revenues. Good condi- increase technical capacity and eradicate corruption is thetions—such as security and stable pro-business regulations best way to harness the power of commodity windfalls inthat encourage the private sector—may compensate for weakcapacity and justify higher public investment. This is because developing countries. ­ ■ Rabah Arezki is an Economist in the IMF Institute for Capac-public investment spending is likely to encourage more pro- ity Development, Arnaud Dupuy is Professor of Economics atductive private investment, which in effect raises the return the Reims Management School, and Alan Gelb is Senior Fellowon the public investment. Government capacity may affect the at the Center for Global Development.­business climate, but good governance and a good business cli-mate do not always go hand in hand, as we show in our exam- This article is based on the authors’ IMF Working Paper 12/200, “Resourceples above. Commodity-producing governments and their Windfalls, Optimal Public Investment, and Redistribution: The Role ofstrategic economic advisors must take these institutional fac- Total Factor Productivity and Administrative Capacity.”­tors into account when determining how to use their revenues.­ References: Arezki, Rabah, and Markus Brückner, 2011, “Oil Rents, Corruption,Investing in investing and State Stability: Evidence from Panel Data Regressions,” EuropeanLimited government capacity is a constraint, but not nec- Economic Review, Vol. 55, No. 7, pp. 955–63.­essarily a fixed one. Some countries—Chile, for example— ———, 2012, “Commodity Windfalls, Democracy and External Debt,”have strengthened their capacity; others have arguably Economic Journal, Vol. 122, No. 6, pp. 848–66.­weakened it. A windfall might well be spent in part on Gelb, Alan, and associates, 1988, Oil Windfalls: Blessing or Curse?improving a country’s capacity to manage its investment (New York: World Bank/Oxford University Press).­program and provide the key public goods and services— Gelb, Alan, and Caroline Decker, 2012, “Cash at Your Fingertips:such as effective roads, power supply, and regulation—the Biometric Technology for Transfers in Developing Countries,” Review ofprivate sector needs to thrive. To explore such a possibility Policy Research, Vol. 29, No. 1, pp. 91–117.­we extended our basic model by introducing the possibility Heston, Alan, Robert Summers and Bettina Aten, 2006, Penn Worldof reducing the adjustment cost in public investment over Table Version 6.2, Center for International Comparisons of Production,time—at a price. We found that optimal public investment Income and Prices at the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia).increases over time, with reliance on transfers diminishing Kenny, Charles, and Jonathan Karver, 2012, “Publish What You Buy:as ever-increasing public capital attracts more private capital The Case for Routine Publication of Government Contracts,” CGD Policyand produces more wage income. In general, the better the Paper 011 (Washington: Center for Global Development).­business climate, the stronger the arguments for this strat- Kyobe, Annette J., Jim Brumby, Zac Mills, Era Dabla-Norris, andegy. There is less point in boosting public investment if it Chris Papageorgiou, 2011, “Investing in Public Investment: An Index ofthen fails to stimulate private investment to produce valu- Public Investment Efficiency,” IMF Working Paper 11/37 (Washington:able output. More research is needed on modeling state International Monetary Fund).capacity, ways to invest in that capacity, and the time frames Moss, Todd, 2011, “Oil to Cash: Fighting the Resource Curse throughfor such improvement.­ Cash Transfers,” CGD Working Paper 237 (Washington: Center for Global To combat corruption, commodity exporters could ensure Development).­better transparency in the handling of windfalls. For instance, Ross, Michael L., forthcoming, “The Political Economy of Petroleumthe Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative provides Wealth in Low-Income Countries: Some Policy Alternatives,” ina global standard for transparency in the oil, gas, and min- Commodity Prices and Inclusive Growth in Low-Income Countries,ing industries, while the Natural Resource Charter, which ed. by Rabah Arezki, Catherine Pattillo, Marc Quintyn, and Min Zhubuilds on the transparency initiative, offers more compre- (Washington: International Monetary Fund).­hensive principles for governments and societies on how to Sala-i-Martin, Xavier, and Arvind Subramanian, 2003, “Addressingbest harness the opportunities for development generated by the Natural Resource Curse: An Illustration from Nigeria,” IMF Workingextractive commodity windfalls. Those initiatives can serve Paper 03/139 (Washington: International Monetary Fund).­as anchors for enhancing transparency and accountability World Bank, 2006, Where Is the Wealth of Nations? (Washington).in commodity-rich countries. More specifically, open pub- ———, 2011, World Development Indicators (Washington). Finance & Development December 2012   31
  • 34. BACK TO BASICS What Is LIBOR? The London interbank rate is used widely as a benchmark but has come under fire John KiffE very weekday at about 11 a.m., 18 large banks, with the LIBOR concept. In late September the U.K. govern- under the auspices of the British Bankers’ Associa- ment announced proposals to bring the setting and main- tion, report the rate at which they believe they can tenance of this important benchmark under government borrow a “reasonable” amount of dollars from each purview, base it on actual transactions, and eliminate most ofother in the so-called London interbank market. They report the 150 separate rates.­rates for 15 borrowing terms that range from overnight to oneyear. The financial news agency Thomson Reuters gathers the A recent innovationreported rates on behalf of the bankers’ group, throws out the Although banks in London have been lending to one anotherfour highest and four lowest, and averages the rest. It then an- for centuries, LIBOR is a relatively new idea. It has its rootsnounces that average rate at which banks say they can borrow in the sudden growth in the early 1980s use of futures con-dollars for each of the 15 maturities.­ tracts to hedge against interest rate risk. Good benchmark The process is carried out for nine other currencies as well. rates were needed to settle those contracts. Markets turnedThe average—often referred to in the singular even though to the banking industry trade group and the Bank of Englandthere are 150 rates—is called the London interbank offered to provide such a rate. The British Bankers’ Associationrate (LIBOR). It is one of the best known and most important launched LIBOR in 1986—initially with only three curren-interest rates in the world.­ cies—the dollar, the yen, and the pound sterling.­LIBOR’s importance derives from its widespread use as a benchmark formany other interest rates at which business is actually carried out. But it is not important because banks actually transact LIBOR was established as a standardized benchmark forbusiness with each other at the announced rate—although the pricing of floating-rate corporate loans. However, itsthat can happen. Rather, LIBOR’s importance derives from introduction coincided with the growth of new interest rate–its widespread use as a benchmark for many other interest based financial instruments—such as forward rate agree-rates at which business is actually carried out. According to ments and interest rate swaps—that also require standardizeda recent U.K. Treasury report, $300 trillion in financial con- and transparent interest rate benchmarks.­tracts are tied to LIBOR—and that doesn’t include rates on LIBOR is supposed to reflect reality—an average of whatuncounted tens of billions of dollars of adjustable rate home banks believe they would have to pay to borrow a “reason-mortgages and other consumer loans around the globe in able” amount of currency for a specified short period. Thatwhich LIBOR, in one way or another, is referenced.­ is, it represents the cost of funds—although a bank may not Because the U.S. dollar is the most important of the world’s actually have a need for the funds on any given day.­currencies, U.S. dollar LIBOR rates are probably the most But LIBOR has long been dogged by perceptions that thewidely used and cited. Other panels—ranging in size from method for setting the rates is flawed and prone to distorted6 banks to 16—report daily what it would cost them to bor- results during periods of market stress when banks stop lend-row Australian dollars, British pounds sterling, Canadian ing to each other across the full maturity spectrum, fromdollars, Danish kroner, euros, Japanese yen, New Zealand overnight to one year.­dollars, Swedish kronor, and Swiss francs short term in the A more direct challenge to its authenticity came fromLondon interbank market.­ attempts to manipulate LIBOR (and other benchmark rates) Much is likely to change, though, as a result of controversy by the big British bank Barclays, for which it agreed in Juneover how some banks report the rates at which they “believe” 2012 to pay fines totaling about $450 million to regulators inthey can borrow and because of some underlying problems the United Kingdom and the United States. Other banks are32   Finance & Development December 2012
  • 35. also under investigation for misreporting LIBOR rates, with LIBOR was lower than the Eurodollar rate during earlybank equity analysts estimating that fines and lawsuits could 2008 but was markedly lower in the period immediately fol-total almost $50 billion.­ lowing the Lehman collapse. LIBOR appears to track the But even before the controversy over manipulation NYFR very closely, except in the immediate aftermath of thecalled into question its accuracy, LIBOR was often called Lehman failure, when it too was decidedly lower (see chart).­a “convenient fiction” because of the disconnect between In part, LIBOR may have been lower after the Lehmanthe LIBORs used as benchmarks and actual borrowing failure because of an unintended consequence of a Britishin the London interbank market. Most banks loan each Bankers’ Association rule meant to ensure that banksother money for a week or less, so most LIBORs for lon- reported their borrowing costs truthfully: immediate pub-ger maturities are set on the basis of educated guesses. Yet lication of individual banks’ reports. While normally thisalmost 95 percent of transactions that reference one of the would encourage honesty, in 2007–08 this safeguard mayLIBORs—from interest rate derivatives to home mort- have backfired. Banks were reportedly loath to suggest thatgages—are indexed to rates for maturities three months or they were having trouble obtaining funds by reporting a ratelonger. The U.S. three-month maturity period (or “tenor,” as higher than other banks were being charged. So to mask itsthe maturity period is called) is the most popular, accord- liquidity problems, a bank with funding problems had aning to the U.K. Treasury. A further hint that unsecured term incentive to report lower rates than it really believed it wouldlending has become a fiction was the decision by ICAP, a be offered. Indeed, a number of studies have suggested thatlarge London broker-dealer, to stop publishing its one- and banks submitted lowball rates after the collapse of the invest-three-month New York Funding Rate (NYFR) indices, an ment bank Bear Stearns in March 2008 as well as after thealternative to LIBOR, due to a lack of data from New York– Lehman collapse six months later.­based banks.­ Other studies have found situations that suggest a bank was Nevertheless, LIBORs have been found to be reasonably not reporting accurately. But studies that looked for bank-accurate, most of the time tracking closely similar bench- specific signs of collusion have been generally inconclusive.­marks that are tied to actual unsecured bank funding rates Following the scandal there were some calls to eliminatesuch as those for commercial paper.­ LIBOR. But because it is so important and pervasive as a The glaring exception was the period immediately after the benchmark, the British government decided it could not beSeptember 2008 failure of the New York investment banking junked and should be saved.­firm Lehman Brothers, which triggered the global financial First, the British government proposed to take over super-crisis. The three-month U.S. LIBOR diverged from two pub- vision of LIBOR from the bankers’ group, which Martinlicly available similar short-term rates—the ICAP NYFR and Wheatley, managing director of the U.K. Financial Servicesthe three-month rate on Eurodollar deposits, which are U.S. b2b, corrected 10/24/12 Authority, said, “clearly failed to properly oversee the LIBORdollar–denominated deposits at banks located outside the setting process.” Wheatley outlined the government’s pro-United States.­ posed changes in a report published in late September.­ Under the proposed reform, LIBOR would still be set Sharp divergence daily based on reports to a U.K. regulator by panels of banks. The three-month U.S. London interbank offered rate (LIBOR) was But the banks would be required to provide data to show markedly lower than two similar interest rates—the three-month that the rates they submit are an accurate reflection of their Eurodollar deposit rate and the three-month New York Funding borrowing costs. And although the government would still Rate (NYFR)—after the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September report the submitted rates publicly, it would do so with a 2008. three-month lag so that banks would not have an incentive (difference between LIBOR and the NYFR and Eurodollar rates, basis points) to lie about their costs during a period of stress. Moreover, 50 Wheatley said, the government proposes to impose criminal NYFR sanctions on banks that misreport. 0 And to focus the production of LIBORs on interest rates that matter—and for which there are verifiable funding –50 costs—the Australian, Canadian, Danish, New Zealand, and Swedish currencies would be phased out and four maturities –100 eliminated. The number of LIBORs would drop from 150 to Eurodollar rate the 20 that are most important to market participants.­ –150 Nevertheless, many of the rates would still be unsup- ported by actual interbank transactions. So the Wheatley –200 Jan Mar May Jul Sep Nov Jan Mar May Jul Sep Nov Jan report encourages market participants to rethink their use of ■ 2008 2009 LIBOR as a benchmark and consider the need for a backup Source: Author’s calculations. plan if the rates are no longer produced.­ Note: Eurodollar deposits are U.S. dollars on deposit at banks located outside the United States. The NYFR was compiled by the London broker-dealer ICAP from information reported by prime banks operating in New York and was designed to reflect short-term borrowing costs of those banks. ICAP stopped reporting the NYFR in August 2012. A basis point is 1/100th of 1 percent. John Kiff is a Senior Financial Sector Expert in the IMF’s Mon- etary and Capital Markets Department. Finance & Development December 2012   33
  • 36. Francesca Bastagli, David Coady, and Sanjeev GuptaFighting income ising income inequality is at the How can public policy address high forefront of public debate both in inequality? In a recent IMF study, we exam-inequality with advanced and in developing econ- ined global trends in income inequality andredistributive omies. Globalization, labor market the role fiscal—government spending and reforms, and technological advances—all taxation—policies can play in reducing it.­social spending of which tend to favor higher-skilled work- In advanced economies, fiscal policy hashas been more ers—are important drivers of this diver- done much to reduce inequality, but protect- gence of fortunes.­ ing its redistributive role is likely to becomeeffective in Policymakers and commentators alike harder with prolonged fiscal adjustment overadvanced than have expressed deep concern about the the coming decades as many countries try to economic and social consequences of the reduce public debt to sustainable levels.­in developing persistent, and often sharp, increase in the On the other hand, fiscal policy has doneeconomies share of income captured by higher-income little to redistribute income in developing groups. Many think reducing income economies, which do not have the resources inequality is crucial to promoting more to finance redistributive public spend- widespread access to economic, social, and ing. To reduce inequality, governments in political opportunities.­ these economies must raise more revenue Some inequality is necessary as an incen- and develop more redistributive spending tive for investment and growth, but there instruments, such as public pensions and is evidence that when the disparity is too targeted transfers.­ great it can stymie growth (see “Equality and Efficiency,” F&D, September 2011). Recently, The path of income inequality a number of prominent experts have argued To study global trends in income inequality that rising income inequality was an impor- we assembled a comprehensive database on tant driver of the financial crisis.­ disposable income (that is, how much people 34   Finance & Development December 2012
  • 37. have to spend, including social benefits and minus income 13  of 15 countries, as it did in 9  of the 12 countries in the taxes) in 150 advanced and developing economies between Middle East and North Africa. In sub-Saharan Africa, the 1980 and 2010. We used the most common indicator of only region in which average inequality decreased over the income inequality, the Gini coefficient, to assess changes in period, it still increased in 10 of 26 countries.­ income distribution. (The Gini coefficient ranges from zero, Another striking trend is the sharp increase in the share when everyone has the same income, to 1, when a single of income captured by the very rich since the early 1980s individual receives all the income.) (see “More or Less,” F&D, September 2011). The evidence We found that inequality in disposable income increased has focused on the share of market income (income before in most advanced and many developing economies over taxes and social transfers) captured by the richest segments recent decades (Chart 1) and that inequality is substantially of the population.­ higher in developing than in advanced economies.­ For example, in the United States, the richest 10  percent Data are available for a large sample of advanced and earned 30 percent of market income in 1980 and 48 percent developing economies for 1990 to 2005. During this period, in 2008. There was a similar trend in other advanced econo- inequality increased in 15 of 22 advanced economies and mies, as well as in India and China, but it was much less pro-coady, 10/17/12 emerging market economies in Europe. In Latin in 20 of 22 nounced in Scandinavian and southern European countries America and the Caribbean—the region that already had the and was almost nonexistent in other continental European least equitable income distribution—inequality increased in countries and Japan.­ 11 of 20 countries, although it has since decreased in most countries. In Asia and the Pacific, inequality increased in Reducing advanced economy inequality Taxes and public transfers have played a significant role in Chart 1 offsetting the increase in inequality in nearly all advanced Unequal trends economies. Over the past two decades, fiscal policy reduced inequality by about one-third in Organization for Economic Income inequality is highest, albeit falling, in Latin America and lowest in advanced and emerging market economies in Europe. Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries. Fiscal (Gini coefficient) policy has also tended to have a larger redistributive impact 0.55 in countries with higher market income inequality. In 2005, Latin America and Caribbean for example, fiscal policy reduced income inequality, as mea- 0.50 sured by the Gini coefficient, by 20 or more points in Belgium, Sub-Saharan Africa 0.45 France, Germany, Italy, and Portugal—all of which had some of the highest market income inequality among advanced 0.40 Middle East and North Africa economies, with Gini coefficients between 0.48 and 0.56.­ 0.35 Asia and Pacific Most of this redistribution was achieved through expen- Emerging market economies in Europe ditures—especially transfers that citizens receive regardless 0.30 of their income, such as public pensions and universal child 0.25 Advanced economies in Europe care benefits. These transfers are distributed much more equally than market income and account for fiscal policy’s 0.20 relatively larger redistributive impact in Austria, Belgium, 1980 85 1990 95 2000 05 10 Hungary, Poland, and the Scandinavian economies. On aver- Source: Authors’ calculations based on various inequality databases. Note: The Gini coefficient ranges from zero, when everyone has the same income, to 1, when a age, the redistribution achieved by these transfers is twice as single individual receives all the income. large as through taxes (see Chart 2).­ Finance & Development December 2012   35
  • 38. Income taxes are another key redistributive tool. In fact, tries (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru), fis-in most economies, income taxes redistribute wealth better cal policy reduced the average Gini coefficient by only aboutthan means-tested transfers (based on the recipient’s income) 2 percentage points, from 0.52 to 0.50. In 15 European econ-though not as well as non-means-tested transfers.­ omies the decrease was about 20  percentage points—from The redistributive impact of fiscal policy is even greater 0.46 to 0.27. But there is some evidence that the more recentwhen in-kind transfers, such as public education and health decrease in inequality in Latin America is in part a result ofspending, are included. These transfers lower the Gini coef- more redistributive fiscal policy.­ficient for disposable income by as much as 6 percentagepoints and reflect universal access to education and health Less impact in advanced economiesservices. More equal access to education also has the added A worrisome trend is the diminishing redistributive impactbenefit of reducing the inequality of market incomes.­ of fiscal policy since the mid-1990s in many advanced econo- mies. Chart 4 shows how market- and disposable-income Limits on developing economies inequality for working-age households has changed since The increase in inequality in advanced economies over recent the mid-1980s; the difference represents the redistributive decades pales in comparison with the gap between develop- impact of fiscal policy in each period.­ ing and advanced economies.­ Between the mid-1980s and mid-1990s, the Gini coeffi- Substantially higher inequality in developing economies cient for market income rose by 3 percentage points, while stems largely from limited redistributive fiscal policy in these that for disposable income grew by only 0.8  of a percent- countries. This, in turn, reflects their lower levels of taxation age point. In other words, inequality between what people and public spending and the use of less progressive tax and earned went up a lot, but the difference between what they spending instruments.­ had available to spend changed little.­ Taxes in advanced economies, on average, exceed 35 per- Fiscal policy therefore offset 73 percent of the increase in mar- cent of GDP, but in developing economies (excluding emerg- ket income inequality over this decade. Although the inequality ing Europe) they are generally much lower, at 15 to 20 percent of market income increased less over the subsequent decade, the of GDP (see Chart 3). Consequently, government spending is redistributive impact of fiscal policy also diminished. As a result, also substantially lower in developing economies, especially during the two decades from the mid-1980s to the mid-2000s, in Asia and the Pacific and in sub-Saharan Africa, where fiscal policy offset only 53 percent of this increase, and market lower transfer spending explains most of the difference.­ income inequality grew by twice as much as redistribution.­coady, 10/17/12 For example, in a study of the early 2000s, almost three- This decreasing impact of fiscal policy in recent decades quarters of the difference in disposable income inequality is surprising since without policy reform, progressive tax- coady, 10/17/12 between Latin America and advanced European economies benefit systems tend to become increasingly redistributive as can be explained by fiscal policy. In six Latin American coun- market-income inequality increases—for example, because of higher unemployment or rising incomes of higher-income Chart 2 groups. Evidence suggests that the blunting of fiscal policy reflects reforms that made the tax-benefit system less pro- Toward equality Universally available benefits have the greatest effect on Chart 3 inequality. (decrease in the Gini coefficient in EU countries due to taxes and transfers) Doing more with more 0.30 Advanced economies feature higher income taxes and social spending. Non–means-tested benefits (social spending, percent of GDP, Means-tested benefits (taxes, percent of GDP, 2010 or latest) 2010 or latest) 0.25 Personal income taxes 40 30 Social insurance contributions 0.20 35 25 Indirect 30 0.15 Income Transfers Corporate 20 25 Health Property Education 0.10 20 15 0.05 15 10 10 0 rk m ia r y m d d ria en rg ny ce d ds ia ly ce in 5 ma lgiu ven ga do lan lan st ed ou a an lan an ton Ita ree Spa 5 D en Be Slo Hun King Po Fin Au Sw emb Germ Fr Ire therl Es G d x ite Lu Ne 0 0 Un ing ed tin ope d N id ica ia fri st b- ific Afr aran d e d N id ica ia fri st b- ific Afr aran rop ce As rth A e Ea As rth A e Ea nc an ca ica an ca ica Su Pac Su Pac an M er an M mer n r Source: Bastagli, Coady, and Gupta (2012). Eu h Eu h Am va va Sa Sa o dl o dl A Ad Ad d d ing Note: Policies simulated reflect those in effect between 2000 and 2005, with precise dates tin erg erg La La varying by country. For presentation purposes, Gini impacts of various taxes and transfers are Em Em stacked, although the total combined impact is not strictly the sum of each tax’s and transfer’s impact. Source: Bastagli, Coady, and Gupta (2012).36   Finance & Development December 2012
  • 39. gressive overall. In many economies, reforms since the mid- On the tax side, progressive revenue measures can head1990s have cut social benefits, particularly unemployment off the need for large cuts in transfers, although the effec-and social assistance payments, while also reducing income tiveness of such measures is limited if taxes are already high.tax rates, especially at higher income levels.­ Removing opportunities for tax avoidance and evasion,During the coming period of fiscal retrenchment, policy reforms mustprotect the redistributive role of taxation and spending. This deterioration in redistributive impact is even more which typically benefit mainly higher-income groups, canworrisome because many advanced economies must cut simultaneously improve both the efficiency and the distribu-back on spending and increase taxes over the coming decade tional impact of the tax system, as can a greater reliance onto reduce high public debt. In the past, such fiscal cut- progressive wealth and property taxes.­backs resulted in short-term increases in inequality due toincreased unemployment—especially of unskilled laborers— Enhancing redistribution in developing countriesand heavy reliance on expenditure cuts.­ The challenge in developing economies is to develop fiscal During the coming period of fiscal retrenchment, policy policy that enhances redistribution while promoting growthreforms must protect the redistributive role of taxation and maintaining fiscal sustainability. This will require both aand spending.­ strengthened capacity of governments to mobilize resources In the short term, fiscal policy can lessen the adverse and more redistributive expenditure programs.­impact of fiscal retrenchment through what are known On the tax side, the focus should be on broadening tax basesas automatic stabilizers, such as unemployment benefits. rather than increasing tax rates. Expanding corporate and per-Expenditure cuts that increase inequality can be tem- sonal income tax bases by reducing tax exemptions, closingpered by protecting the most progressive social benefits loopholes, and improving tax compliance would raise revenuesand targeting them better. This approach has been used to finance redistributive transfers. Expanding the consump-in Denmark, Germany, Iceland, and Sweden. Reforms tion tax base—for example, through a value-added tax—wouldto less redistributive spending, such as military funding, increase tax revenues. Such consumption taxes can be designedsubsidies, and public sector wages, can reduce the needcoady, 10/17/12 to avoid adverse distributional impacts—for example by exempt-for cuts in more redistributive social transfers. In addi- ing small businesses and applying excises to luxury goods.­tion, expanding active labor market programs such as But limited revenues and heavy demands on thesejob-search support, targeted wage subsidies, and training resources to finance development mean public spending hasprograms can help speed up employment when economic to become more redistributive. This can be achieved throughgrowth resumes. greater reliance on social expenditures that are targeted, rather than universal, and aim to protect at-risk households from poverty and to improve the education and health out- Chart 4 comes of poor households. Many countries can save a lot Slowing impact of money quickly by eliminating universal price subsidies, Fiscal policy’s effect on inequality since the mid-1990s has been which are expensive and inefficient. Conditional cash transfer lower than during the previous decade. programs link benefits to household investment in the edu- (Gini coefficient) (percent) cation and health of family members. These programs have 0.45 80 been successful in many developing economies and should Mid-1980s 0.40 Mid-1990s 70 play a greater role in social protection strategies. Expanding 0.35 Mid-2000s 60 coverage of public pension systems is another effective way 0.30 50 to reduce inequality. Where such expansion faces short-term 0.25 40 constraints in administrative and fiscal capacity, greater use of targeted “social pensions” may be warranted until pension ■ 0.20 30 0.15 coverage can be broadened.­ 0.10 20 0.05 10 Francesca Bastagli is a Research Fellow at the London School 0 0 of Economics; David Coady is a Deputy Division Chief and Market income Disposable income Fiscal redistribution Sanjeev Gupta is a Deputy Director, both in the IMF’s Fiscal (left scale) (left scale) (right scale) Source: Bastagli, Coady, and Gupta (2012). Affairs Department.­ Note: “Fiscal redistribution” bars indicate how much of the increasing inequality in market incomes was offset by fiscal policy from the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s (blue bar) and from the mid-1980s to the mid-2000s (red bar). This article is based on the authors’ IMF Staff Discussion Note 12/08, “Income Inequality and Fiscal Policy.” Finance & Development December 2012   37
  • 40. STRAIGHT TALK Rethinking Sustainable Development A new development agenda needs to be truly global, relevant to all, and realistic in assigning responsibilities Nemat Shafik A s the 2015 deadline for achiev- Other issues include globalization and the ing the Millennium Develop- difficult job of managing that process; pol- ment Goals approaches, much icy and market failures exposed by the crisis thought is being devoted to what that still have not been addressed, especially should succeed that framework for measur- in the financial sector; and longer-term ing global progress against hunger, disease, trends such as widening disparities in and poverty. Any successor framework income distribution, aging and imbalanced must reflect global aspirations and arise population growth, global food insecurity, from a rich consultative process. I believe and climate change.­ that the new framework must embrace a Finding a cooperative solution to these broader understanding of development— challenges is even more urgent than at the one that is relevant for all countries, rich as turn of the century, when the world commu- PHOTONemat Shafik is Deputy well as poor. nity joined forces through the United Nations’Managing Director of the The world today looks very different from Millennium Development campaign to defeatInternational Monetary a few years ago. Many countries have high the scourge of poverty and the hunger, disease,Fund. levels of debt that could make it difficult to and lack of opportunities that accompany it.­ undertake spending initiatives for many years. Financial sector incentives and regulation may New imperatives have to be rethought, existing growth models The Millennium Development Goals focused refined to deliver sufficient new employment attention on the need to reduce absolute pov- opportunities, and the functioning of the erty. And while significant gaps remain rela- international monetary system revisited.­ tive to the targets set out in the Millennium The most immediate challenge is restora- Declaration, the achievements are remark- tion of confidence in the global recovery. able. Let’s not forget, for instance, that the After showing some resilience in 2011, global incidence of extreme poverty in the world growth has slowed again, mainly because of has been halved since 2000.­ continuing uncertainty about developments But the global economic crisis was a huge in the euro area and a potential fiscal crisis setback—one from which the world econ- in the United States. Any efforts at restoring omy has still not fully recovered. Europe confidence in advanced economies must be continues to battle its debt crisis, with Japan accompanied by efforts to tackle the high and the United States also in need of fiscal and pervasive unemployment and the short- reform. The Middle East and North Africa age of decent job opportunities in many region is undergoing a historic transition: countries around the world, especially in hopes for a brighter, more democratic future Europe and the Middle East. The jobs cri- rest crucially on the economic transforma- sis is particularly acute for young people. A tion that sustains high and equitable growth. rebound in growth will help, but even then And then there is the challenge of ensuring the pace of job creation will have to acceler- that rapidly rising incomes in other emerging ate very rapidly to absorb both the existing market and developing economies continue, unemployed and the new entrants coming but in a manner that is socially and environ- into the labor market.­ mentally sustainable.­38   Finance & Development December 2012
  • 41. Consider these developments: the stability of the global economy as a whole. An upgraded •  Income inequality has widened. The past decades have framework for economic monitoring enables deeper analysisseen unprecedented economic growth, which has raised liv- of spillovers and cross-border effects. The IMF has sharp-ing standards on average. But overall, the rich have done ened its assessment of countries’ policies from a multilateralmuch better than the poor. This growing inequality breeds perspective. It is also placing greater focus on the criticallysocial resentment and generates political instability.­ important financial sector.­ •  Chronic unemployment and pervasive underemploy- •  Support countries in downturns. Since the start ofment have escalated. Five years after the crisis first erupted the global economic crisis, the IMF has committed well overin the U.S. mortgage market, 200 million people world- $300 billion in loans to its member countries. It has over-wide still cannot find decent work, including 75 million hauled its lending framework to enable it to better target theyoung people who are at risk of becoming members of a lost varied needs of its member countries and has streamlinedgeneration.­ conditions attached to its loans. In recognition of low-income •  Populations are growing unevenly. By 2050, the global member countries’ need for financial assistance, the IMF haseconomy must provide food and jobs for more than 9 billion also quadrupled its concessional lending.­people, 85 percent of whom will live in what are now devel-oping countries.­ •  Climate change is worsening. Biodiversity loss is enor-mous and global warming continues—carbon dioxide emis- We need effective global leadership,sions are at deeply worrisome concentrations.­ and we need it fast.A truly global agendaAll these problems are intertwined and cannot be solved •  Build a crisis firewall. To meet ever-increasing financ-in isolation. That’s why the post-2015 global development ing needs, the IMF has greatly bolstered its lending capacityagenda must go beyond our traditional understanding of by securing $461 billion in pledges from member countriesdevelopment—that is, helping less developed countries catch to boost its resources.­up with those that are more advanced. The agenda must •  Make growth more inclusive. IMF research shows thatalso address the various imbalances in the global economy, countries with more equitable income distribution do betterincluding spillovers that ultimately affect the poor and vul- at sustaining growth. The IMF has been working with thenerable everywhere.­ International Labor Organization to formulate more effec- A new agenda needs to be truly global in scope, relevant tive policy advice on employment and labor market issues, andto all in its goals, and realistic in how it assigns responsibili- with the World Bank and other international organizations toties—to advanced, emerging market, and developing econo- help countries strengthen social protection.­mies. Safeguarding the well-being of future generations is a •  Design policies for the green economy. Our policyjoint responsibility of all members of the international com- advice encourages the transition to a greener economy bymunity, but we must also distribute fairly the burden that ensuring that prices reflect the full cost of adverse environ-responsibility entails, given the enormous differences in mental side effects. For example, replacing costly energy pricecapabilities among countries.­ subsidies that mostly benefit the well-off with financial assis- Increased interconnectedness calls for greater policy coor- tance targeted to the poor can help free up money for socialdination. We need effective global leadership, and we need it and development spending and also combat climate change.­fast. With its global membership, the United Nations should A collective response to the faltering global recovery is thecontinue to play a leading role in fostering effective interna- most immediate priority. Global vulnerabilities in an increas-tional cooperation. But multilateral coordination needs to ingly interlinked world make this a must. Witness the ripplebecome more effective. To put it bluntly, we cannot afford to effects on global confidence of the problems in the euro areawaste time on endless discussions among countries, only to and the tepid recovery in the United States. Growth in emerg-arrive at the lowest common denominator. We need a bold ing markets is slowing; there is great concern in low-incomeyet realistic approach, one that allows us to move quickly countries about rising food prices and volatile commodityfrom words to implementation.­ prices; and frustrations are growing across the Middle East. The renewed setbacks to the global recovery can be tackledThe IMF’s part only if we work together.­The IMF has played a key role in helping the global econ- Fostering sound economic and financial management isomy recover from the economic crisis, and it continues to the most important contribution the IMF can make to sus-work with its 188 member countries on many fronts to put tainable development. It lays a foundation for economicthe global economy on a sounder footing. There has been growth that creates jobs, generates resources to protect thetremendous change these past five years, but there is still poor and the environment, and ultimately sows the seeds ofmuch to do: peace and stability. We stand ready to work with our member •  Strengthen global stability. The IMF has improved its countries and with other international organizations to takeability to connect the dots between countries and focus on the global agenda to the next level.­■ Finance & Development December 2012   39
  • 42. The developing world isreevaluating what it meansto be poor A man uses a mobile phone at a camel fair in Pushkar, India.A Relative QuestionMartin RavallionR ising average living standards in many develop- in different places and at different dates. An example is the ing countries have triggered a reassessment of what World Bank’s international poverty line of $1.25 a day, which it means to be considered poor. In response, some is converted to local currencies at so-called purchasing power of those countries have increased their poverty lines parity (PPP). By contrast, prevailing relative lines are set at(the income level below which a person or household is deemed a constant proportion of the country- or year-specific meanpoor). For example, China recently doubled its national poverty (or median) household consumption or income per personline from 90 cents a day to $1.80 (adjusted to reflect constant (or equivalent single adult). The poverty lines typically used2005 purchasing power). Other countries—including Colombia, in western Europe are examples.­India, Mexico, Peru, and Vietnam—have also recently revised The choice of method matters to assessments of prog-their poverty lines upward.­ ress against poverty and to long-standing policy debates These revisions are hardly surprising. The poverty mea- about the potential for reducing poverty through economicsure in any given setting will be accepted only if it accords growth. Indeed, when the poverty line is fixed in real terms,reasonably well with prevailing ideas of what poverty means any standard poverty measure will automatically fall duringin that setting. Sustained overall growth will undoubtedly a growth period in which all incomes rise proportionally.result in more countries raising their standards. The same But the same growth process will have no effect on the pov-thing happened over time in most of today’s rich countries.­ erty measure when the line is set at a constant percentage of What does this mean for how we should monitor overall average income or consumption.­progress against poverty? Should the poverty line also vary Low- and middle-income countries have tended to favorwith average income? absolute lines, while most high-income countries have pre- ferred relative lines. Richer countries also tend to use higherAssessing progress poverty lines. This preference for a higher national povertyThese questions hark back to an old debate—whether poverty line can be called the “relativist gradient.”is absolute or relative. An absolute poverty line is intended Chart 1 plots the national poverty lines for about 100 coun-to represent constant purchasing power over commodities tries against consumption per capita, both at PPP. The highest40   Finance & Development December 2012
