Economic Premise

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The Economic Premise series summarizes good practices and key policy findings on topics related to economic policy. They are produced by the Poverty Reduction and Economic Management (PREM) Network Vice-Presidency of the World Bank.

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    Currency Wars Yesterday and Today
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2010-12) