Front Matter

Front Matter

Richard Bart, Chorng-Huey Wong, and Alan Roe
Published Date:
September 1994
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Coordinating Stabilization and Structural Reform


Richard C. Barth

Alan R. Roe

Chorng-Huey Wong

Proceedings of the seminar

Coordination of Structural Reform and Macroeconomic Stabilization

Washington, D.C.

June 17-26, 1993

IMF Institute

International Monetary Fund

Washington, D.C.

© 1994 International Monetary Fund

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Coordinating stabilization and structural reform : proceedings of the seminar Coordination of Structural Reform and Macroeconomic Stabilization, Washington, DC, June 17-26, 1993 / editors, Richard C. Barth, Alan R. Roe, Chorng-Huey Wong.

1. Structural adjustment (Economic policy)—Developing countries—Congresses. 2. Economic stabilization—Developing countries—Congresses. I. Barth, Richard C. (Richard Carl). II. Roe, Alan. III. Wong, Chorng-Huey.

HC59.7.C643 1994 94-23312

339.5’09172’4—dc20 CIP

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Over the last 15 years, policymakers have learned a great deal about growth-oriented adjustment programs. Among the lessons they have learned is that macroeconomic stability is as important to structural reform as structural reform is to macroeconomic stability. The evidence from an increasingly large number of programs designed to promote sustainable growth continues to reaffirm the interdependence of policies designed to improve market functioning and policies oriented toward reducing macroeconomic imbalances. The proceedings of the seminar presented here address this issue in the context of developing and transition economies.

The IMF Institute seminar on the coordination of structural reform and macroeconomic stabilization, held June 17–25, 1993 in Washington, D.C., was designed as a forum where senior officials from IMF member countries could exchange ideas with IMF staff and other professionals, and also among themselves. Like the seminar, the volume first presents an overview of the links between structural and macroeconomic policies. The chapters that follow provide a detailed discussion of selected areas of structural reform and describe how each type of reform affects and is affected by considerations of macroeconomic stabilization. The most important areas of structural reform are covered: the price system, tax and expenditure policy, exchange rate management, external trade, public enterprises, the financial sector, and social safety nets. Four case studies are presented that serve to illustrate the reform process in diverse economic settings. China and Poland, both transition economies, exemplify the gradual and “big bang” approaches, respectively. The case studies of Argentina, an upper-middle-income developing economy, and The Gambia, a low-income developing economy, discuss major structural reform programs in nontransition settings.

The seminar naturally generated a wide range of views. While there was general agreement among participants and speakers on some issues—for instance, on external sector liberalization, which was seen as an essential element of any reform program—there were some subjects on which no consensus could be reached. The closing panel discussion touched on these areas: the choice of exchange rate regime, the issue of sequencing, and social safety nets. While fiscal control was considered to be essential, speakers and participants offered diverse prescriptions for maintaining fiscal discipline. In the end, the ideas presented here may raise new questions, but I am confident that they will have advanced our understanding of the reform process.

Many people contributed to the success of the seminar on the Coordination of Structural Reform and Macroeconomic Stabilization and to the ensuing book. Much credit is due to our colleagues in the IMF and World Bank who participated in the seminar. Special thanks to Chorng-Huey Wong, who organized the seminar and served as its moderator; and to Alan Roe of the University of Warwick and Richard Barth, who edited the volume. Emily Chalmers and Tom Walter of the External Relations Department provided editorial assistance, and Evelyn McClung typed the manuscripts.

Patrick de Fontenay, Director

IMF Institute


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