  • 43. line is in Luxembourg, at $43 a day, while the United States, However, there is another interpretation of why richerwith a similar level of average consumption to Luxembourg, countries have higher poverty lines that is grounded in thehas a $13-a-day line. The relativist gradient is evident as idea that there are “social effects” on welfare. The absoluteconsumption levels decline. The average poverty line of the approach views individual welfare as dependent on an indi-poorest 20 or so countries is $1.25 a day—which is how the vidual’s own consumption. In this view, where a person livesWorld Bank’s international absolute line was set. Even among is irrelevant to whether that person is deemed to be poordeveloping countries that use absolute lines, countries with because the absolute line represents the same real level ofhigher average incomes tend to have higher real lines. Across consumption across countries. A relative line, by contrast,countries it seems that poverty is indeed relative.­ encompasses certain social determinants of welfare that vary with the context. In this view, poverty lines reflect the A social norm welfare effects of relative deprivation—that even though two The question for development specialists is whether global people have the same real income, the one living in the richer poverty monitoring should allow the poverty line to vary country will feel worse off—and the costs of social inclusion, with average income. The answer depends on how the gra- namely the extra expenditures necessary to participate in dient in national lines in Chart 1 is interpreted.­ a rich society compared with a poor one. Research in vari- One can think of a poverty line as the monetary equivalent ous fields—anthropology, psychology, and economics—has of an underlying concept of human welfare in a specific set- found evidence consistent with the existence of such social ting—a social norm that can vary from one setting to another. effects on individual welfare.­ The poverty measure in any given setting will be accepted So there are two competing explanations for Chart 1. only if it accords reasonably well with prevailing ideas of what Under the social norms interpretation, individual welfare poverty means in that setting. Norms differ between rich and depends solely on a person’s own consumption. The relativist poor societies and evolve over time in growing economies. gradient stems from a tendency for richer countries to use But using a lower real poverty line in poorer countries will higher welfare norms in deciding who is poor.­ mean that two people judged to have the same standard of The social effects interpretation does not require different living—that is their income can buy an equivalent assort- norms, but postulates instead that living in a richer country ment of goods and services—end up being treated differently requires a higher level of consumption to attain the same depending on where or when they live. This inconsistency level of welfare. Then the welfare-consistent poverty lines— has motivated the past emphasis on measuring absolute pov-ravallion, 10/26/12, corrected anchored to a common level of welfare—will tend to rise erty using a common real poverty line, such as $1.25 a day.­ with the average consumption of a country.­ This admittedly subtle theoretical distinction between social norms of welfare and social effects on welfare has Chart 1 dramatically different implications for global poverty mea- Relatively poor surement. The social norms interpretation points us toward The national poverty lines used in poor countries tend to be absolute measures, while the social effects interpretation appreciably lower than those found in rich countries. This points us toward some concept of relative poverty. The uncer- preference for higher lines in richer countries is called the tainty about which interpretation is right makes it essential to “relativist gradient.” consider both approaches when measuring global poverty.­ (national poverty line, per person, per day, dollars adjusted for purchasing power parity) A global measure of relative poverty 50 Luxembourg The question for analysts then is how to devise a reasonable global measure of relative poverty, to complement prevail- 40 ing absolute measures. Setting relative poverty at a constant proportion of the mean income requires implausible assump- 30 tions. In particular, it requires either the assumption that people are concerned solely with relative deprivation (so that 20 their own consumption does not matter independent of their relative consumption) or the assumption that the costs of United 10 States social inclusion can be nearly zero in the poorest places.­ World Bank researchers have developed new poverty mea- 0 sures that take social effects on welfare seriously (Ravallion 0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 3.0 3.5 4.0 4.5 5.0 Private consumption per capita, log, dollars adjusted for purchasing power parity and Chen, 2011). Technically, these are called “weakly rela- tive” measures, meaning that the poverty line rises with aver- Source: Chen and Ravallion (2012). age income but not as a constant proportion of that income. Note: The data cover about 100 countries. The poverty lines were set at various dates since about 1990. All poverty lines are expressed in constant purchasing power parity, so that $1 buys It can also be thought of as an inverse measure of “social the same amount of goods and services in each country. The 20 or so poorest countries have an average poverty line of $1.25 a day, the World Bank line below which individuals are said to be in inclusion,” in that fewer people living below the weakly rela- absolute poverty. The red line, which rises as countries’ per capita consumption increases, tive line means that more people have attained the social represents the relativist gradient, that is, a richer country’s preference for a higher poverty line. inclusion needs deemed relevant to the society in which they Finance & Development December 2012   41
  • 44. live. Each country then has two poverty lines, namely the in 1981, compared with 22 percent in 2008. In 2008, 1.3 bil-absolute $1.25 a day line and a higher (or, at least, no lower) lion people lived below $1.25 a day, compared with 1.9 billionline intended to reflect higher costs of social inclusion in the in 1981. Progress has been uneven across regions, but absolutecountry concerned. In the poorest of countries, the second poverty counts fell in all regions during the 2000s.­line is also an absolute measure.­ Weakly relative measures have been constructed that areconsistent with the relativist gradient described above. And Success against absolute povertythey are consistent with evidence on subjective perceptions will probably swell the ranks of theof welfare in developing countries. Weak relativity is alsosuggested by the recent signs that the idea of what poverty relatively poor.means in developing countries is changing. This does notnecessarily reflect a higher welfare threshold—it may instead Chart 2 shows the numbers of absolutely and relativelybe that a higher income is deemed necessary to attain the poor people in the developing world between 1981 andsame level of welfare.­ 2008. More than 80 percent of the relatively poor in 1981 When this new approach is applied to the data, we find that were absolutely poor, but by 2008 the proportion had fallen47 percent—slightly less than half—of the developing world’s to less than half.­population was relatively poor in 2008. Of that 47 percent, So a substantial increase in the number of people who are22 percent lived below the absolute line of $1.25 a day.­ relatively poor but no longer absolutely poor came hand in To put this in perspective, the corresponding relative pov- hand with the developing world’s success against absoluteerty rate for high-income countries (calculated on a consis- poverty. Economic growth has generally meant a lower abso-tent basis) is 24 percent for 2008. However, as best can be lute poverty rate, but over time it has also meant that in manydetermined from the available data, no one in that 24 percent developing countries relative considerations have becomein high-income countries lived below $1.25 a day (though more important. The relative measure of poverty is naturallysome very poor people may not have been picked up in the less responsive to economic growth and puts a somewhatsample surveys, notably the homeless).­ higher weight on inequality. Rising numbers of people who We find that the incidence of relative poverty has fallen in are relatively poor can thus be seen as the other side of fallingthe developing world, from 63 percent of the population in numbers of those who are absolutely poor. Success has come1981 to 47 percent in 2008 (Chen and Ravallion, 2012). But with a change in what it means to be successful.­even though the proportion declined, a growing populationmeant that the total number of relatively poor people rose by ravallion 2, 10/24/12 corrected Fighting absolute povertyabout 360 million over that period.­ It would not be fair to the more than 1 billion people who still At the same time, there has been a decline in the incidence of live on less than $1.25 a day to abandon the emphasis on fight-absolute poverty in the developing world. The overall percent- ing absolute poverty. Eliminating such extreme poverty mustage of the population living below $1.25 a day was 52 percent remain the global development community’s number one priority. But the world is changing rapidly. The convergence Chart 2 in living standards across the globe is accompanied by emerg- ing convergence in our ideas about what poverty means— A mixed report although it will be a long time before, say, China’s poverty line The number of absolutely poor people has declined significantly reaches the U.S. line, let alone Luxembourg’s. New poverty in recent years. But the number of the relatively poor has risen. targets will undoubtedly emerge that reflect these new percep- (number of poor people, millions) 3,000 tions. We can recognize that fact, and recognize that success against absolute poverty will probably swell the ranks of the relatively poor, without diverting our efforts at bringing the ■ 2,500 Relatively poor poorest people in the world out of extreme poverty.­ 2,000 Martin Ravallion is Director of the World Bank’s Research 1,500 Department.­ Absolutely poor 1,000 References: Chen, Shaohua, and Martin Ravallion, 2012, “More Relatively-Poor 500 People in a Less Absolutely-Poor World,” World Bank Policy Research 0 Working Paper 6114 (Washington). 1981 84 87 90 93 96 99 2002 05 08 Ravallion, Martin, 2012, “Poverty Lines across the World,” in The Source: Ravallion (2012). Oxford Handbook of the Economics of Poverty, ed. by Philip N. Jefferson Note: People are considered in absolute poverty if their income is less than $1.25 a day, adjusted in local currencies so it can buy the same amount of goods and services in all countries. (New York: Oxford University Press USA). Relative poverty means that an individual’s income is less than some socially acceptable level, which may be much higher than the absolute poverty line of $1.25 a day. Ravallion, Martin, and Shaohua Chen, 2011, “Weakly Relative Poverty,” Review of Economics and Statistics, Vol. 93, No. 4, pp. 1251–61.42   Finance & Development December 2012
  • 45. DATA SPOTLIGHT Ballooning Balance Sheets Major central banks have been injecting liquidity to contain the effects of the global financial crisis S DS1, 10/26/12 INCEDS1, 10/26/12 the onset of the financial crisis in 2007, there has quantitative easing used purchases of both government bonds been a dramatic expansion in the size of the balance sheets and mortgage-backed securities to reduce long-term yields, of the Bank of England (BOE), the European Central Bank especially on residential mortgage rates. (ECB), and the U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed). Central banks found Despite their somewhat different focus, a common result themselves in a policy quandary. They had difficulty further low- has been a rapid ballooning of all three central banks’ bal- ering their policy interest rates to ward off the recession because ance sheets. Since the onset of the subprime mortgage crisis the rates were already quite low. As a result, these central banks in August 2007, the BOE’s balance sheet has grown 380 per- undertook unconventional policies aimed at stabilizing financial cent; the Eurosystem’s has mushroomed by 241 percent; and markets and fighting the recession by boosting total demand. the Fed’s has grown 221 percent. Central banks’ total assets have surged The Eurosystem provided more credit to banks. during the global financial crisis. (end-of-month values, billion euros) (total assets, end-of-month values, national currency) 4,000 6 DS3, 10/26/12 Eurosystem (trillions) 3,000 5 DS3, 10/26/12 Bank of England (100 billions) Claims on depository institutions Federal Reserve (trillions) 4 2,000 3 2 1,000 Claims on private sector Claims on general government (net) 1 0 2007 08 09 10 11 12 0 2007 08 09 10 11 12 Note: The Eurosystem comprises the ECB and euro area national central banks. The Fed bought government bonds and mortgage-backed securities. The BOE purchased government securities. (end-of-month values, billion dollars) (end-of-month values, billion pounds) 2,000 400 Claims on central government (net) 1,500 Claims on private sector 300 1,000 Claims on central government (net) 200 500 Claims on depository institutions 0 100 −500 Claims on private sector 2007 08 09 10 11 12 0 2007 08 09 10 11 12 About the database Although each of the central banks had a different The data are derived from the International Financial approach, all three acted aggressively to inject liquidity into Statistics database, which contains current statistics for their economies and promote growth. The BOE engaged in 194 countries covering all aspects of international and a targeted quantitative easing policy that focused mostly on domestic finance. The database is available at http:// the purchase of government securities. Since March 2009, the elibrary-data.imf.org BOE’s purchases of government securities (called gilts) have totaled 14 percent of GDP. The ECB has conducted a range Prepared by Ricardo Davico and Brian John Goldsmith of of measures, including long-term financing operations and a the IMF’s Statistics Department.­ limited securities market program for sovereigns. The Fed’s Finance & Development December 2012   43 Finance & Development December
  • 46. Sheltered from the StormEurope’s central, eastern, and southeastern countries have beenlargely insulated from the ongoing euro area crisis, but that couldchange quicklyBas B. Bakker and Christoph KlingenC entral, eastern, and southeastern Europe have Except for a scare in late 2011, countries in the region been notably absent from the euro area crisis. Fi- have been largely untouched by the euro area crisis that nancial markets have been very concerned about began two years ago—mainly because they rely far less Greece, Ireland, Portugal, and—more recently— today on easy credit from western European banks to sup-Italy and Spain. But they do not yet appear overly concerned port domestic spending and because they have taken stepsabout the 22 countries in central, eastern, and southeastern to rein in government deficits.­Europe (see box), despite their close ties with the euro area.­ In a radical break with the past, investors are often Links still strongdemanding lower risk premiums for the debt of these smaller, This seeming ability to sidestep the euro area turmoil isless affluent European countries than for that of western occurring despite continued strong links between westernEuropean nations: Estonian risk premiums have at times and eastern countries. Since the Soviet Union dissolvedbeen lower than those paid by the Netherlands and those of two decades ago, western and eastern Europe have becomeBulgaria and Romania lower than for Italy and Spain.­ increasingly interconnected, through both trade and That wasn’t the case a few years ago, when the turmoil financial channels.­in western Europe that followed the onset of the global Western Europe is the region’s largest export market. Somefinancial crisis in 2008 quickly spilled over to the central of the exports are inputs for western Europe’s exports. Manyand eastern European economies. The region had many of the countries in the region have become part of a sup-prosperous years, supported largely by easy credit from ply chain that provides inputs to final producers in westernwestern Europe. But after the failure of Wall Street invest- Europe. German car makers, for instance, have set up pro-ment bank Lehman Brothers in September 2008, banksin the euro area countries abruptly stopped new lending, On the euro bordertriggering a sharp contraction in domestic demand in Central, eastern, and southeastern Europe comprises themost central and eastern European economies. A massive Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania; the cen-slump in global trade exacerbated the crisis, battering the tral European Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakregion’s exports. As a result, the countries in the region Republic; the southeastern European nations of Albania,suffered an unprecedented economic contraction in 2008 Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, formerand 2009. By the time the region started to recover in Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania,2010, GDP had declined by as much as 25 percent in some Serbia, and Slovenia; and in the east Belarus, Moldova,countries, although a few, such as Albania and Poland, Russia, and Ukraine. Turkey, which is in both Europe andescaped relatively unscathed.­ Asia, is considered part of the region.­44   Finance & Development December 2012
  • 47. Shopping and leisure complex in downtown Warsaw, Poland.duction facilities in central Europe and shifted part of their in Bulgaria,Croatia, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Bakker, 10/18/12production to that region.­ Montenegro, and Slovenia at the end of 2011 (see Chart 1). Trade linkages are especially important for central Europe. This funding takes the form of western European parentAlthough large commodity exporters such as Russia and banking groups financing the operations of their local affili-Ukraine trade extensively with countries outside Europe,the prices their exports fetch in international markets are Chart 1nonetheless linked to the well-being of the western Europeaneconomies. By contrast, southeastern Europe is less inte- Closely tiedgrated with western Europe.­ Major foreign banks provide a substantial amount of cross-border But as central as trade is to the relationship, financial funding to bank and nonbank borrowers in central, eastern, andlinks—mainly through banks—are more important still. The southeastern Europe.region’s banking systems are tightly integrated with western (lending by advanced economy banks relative to recipient country GDP, fourth quarter 2011, percent)European banks, both in terms of ownership and financing.­ 60 Foreign-owned banks (here meaning those in which a To banks 50foreign entity has a stake of more than 25 percent and is To nonbanksthe largest shareholder) account for about 35 percent of the 40market in Belarus, Russia, Slovenia, and Turkey, whereas 30in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the Czech Republic,Estonia, Romania, and the Slovak Republic foreign banks 20have up to 80 percent of the market. By contrast, foreignbanks on average account for less than 20 percent of the 10market in the euro area.­ 0 A foreign-owned bank, however, does not necessarily a a a a y o a a a y a c c e a a s a ati atvi eni oni gar aria egr ani ani rbi and rke vin ubli bli oniarain ani ssi laru dov SE E Cro L Slov Est Hun Bulg nten ithu Rom Se Pol Tu zego Rep Repu ced Uk Alb Ru Be Mol CErely on foreign funding. For example, foreign-owned banks M o L r h k a e c M d H ze ova Rdominate in the Czech Republic, but their operations are ia an C Sl FY snlocally funded, mostly through deposits. Such banks are less Bovulnerable to a sudden cutoff in foreign—in this case head Sources: Bank for International Settlements (BIS), Locational Banking Statistics; IMF, World Economic Outlook database; and IMF staff calculations.office—funding.­ Note: The lending is by banks with international operations in advanced economies. Their central banks report the information to the BIS, which compiles the data. The BIS is the central bank of central But cross-border funding by foreign banks is important in banks. Data for Kosovo are unavailable. CESEE = central, eastern, and southeastern Europe.many economies in the region. It exceeded 30 percent of GDP Finance & Development December 2012   45
  • 48. ates, as well as direct cross-border lending to large corpora- by exports rather than domestic demand booms fueled bytions. In Russia and Turkey, even though market penetration inflows of foreign capital.­of foreign banks is relatively low, local banks often supple- Countries have also embarked on programs to reducement their deposits by borrowing in international interbank their fiscal deficits. In the run-up to the 2008–09 crisis,and bond markets to fund domestic lending.­ public finances were weak, although a rise in boom-related These tight financial linkages portended a big impact tax revenues created the illusion of a strong fiscal position.on central, eastern, and southeastern Europe from shocks The end of the boom made it clear that the tax revenuesoriginating in western Europe. That is what happened dur- were largely temporary: in 2009 the region’s fiscal balanceing 2008–09. Before the Lehman Brothers failure, western swung from a surplus of 2 percent of GDP to a deficit ofEuropean parent banks financed the rapid expansion of 6 percent. But by 2011, after most countries implementeddomestic credit, which fueled an asset price and domestic large-scale fiscal consolidation, the region’s deficit wasdemand boom. But when the global crisis hit western Europe, reduced to ½ percent of GDP.­those flows suddenly stopped, plunging the region into a Still, many countries face considerable risks. The needdeep recession, which began to abate only after a revival of to refinance large external debt keeps borrowing require-exports to western Europe in 2010 (see Chart 2).­ ments high. Large stocks of foreign currency loans con- Despite these strong continuing connections between east- strain exchange rate and monetary policy. And Russiaern and western Europe, the euro area crisis that began two and Ukraine remain susceptible to declines in commodityyears ago has not had the same impact as the 2008–09 finan- prices. Fiscal deficits are still substantial in a number ofcial crisis. While borrowing costs in the countries in the euro countries, despite fiscal consolidation efforts to reduce defi-area periphery—first Greece, then Ireland, then Portugal— cits and debt. And banking systems are saddled with a largerose relentlessly to reflect rising concerns of investors, rela- stock of nonperforming loans—a problem that did not existtive borrowing costs for countries in central and eastern prior to 2008.­Europe remained flat or continued to decline as the regionclimbed out of the deep recession.­ A whiff of contagion The main reason the region was so little affected by the The limits to the region’s resilience were tested in the secondcurrent euro area crisis this time is the absence of large half of 2011, when the problems in the euro area escalated.imbalances. In 2007 and 2008, the region was vulnerable Euro area banks came under significant funding pressure.to a sudden stop in capital inflows because countries were In response they pulled back on foreign funding operations.borrowing considerable amounts from abroad (mainly Foreign banks reduced their financing to central, eastern, Bakker, 10/18/12Bakker, 10/18/12in western Europe) to finance their large cur-from banks and southeastern Europe by 6½ percent between June andrent account deficits. By 2011, a large portion of these December—compared with about a 3 percent reduction forimbalances had disappeared (see Chart 3). Today, econo- Africa, the Middle East, and the Asia Pacific region and anmies are not overheating, and growth is increasingly driven increase of 2 percent for Latin America and the Caribbean.­ Chart 2 Chart 3 Pulling back Disappearing deficits Banks in advanced economies sharply increased their lending to In 2007 countries in central, eastern, and southeastern Europe central, eastern, and southeastern Europe until the financial were running sizable current account deficits that shrank crisis that began with the failure of Lehman Brothers in dramatically by 2011. September 2008. (current account deficit, percent of GDP) (lending by advanced economy banks to the region, billion dollars) 40 1,000 35 To all sectors (exchange rate adjusted) 2011 30 To all sectors 2007 800 25 To banks (exchange rate adjusted) To banks 20 600 15 10 400 5 0 200 –5 -5 –10 -10 ia ia y ia ic a ia ia ia a ic ia d e a ia y s a ia ro o ss on gar ar bl ni at tv an ni bl an an ain vin rb rke aru dov an eg sov 0 Ru Est Hun Bulg RepuSlove Cro La ithu cedoRepuRom Pol Ukr zego Se Tu Bel Mol Alb nten Ko 2003 05 07 09 11 k L a h er Mo va R M ec dH Source: BIS. Slo FY Cz an ia Note: The chart covers banks that have international operations in the countries that are sn Bo members of the BIS, an international central bank for domestic central banks. Exchange rate Source: IMF, World Economic Outlook database. adjustments try to eliminate any change in valuation that occurs because of changes in Note: The current account measures a country’s income from exports, investments abroad, and exchange rates for data reported in a common currency, in this case the U.S. dollar. cash transfers from other countries minus expenditures on imports, income transferred to foreign owners of domestic investments, and cash transfers abroad.46   Finance & Development December 2012
  • 49. Although that funding squeeze was partly offset by local Europe would be severely affected through both trade anddeposit growth and an increase in lending by local banks, financial channels. Exports would suffer if euro area growthcredit growth was negative in the Baltic countries, Hungary, declined rapidly, financial markets strains would intensify,Montenegro, and Slovenia.­ parent bank funding would likely be scaled back, and capital The funding squeeze for the region eased when the European inflows would drop—further affecting domestic demand.­Central Bank (ECB) offered banks unlimited liquidity at low The region is in better shape than in 2008, when it was aninterest for a period of three years in late 2011 and early 2012. accident waiting to happen. Large imbalances had made theDespite the recent improvements in financial markets, growth . . . hasslowed sharply this year—a spillover from the recession in the euro area.The July 2012 commitment by ECB President Mario Draghi to area very vulnerable to a sudden stop in capital inflows. This“do whatever it takes to preserve the euro” further eased mar- is no longer the case—the likelihood of home-grown crises isket anxieties and helped relieve funding pressure.­ much reduced.­ Despite the recent improvements in financial markets, But this does not mean that the region is fully sheltered—growth in the region has slowed sharply this year—a spillover it could still be affected by what happens in the euro area.from the recession in the euro area. The IMF, in its October Despite its newfound resilience, the region could be quickly2012 World Economic Outlook, projects growth in central, overwhelmed by a worsening of the euro area crisis. Thateastern, and southeastern Europe of only 2.8 percent, down underscores the continuing need to rebuild buffers and honefrom 4.9 percent in 2011.­ Moreover, tight trade and financial linkages keep the region crisis preparedness.­■at risk from renewed deterioration in the euro area. If the euro Bas B. Bakker is an Advisor and Christoph Klingen is aarea crisis were to intensify, central, eastern, and southeastern Deputy Chief, both in the IMF’s European Department.­ Finance & Development December 2012   47
  • 50. Bergljot Barkbu and Jesmin RahmanReconfiguring Growth Vacant apartment blocks in Toledo Province near Madrid, Spain.To stimulate E uropean policymakers have time to bear fruit, and the need for growth long known that the EU economy is immediate. As a result, to generate growthgrowth, the needs fundamental structural and jobs now, longer-term structural changeseuro area changes. Aware that Europe was must be combined with shorter-term mea- lagging the United States, the European sures to support demand. To anchor thesemust combine Union launched the Lisbon Strategy in 2000 efforts and restore confidence in the viabilityaggressive to make the region “the most competitive of the currency union, the euro area should and dynamic knowledge-based economy in move toward a more complete union.­structural reform the world, capable of sustainable economic European policymakers have taken unprec-and policies to growth with more and better jobs and great- edented action in response to the crisis, both er social cohesion” by 2010.­ at the central and individual country level.promote demand Well before the current crisis, Jean-Claude The elements of a solution are there, but fur- Trichet, then head of the European Central ther implementation is needed.­ Bank, wrote, “There are four key priorities for reform in Europe, namely, getting people What caused the problem? into work, increasing competition, unlocking Lack of growth in some parts of the euro area business potential, and supporting an inno- stems both from severe imbalances in trade and vative environment” (OECD, 2005).­ capital flows that built up after the adoption of Indeed, according to our research, the the common currency and from weaknesses long-term gains from product and labor mar- caused by lack of competitiveness, particularly ket reforms are substantial and offer a much- on the labor front, reinforced by higher price needed opportunity to increase Europe’s increases and labor costs in southern countries growth potential. Moreover, a simultaneous since the beginning of the monetary union.­ EU-wide push for reform could lead to posi- Problems with the labor market are well tive spillovers across countries.­ known. They include, for example, hiring The ongoing euro area crisis underlines the and firing difficulties, high minimum wages, importance of reforms—but also increases centralized wage bargaining, and restricted the complexity of achieving them. Without access to jobs and certain markets.­ an independent exchange rate, structural To lift growth, policymakers must tackle reforms must take the lead when it comes both imbalances and weak competitiveness.­ to delivering relative price adjustment for During the past decade, euro area coun- individual countries. But reforms often take tries have gone in different directions in pur- 48   Finance & Development December 2012
  • 51. suit of growth. Exports drove growth in northern euro area wages over employment have held down productivity, incountries like Germany and the Netherlands, while south- turn keeping growth low. To make employers more ame-ern countries, such as Greece and Spain, relied on domestic nable to hiring, certain structural aspects of the labordemand. Not surprisingly, current account balances and rela- market must be changed, including moderating minimumtive prices, including nominal wages, have progressed dif- wages, decentralizing collective bargaining, phasing outferently in what are effectively two subregions—North and closed professions, relaxing job protection, and increasingSouth. Demand in southern countries was financed largely job training. These actions are different from macroeco-by borrowing from the northern countries. The southerncountries had big current account deficits, while the north-ern countries ran surpluses.­ To lift growth, policymakers must Once the crisis struck, the southern countries were hit intwo ways. They had to begin reducing their accumulated tackle both imbalances and weakimbalances as private capital flows and credit growth slowed,hurting growth. At the same time, markets started differentiat- competitiveness.­ing between surplus and deficit countries—pushing up privateand public sector borrowing costs in countries with deficits.­ A large share of new employment in southern euro area nomic policies, which involve monetary or fiscal policycountries was in cyclical sectors, such as real estate, which instruments, such as reducing the interest rate or bringingrode the wave of rapid credit growth that accompanied the the budget into balance.economic boom.­ Empirical evidence shows that product market reforms, As credit dried up and the economic boom gave way to such as reducing barriers to competition and improving thedeep recession, unemployment surged in the southern euro business environment, can lift growth substantially. Laborarea countries. The disparate growth strategy in the euro area market reforms, in addition to raising growth and employ-has left southern countries with large imbalances, an unsus- ment in the long term, can help achieve price realignmenttainable debt burden, and limited space for policy adjustment. and restore some countries’ lost competitiveness by givingAlthough these countries reversed some of their imbalances employers more flexibility in hiring and firing and keepingand competitiveness gaps in past years, the improvement was wage growth under control.­achieved largely through labor shedding. More relative price Holding down nominal wages and using taxation to adjustadjustment is needed. Unemployment remains at unprec- relative prices between consumption and labor—techni-edented levels and market access is severely limited. As a cally known as fiscal devaluation—can help accelerate thisresult, growth prospects are dismal (see Chart 1).­ rebalancing process. Reallocation across sectors could be These are not simply short-term difficulties: they are supported by more active policies at the central EU level,fundamental barriers to long-term growth in the euro area. including targeting investment and leveraging EU-wide Barkbu, 10/24/12For example, Italy’s energy prices are among the highest in funding resources.­Europe, reflecting limited competition and inadequate infra- Europe’s experience shows that structural reform can yieldstructure; in Spain, reforms of the goods and service markets a strong payoff (see Box 1), and most empirical studies pointwould not only help raise its growth potential, it would alsoaccelerate employment recovery.­ These structural flaws prevented the euro area from Chart 1keeping up with other major economies—particularly the Growing gapUnited States—over the past three decades, even though EUgrowth has been relatively inclusive. Falling trend growth Growth in Europe, especially in the south, is projected to divergein the euro area reflects for the most part declining produc- sharply from that in the United States. (real GDP index, peak = 100)tivity growth, especially in southern countries. In addition, 110 Projectionslower labor utilization (or productive hours worked)—astructural aspect of many European economies—explainsmuch of the difference in the GDP per capita level between 105the euro area and the United States. 100 United StatesWill deep reforms make a difference? Euro areaBecause many of the euro area’s underlying problems are 95fundamental in nature, fixing them requires structural Euro area (south)reform—action to correct long-brewing problems that ema-nate from certain underlying features of the economy.­ 90 Q4 08 09 10 11 12 13 For example, studies of Europe find that strong employ- 2007ment protection, longer and more generous unemploy- Source: IMF, World Economic Outlook database.ment benefits, and collective bargaining systems that favor Finance & Development December 2012   49
  • 52. to labor and product market reforms’ positive long-term The gains increase by another 2¼ percent if product marketeffects on productivity, growth, and employment.­ reforms are also pursued (see Chart 2).­ To compare short- and long-term impacts, we simu- Other analyses reach similar conclusions. For example,lated the effects of individual structural reforms on out- the OECD found that comprehensive and ambitious reformsput using the IMF’s Global Integrated Monetary and Fiscal would add 1 percentage point a year to GDP growth formodel (GIMF—see Box 2). The Organization for Economic 10 years in most euro area countries (OECD, 2012).­Cooperation and Development (OECD) has identified best These potential gains are substantial, but the effort requiredpractices in labor and product markets and pension policies. to implement them is also large and the payoff is modest inOur study found that if euro area countries made changes the very short run, particularly for product market reforms,that close by 50 percent the gap between their labor market which take time to put in place. Because product markets lagand pension policies and OECD best practices, GDP would best practice more than labor markets, focusing reform inrise on average by almost 1½ percent over a five-year period. that area appears to yield a considerably higher return. Our simulation results also point to sizable mutually rein- Box 1 forcing effects from a broad spectrum of reform. For exam- Payoff from reform ple, a country that works to close only the gap in its labor The Netherlands in the 1980s and Sweden in the 1990s are market is expected to experience a smaller growth payoff examples of how reforms can turn poor economic perfor- than one that makes an effort to close the gap in its product mance around.­ markets as well.­ Before the reforms, both countries experienced a prolonged Moreover, reforms in one country can also help other period of subpar performance. When the malaise was further countries, mainly through increased trade and productivity exacerbated by a deep recession (Netherlands, 1980–82) or a spillovers. If Spain reforms its labor market, that has a posi- banking crisis (Sweden, 1990–92), policies shifted course, and tive effect on growth in the rest of the euro area. Generally over a decade, extensive macroeconomic policy and supply- speaking, the analysis shows that southern euro area countries side reforms were implemented. The public expenditure–to- would gain more from reforms in northern countries than GDP ratio was lowered significantly, allowing a reduction in northern countries would benefit from reforms in the south. both the high fiscal deficit and high taxes; labor markets were That’s because the northern euro area countries have bigger made more flexible, and the incentives to work increased; economies and higher productivity levels.­ and product markets were reformed to boost competition. But reforms are unlikely to deliver a sufficient boost to Sweden has experienced two decades of rapid growth, and the short-run activity during the current economic slump. And Netherlands is renowned for its employment miracle. implementing them during a downturn may be more dif- What are the lessons of these experiences for other ficult than in better times. Structural reforms such as those countries? of product and labor markets are geared toward improving First, reforms are country specific. In the Netherlands, competition and productivity, thereby enhancing an econo- Barkbu, 10/24/12 reforms focused on increasing the very low employment rate my’s supply side, and may yield no payoff in the short run if (the result of too rapid wage increases); in Sweden, reforms focused on boosting dismal productivity growth (which was aggregate demand is weak and there is excess capacity. held back by outdated industries and excessive regulation). For example, adapting employment protection may not In Sweden, large downward adjustment in the real effective stimulate hiring in the short term, but might in fact increase exchange rate resulting from currency depreciation helped jump-start the economy. Reforms in both countries, however, Chart 2 had common elements—reducing the role of the government in Making change the economy, increasing competition, and changing incentives.­ If euro area countries implement reforms that match OECD Second, reforms need to adapt over time, as bottlenecks best practices, GDP could increase significantly. change. In the Netherlands, the problem initially was a lack of (type of reform) demand for labor, so policies focused on reducing wage costs. As employment expanded, reforms shifted to boosting labor Labor market supply.­ Year 1 Third, the full impact of reforms builds up over time. Year 5 Pension Box 2 Tax The model The Global Integrated Monetary and Fiscal model (GIMF) is Product market a general equilibrium model that is used extensively inside the IMF, and at a small number of central banks, for policy 0 1 2 3 and risk analysis involving a number of countries.­ Impact of structural reforms on real GDP, percentage points The traditional strength of the GIMF is its usefulness in Source: Authors’ calculations based on the IMF’s Global Integrated Monetary and fiscal policy analysis and the study of macrofinancial linkages.­ FIscal model.50   Finance & Development December 2012
  • 53. unemployment as employers shed excess workers without consistent with rapid fiscal consolidation where market pres-penalty. Similarly, reducing unemployment insurance or rais- sure is severe and gradual consolidation elsewhere, allowinging the retirement age would reduce the disposable income automatic stabilizers to work and for adjustment to be asof those induced to seek work who do not find it. But these growth-friendly as possible.­changes are critical to reinvigorate trend growth.­ Reducing the imbalances within Europe will be less dis- ruptive to economic activity if relative prices adjust further.­Policy options Since the beginning of the monetary union, southernSo what can be done? Against a backdrop of low trend euro area countries’ more rapid increases in prices and laborgrowth, competitiveness problems in several countries, and costs have rendered those countries noncompetitive. Somethe need for fiscal consolidation to reduce unsustainable debt of this competitiveness gap has been reversed over the pastand large deficits, the euro area must take a multipronged few years, but more is needed to channel additional externalapproach. But trying to grow out of the crisis with a precrisis demand to the south and preserve the common currency.­growth model based on vibrant domestic demand in south- Prices in southern Europe must increase less than pricesern countries would be an illusion. It proved to be an unsus- in the north, which calls for nominal wage restraint in thetainable strategy.­ south and wage growth in line with productivity in the First, structural reforms should be put in place quickly north (see Chart 3).­because they take time to deliver their full potential. Some Third, the euro area needs to move unequivocally towardcountries, particularly in the south, have made noteworthy a more complete union (see IMF, 2012). To build on recentprogress in the past couple years, but there are still signifi- policy progress, which has helped reduce risks, Europe needscant gaps between actual and potentially growth-maximizing to deliver on commitments already made to move towardbenchmarks. Barkbu, Rahman, and Valdés (2012) discuss more supportive pan-European policies and repair the bro-progress so far and lay out concrete and country-specific ken monetary transmission mechanism.­reform priorities for all euro area countries.­ The first building blocks of a banking union agreed at the In the southern euro area, structural policies must improve June 2012 EU summit—a single supervisory framework—mustthe efficiency of tradable goods production to help restore be implemented and complemented with a euro-area-widecompetitiveness. Elsewhere, policy must open up business deposit insurance program and bank resolution mechanismopportunity in the service sector to boost potential growth.­ with adequate common backstops.­ Labor market reforms should be country specific, targeted To reduce the tendency for economic shocks in one coun-toward relative price adjustment in the south and increased try to imperil the euro area as a whole, greater fiscal integra-labor force participation in the north.­ tion—combining stronger central governance with more risk Second, to avoid unduly harsh contractions that are very sharing—must accompany the banking union.­Barkbu, to reverse, these reforms should be complemented byhard 10/24/12 In addition, any sensible strategy must acknowledge thatpolicies that boost aggregate demand in the short run. This some of the current poor performance is unavoidable asis not a recommendation for simple fiscal stimulus, but a way a number of countries correct the excesses of the past. Theto counteract factors that make reform more difficult. It is region must repair its balance sheets and reduce excessive borrowing, with its negative short-term implications for eco- Chart 3 nomic activity. Bank deleveraging—a necessary unwinding Reversing differentials of the precrisis credit boom—higher private sector saving, and unavoidable fiscal consolidation to reduce debt and defi- To correct imbalances, inflation must rise in northern Europe cits are continued powerful headwinds to growth.­ and fall in the south, channelling demand from the former to Combined with structural and selective demand policies to the latter. (northern and southern euro area inflation rates, percent) boost growth and correct the competitiveness gap, firm com- mitments by policymakers to a more solid union will lift con- ■ 5 4 fidence and support the recovery.­ Northern euro area 3 Bergljot Barkbu and Jesmin Rahman are Senior Economists in 2 Euro area inflation the IMF’s European Department.­ 1 0 References: Southern euro area –1 Barkbu, Bergljot, Jesmin Rahman, Rodrigo Valdés, and a staff team, –2 2012, “Fostering Growth in Europe Now,” IMF Staff Discussion Note 12/07 (Washington: International Monetary Fund).­ –3 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 International Monetary Fund (IMF), 2012, Euro Area Policies: 2012 Years Article IV Consultation, IMF Country Report 12/181 (Washington).­ Sources: IMF, Information Notice System; and authors’ calculations. Note: Combinations of inflation rates (consistent with a 2 percent euro area average) Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and the number of years required to close the accumulated gap in real effective exchange 2005, OECD Observer (Paris).­ rates since 1998. ———, 2012, OECD Economic Surveys: Euro Area (Paris).­ Finance & Development December 2012   51
  • 54. Japanese Youth Speak Out A student essay contest for Japanese university students, organized by the IMF, the Japanese Ministry of Finance, and the Bank of Japan, asked contestants to write about the global economy and the role of the IMF. The three winners were invited to participate in a Youth Dialogue panel at the 2012 IMF–World Bank Annual Meetings in Tokyo with IMF Deputy Managing Director Nemat Shafik and youth representatives from across Asia. Actually, the IMF should move forward and attach some- Tomoko Kaida is an international studies thing I call National Youth Policy Conditionality (NYPC) student at Kanazawa University, who has to its lending practices. Today, when lending funds, the colaunched a nonprofit to promote under- IMF looks for the readiness of a government to adjust standing between the  Japanese people and policies to deal with possible problems and repay loans. foreign nationals in Japan for educational and The IMF’s perspective should be expanded beyond clas- business purposes.­ sic economic policies. Governments that expect to receiveB IMF support in the future should have to show what kind eing young in a time of global economic crises is ex- of youth-friendly economic policies they have (or they tremely frustrating. You feel like an invisible observer are going to have) and that a respective portion of loan whose interests and future are at stake, yet you cannot funds received from the IMF will be invested in creation of influence events or partake in almost any way.­ opportunities for the youth. Extensive youth employment Young people in developed countries feel that it is likely that programs, formal education, and vocational projects, etc.,they shall be deprived from opportunities their fathers and should be looked at.­grandfathers had—while at the same time, youth in the under- Additionally, it should be noted that this concept has eco-developed and developing world disappointedly consider that nomic logical advantages for the IMF. By attaching NYPC totheir future is not going to be as bright as they expected.­ its loan policies, the IMF will motivate countries to invest in I would say that this sums up the youth perspective on the the generation that (likely) will repay the loan. In that waycurrent shape of the global economy.­ the IMF will secure repayment, which is naturally, in the The IMF has a clear mandate, among other things, to pro- long term, in accordance with its business interest. At themote global macroeconomic stability. With its instruments, same time, the youth of the loan-taking countries will haveit financially stabilizes and alleviates economic conditions of a sense of ownership and inclusion. Looking back they’llstates (and their citizens) and saves them from monetary failure. say: “Yes, we remember, a portion of this and that IMF loanAccordingly, the position and responsibility of the IMF in the was invested in (our) future, and we believe that is legitimatestabilization of the global economy is noteworthy. Yet, although debt—we actually personally benefited from it.”there are some positive developments (such as the IMF Youth To conclude, the IMF’s attempts to augment the role ofDialogue Initiative), there is just too little “youth” in the poli- the youth in tackling worrying economic issues of today arecies and practices of the IMF. Though financial stabilization of duly noted. Yet much more IMF corporate youth conscien-a country generally has a positive effect on the level of employ- tiousness is expected, and I took the liberty of christening ■ment of its population, including youth, it is just not enough, it IMF Global Youth Responsibility (GYR).The youth of theand the IMF should become much more youth sensitive.­ world are expecting it. A s a chemistry major at Yale, I admit I occasion- Daisuke Gatanaga is a chemistry student ally found myself too enraptured in my studies at Yale University. He studied in Kyoto, of electrons and protons to care about much else. Japan, in summer 2011 and interned at This summer however, I stepped outside the insular the United Nations World Food Programme world of the chemistry lab to intern at the WFP. The images (WFP) at the United Nations University in that I encountered through my work there were breathtaking Tokyo in summer 2012.­ and alarming. In the Sahel, mothers boil otherwise inedible52   Finance & Development December 2012
  • 55. toxic plants, trying desperately to provide their children with crises differ from country to country, it seems apparent, espe-meager amounts of food. In South Sudan, violence has erupted cially in light of the 2007–08 global financial crisis, that flagsover poor harvests displacing many and leaving them with little were raised around the world. Given that internationalizationhope or livelihood. Around the world, these food crises have continues to link national economies into international net- works, global institutions such as the IMF must play essential roles in macroprudential supervision and in ensuring univer-The IMF must not forget that the sal economic growth and financial stability. At the same time, however, it is critical that the IMF not forget—amid the objec-economy affects real people. tive numbers and data and calculations that go into monetary surveillance and analysis—that the economy affects real people,been exacerbated by economic conditions, including high in- that there are real voices behind such statistics.­flation, rising food and fuel prices, and volatile global markets.­ I believe the role of the IMF, then, is to be a medium through Having lived the majority of my life relatively comfortably in which people around the world—including young adults likedeveloped countries such as the United States and Japan, I can me—can voice their opinions and engage in bilateral conver-hardly fathom the distress of lacking even basic subsistence. sation. As an international monetary institution, the IMF isPerhaps I should even feel grateful that the worst my family uniquely situated to provide such a forum, incorporating asuffered in the recent global economic crisis was the loss of wide range of people from a spectrum of backgrounds. Onlymy father’s job last year. But even that, inevitably, wrought a when people feel they have a stake and a voice in the futurenumbing apprehension and gloom on my family as my father is there hope of international cooperation and understanding,faced a seemingly cold and unsympathetic job market.­ or any prospect of eliminating the deficiencies in information, I cannot profess to be able to propose groundbreaking advice communication, and transparency that spurred past economicto solve such economic problems. But my own experiences with crises. In a world that is becoming increasingly interconnected,the WFP and with my father’s unemployment have illuminated my conviction is that the IMF provides a foundation frompersonally the realities of today’s global financial system and which we can look to the future with optimism as we strive toits recent financial crises. Though the reverberations of these forge international monetary cooperation.­ ■ economies claim that the overflow of money resulting from those policies is harmful to them because it induces infla- Kenji Nakada is an undergraduate economics tion. In my opinion, monetary authorities of industrialized student at the University of Tokyo from Shizuoka, countries should take this complaint more seriously, since, Japan, who has interned with Citigroup, The in a globalized world, setbacks to emerging economies badly Economist, and the Bank of Japan. affect other economies via export channels. The IMF could have initiated international policy coordination in G20 meet-I ings, for instance, to make monetary policies more effective n this essay, I argue that the IMF can, with some im- in industrialized economies and at the same time less harm- provements, contribute more effectively to the global ful to emerging economies.­ economy as a platform for international dialogue. I first The IMF is eligible for this role because it has two advan- point out several changes in the economic environment tages over other international financial institutions. The firstbrought by globalization. Next, I adduce a recent example of is its outstanding research capability backed by the Article IVan international monetary problem in which the IMF could consultations. Based on its own research, the IMF can providehave played an important role, and then propose points of im- consistent interpretation of economic situations and thus set aprovement to ensure its vigorous contribution.­ benchmark for dialogue among countries. The second advan- Globalization brings about strong connections between tage is the funds it has. The IMF can motivate cooperative poli-economies, in which three Ds—dependence, diversity, and cies by providing financial contributions and is the only existingdispute—prevail. In a globalized world, economies are interde- institution that can afford such incentives. Despite these advan-pendent and communities diversified. Dependence and diver- tages, the IMF has to change. The research capability shouldsity often entail the other D, dispute. As became apparent in be enhanced to tackle increasingly sophisticated problems.the wake of the current financial crisis, there are countless eco- Furthermore, it is critically important that the IMF be regardednomic disputes around the world—about currency regimes, as truly fair and neutral so that its research and proposals arecross-border capital flows, bank regulation, current account fully trusted. If these improvements are made, I believe the IMFimbalances. The new generation has to work together to settle can function better to stabilize the financial system.­these disputes, and I believe the key to solution is the fourth D, The further globalization progresses, the more impor-dialogue. International dialogue improves mutual understand- tant the role of the IMF to facilitate international dialogueing among countries, which is a basis for financial stability.­ becomes. Through this role, the IMF can encourage coopera- A recent dispute in which the IMF could have played an tion among shareholders of the global monetary system and,important role is about monetary policy. In response to the by doing so, it can help economies benefit from globalization ■ongoing crisis, industrialized countries have adopted aggres- while avoiding downsides. This, I believe, will lead to finan-sive monetary policies to underpin growth. Some emerging cial stability and a healthier world economy.­ Finance & Development December 2012   53
  • 56. BOOK REVIEWSCredit-Welfare Trade-offMonica Prasad spur growth and raise living stan- dards. The role of easy credit—fromThe Land of Too Much federal housing and college loanAmerican Abundance and the programs to private sector innova-Paradox of Poverty tions such as installment buying andHarvard University Press, Cambridge, credit cards—in U.S. prosperity isMassachusetts, 2012, 344 pp., $39.95 also well known.­(cloth).­ Prasad’s achievement is that sheE asy credit has been the U.S. takes these arguments farther. First, alternative to a welfare she convincingly demonstrates that state. The United States has the United States went well beyondmore poverty and a less-developed other countries in regulating the mar-welfare state than western Europe and welfare, according to Prasad, is ket—from food safety to banking—tobecause it chose between the 1890s that European countries restrained protect consumers and foster con-and 1930s to promote consumption- wage growth and consumption to sumption. Second, she makes the casedriven economic growth made facilitate higher investment in social that government went to great lengthspossible by easily available credit. spending, while the United States to facilitate private borrowing forSo argues Monica Prasad, a North- developed a more rudimentary home ownership, college, and otherwestern University sociologist, in her welfare state that has left more of its consumption—from the Federalcompelling new book.­ population poor.­ Housing Authority’s institutional- Prasad presents interlocking argu- Prasad traces these differences to izing low-down-payment long-termments about credit, taxation, con- late 19th and early 20th century agri- mortgages to tax policy that madesumption, regulation, welfare state cultural overproduction that led to mortgage interest (and, for a while,development, interest-group poli- bouts of deflation and the concurrent other types of interest) tax deductible.tics, overproduction, and poverty in growth of large industrial enterprises. Third, she says that a political coali-explicating the past 120 years of U.S. This galvanized agrarian reformers tion of Democrats and farm-stateeconomic history and how it differs such as the Populists and their succes- Republicans led the United States,from that of continental Europe. She sors to advocate for regulation and a in the 1920s and 1930s, to develop aasserts that the United States is not progressive income tax system, rather progressive income tax rather than a national sales tax, which would have dampened consumption.­The United States is not the laissez-faire Prasad’s history leapfrogs from the early New Deal to the 1970s,market economy of political lore; it has a strong when economic stagnation led both Republicans and Democrats tointerventionist history. deregulate finance to make credit even more available. At this point,the laissez-faire market economy of than more regressive but more effi- we come to the familiar tale ofpolitical lore; it has a strong inter- cient consumption taxes. The course Americans taking on too much debt,ventionist history characterized by of reform in the United States between leading to speculative bubbles and themore regulation and more-progres- the 1890s and 1930s, from William 2008 financial meltdown.­sive taxation than France, Germany, Jennings Bryan to Huey Long and History is where Prasad’s bookor Scandinavia.­ Franklin Roosevelt, becomes the story runs into problems. She fails to Whereas Europeans, particularly of democratizing credit so much that address the fact that the U.S. economysince World War II, constructed mid-20th century U.S. growth was boomed during the period of exten-elaborate welfare states that provided propelled by what Prasad calls “mort- sive welfare-state development—fromuniversal health care, generous pub- gage Keynesianism.” the Social Security Act through thelic pensions and social insurance, Historians such as Lizabeth Cohen Great Society. And her argument thatand redistributive social spending, and Meg Jacobs have argued that regressive taxation contributes tothe United States has used regulatory U.S. policymakers from Franklin flourishing European social welfareand tax policy to stimulate consump- Roosevelt to Richard Nixon devoted states raises questions about why thetion and economic growth. The flip themselves to increasing mass pur- shift toward less-progressive taxes inside of this trade-off between credit chasing power and consumption to the United States since 1981 has ush-54   Finance & Development December 2012
  • 57. ered in not growth but scaling back in backfired,” but the regulatory inter- United States in lifting their peopleU.S. public benefits.­ ventions of the Progressive and New out of poverty.­ Prasad also assigns too much Deal eras were not intended to reduce The book is occasionally repetitive,influence to the Populists and poverty. The extension of credit and the author makes several oddearly 20th century agrarians, and may have served as an alternative to assertions. For example, she says thatconflates these very different welfare, but it too was intended to France created the “neoliberal finan-movements with those of urban fuel growth, not alleviate poverty. In cial architecture of the 1990s,” thatProgressive and New Deal reform- addition, although European welfare the U.S. labor movement opposed aers. While the United States has states have more successfully used national sales tax for “pro-capitalist”been an outlier in developing credit social spending to reduce poverty reasons, and that the U.S. Affordableto promote consumption, as the and inequality, America’s steep pro- Care Act has achieved “universalauthor says, government policy has gressive income tax in the 1950s and health insurance.”not been the only driver. Innovative 1960s and the more recent Earned Nonetheless, many of Prasad’sbusiness leaders, including depart- Income Tax Credit have reduced arguments about the trade-offment store magnates and Henry poverty and inequality through their between credit and welfare and aboutFord, shrewdly saw the value of redistributive effects.­ the effects of the U.S. strong regula-extending credit to customers, and It is unclear how applicable tory state and its progressive tax poli-working-class movements did much Prasad’s thesis is to developing cies (until recent decades) are elegantto spur the democratization of credit economies whose welfare states, and thought provoking. Although itthrough the creation of building and regulation, and credit are typically lacks policy recommendations, thisloan associations and credit unions.­ weak. Brazil and China have fol- book certainly will stimulate debate Moreover, Prasad’s argument about lowed periods of rapid growth and over ways developed economies canpoverty, while provocative, is not poverty reduction with expanded provide that rare trifecta of growth,well developed, and she glosses over social welfare programs, but the social justice, and economic stability.­questions of distribution. Prasad jury is out as to whether they will be Raymond Offenheiserasserts that “progressive interventions as successful as Scandinavia or the President, Oxfam AmericaMonetary Bliss: Bringing Currencies Together European Monetary Union (EMU) The origins of the eurozone crisis with a thought-provoking account of are explained in this informative its origin, performance, and prob- study of the Committee of Central lems. This in-depth history will ap- Bank Governors, which became the peal to academic readers looking for European Central Bank. The book extensive details about the EMU.­ follows the process from prepara- This fascinating and well-written tion to execution of the concept of book couldn’t be timelier. Well European monetary union and a organized, thorough, and filled with common currency.­ historical facts, it explores the EMU’s Here is an account that helps political and economic roots. readers understand the European When almost 10 years of relative ease monetary crisis in depth, by trac- for the EMU’s single currency came ing behind-the-scenes negotiations. to an abrupt end with the start of the As this book makes clear, it was theHarold James Greek debt crisis in 2010, the debate constant tension between politi- over the euro’s sustainability quickly cians and technocrats that shapedMaking the European turned to the question of whether there the euro.­Monetary Union can be a monetary union without some The EMU was an enormous under-Belknap Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, sort of fiscal union.­ taking, and it continues to work2012, 592 pp., $35.00 (cloth).P According to James, Europe’s finan- toward ensuring European price rinceton History Professor cial crisis cannot be blamed on the stability among members by integrat- Harold James’s Making the euro. The current crisis goes deeper, ing monetary systems and by means European Monetary Union to a series of problems that were of a major cross-national currency,combines a concise historical narra- debated but not resolved at the time the euro. Drawing on newly avail-tive of the events leading up to the of the euro’s creation.­ able archives from the Committee Finance & Development December 2012   55
  • 58. BOOK REVIEWSof Central Bank Governors and peace in Europe has largely disap- The constant media reports of thethe Delors Committee of 1988–89, peared. Given fading desire for full EMU’s immediate demise continueJames shows that although the EMU political union, the euro project has unabated, and there are no quick fixes to this complex situation. The book covers the historical circum-It was the constant tension between politicians stances that produced the EMU andand technocrats that shaped the euro. the euro after decades of European cooperation toward ending centu- lost the prospect of a stable platform ries of intra-European conflict. Ithas grown and evolved, the lack of in the foreseeable future.­ also offers a balanced treatment ofcoordination in policymaking, com- From the outset the euro was a con- the current financial crisis. James’splex decision making, and the sheer troversial construct. Design flaws in book is an essential reference fornumber of interrelationships between the euro zone were well known from everyone with an interest in themonetary and economic variables its inception—including a lack of fis- EMU—whatever their politicalhave led to serious problems.­ cal union and no mechanisms to deal position. It will appeal to euro The EMU was originally seen as with asymmetric shocks and diverging enthusiasts, euro skeptics, and euroanother stepping stone to a politically competitiveness. However, political realists alike.­unified Europe. Yet with the fall ofthe Berlin Wall, the disintegration of imperatives trumped economic con- John Ryanthe Soviet Union, and the unification cerns in the creation of a united states Fellow, Centre for Internationalof Germany, the need for European of Europe, and the euro was the show- Studies, London School ofpolitical union as a means to ensure piece of this political project.­ Economics and Political Science Dismal science? IMF Listen to our podcast interviews with top economic experts and decide: www.imf.org/podcasts56   Finance & Development December 2012
  • 59. INDEX 2012 VOLUME 49 A Luc Eyraud and Benedict Clements, Going Services, September; Investing in People,Hisham Allam, Daria Sito-Sucic, Barbara Green, June December Fraser, Jacqueline Deslauriers, Julian G Eswar Prasad and Lei Ye, Will the Renminbi Ryall, Wale Fatade, and Tolu Ogunlesi, Rule? March Panayotis Gavras, Ratings Game, March Voices of Youth, March Marina Primorac, Good Works, December Gaston Gelos and Yulia Ustyugova, WhenRabah Arezki, Klaus Deininger, and Harris R Commodity Prices Surge, December Selod, The Global Land Rush, March Natalie Ramírez-Djumena, Picture This: Atish Rex Ghosh, And the Walls CameRabah Arezki, Arnaud Dupuy, and Alan Water for People, June Tumbling Down, March Gelb, Spend or Send, December Martin Ravallion, A Relative Question, Jeanne Gobat, Back to Basics: What Is aPaul Ashin, Dirty Money, Real Pain, June December Bank? MarchIrena Asmundson and Ceyda Oner, Back to Tamara Razin, Marcelo Dinenzon, and Geoff Gottlieb, Gregorio Impavido, and Basics: What Is Money? September Martin McCanagha, Data Spotlight: G7 Anna Ivanova, Taxing Finance, September B Borrowing from Abroad, June HBack to Basics: What Is a Bank? March; What Ana Revenga and Sudhir Shetty, Empowering Thomas Helbling, Commodities in Boom, Are Money Markets? June; What Is Money? Women Is Smart Economics, March June September; What Is LIBOR? December James L. Rowe, Jr., The Crisis and Beyond, June Bernard Hoekman, Trade Policy: So Far SoBas B. Bakker and Christoph Klingen, S Good? June Sheltered from the Storm, December Alfred Schipke, Snapshot of AnotherAlicia Bárcena, Picture This: Growing Out of J Luis I. Jácome and Erlend W. Nier, Protecting Monetary Union, March Poverty, March Nemat Shafik, Straight Talk: StolenBergljot Barkbu and Jesmin Rahman, the Whole, March Sarwat Jahan and Brad McDonald, Dreams, March; Straight Talk: Rethinking Reconfiguring Growth, December Sustainable Development, DecemberSteven Barnett, Alla Myrvoda, and Malhar Bystanders at the Collapse, June Emmanuel Jimenez, Elizabeth M. King, and Anoop Singh, Sonali Jain-Chandra, and Nabar, Sino-Spending, September Adil Mohommad, Out of the Shadows,Francesca Bastagli, David Coady, and Jee-Peng Tan, Making the Grade, March June Sanjeev Gupta, Fair Share, December K Straight Talk: Stolen Dreams, March; AgeDavid E. Bloom, Youth in the Balance, March Meral Karasulu and Sergei Dodzin, Back on of Austerity, June; Fragmentation Risks,Nick Bloom, Mirko Draca, and John the Map, September September; Rethinking Sustainable Van Reenen, China Prompting Western Dean Karlan, Every Which Way We Can, Development, December Creativity, December December Murtaza Syed and James P. Walsh, The TigerNina Budina and Andrea Schaechter, Data Masahiro Kawai and Domenico Lombardi, and the Dragon, September Spotlight: Tracking Use of Fiscal Rules, Financial Regionalism, September John Kiff, Back to Basics: What Is LIBOR? V September December Dirk Van Damme, Corinne Heckmann,Adelheid Burgi-Schmelz and Alfredo M. Kalpana Kochhar, Pradeep Mitra, and and Elisabeth Villoutreix, Picture This: Leone, It All Falls into Place, September Reema Nayar, More Jobs, Better Jobs, June Investing in People, December CStijn Claessens, Shedding Debt, June Laura Kodres and Aditya Narain, Fixing theJeremy Clift, People in Economics: Minder of System, June BOOK REVIEWS the Gaps, June M. Ayhan Kose, Prakash Loungani, and Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson,Bill Clinton, The Power of Cooperation, Marco E. Terrones, Tracking the Global Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, December Recovery, June Prosperity, and Poverty, MarchDavid Coady, Valentina Flamini, and Matias L Olivier J. Blanchard, David Romer, A. Antonio, Fueling Risk, September Christine Lagarde, Straight Talk: Michael Spence, and Joseph E. Stiglitz,Carlo Cottarelli, Straight Talk: Age of Fragmentation Risks, September eds., In the Wake of the Crisis: Leading Austerity, June Prakash Loungani, People in Economics: Economists Reassess Economic Policy, March D An American Globalist, March; People in Janet Byrne (editor), The Occupy Handbook,Data Spotlight: G7 Borrowing from Abroad, Economics: A Project in Every Port, December June June; Tracking Use of Fiscal Rules, September; M Tyler Cowen, An Economist Gets Lunch, June Ballooning Balance Sheets, December Kishore Mahbubani, The Global Village Has Yegor Gaidar, Russia: A Long View,Ricardo Davico and Brian John Goldsmith, Arrived, September September Data Spotlight: Ballooning Balance Sheets, Camelia Minoiu, Caught in the Web, Jane Gleeson-White, Double Entry: How December September the Merchants of Venice Created ModernJ. Gregory Dees, Learning Laboratory, Hanan Morsy, Scarred Generation, March Finance, September December N Harold James, Making the EuropeanAsli Demirguc-Kunt and Leora Klapper, Malhar Nabar and Olaf Unteroberdoerster, Monetary Union, December Picture This: Access to Banking Services, A Change in Focus, September Paul Krugman, End This Depression Now! September P JuneKemal Derviș, World Economy: Convergence, Demetrios G. Papademetriou, Migration Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Reforming the Interdependence, and Divergence, Meets Slow Growth, September Unreformable: Lessons from Nigeria, September People in Economics: C. Fred Bergsten, SeptemberRandall Dodd, Back to Basics: What Are March; Laura D’Andrea Tyson, June; Monica Prasad, The Land of Too Much: Money Markets? June Justin Yifu Lin, September; Jeffrey Sachs, American Abundance and the Paradox of E December Poverty, DecemberMohamed A. El-Erian, Stable Disequilibrium, Picture This: Growing Out of Poverty, March; Robert J. Shiller, Finance and the Good June Water for People, June; Access to Banking Society, March Finance & Development December 2012   57
  • 60. Explore the IMF eLibrary See our recommended reading list at www.elibrary.imf.org/fd12 www.elibrary.imf.orgI N T E R N A T I O N A L M O N E T A R Y F U N D Finance & Development, December 2012 $8.00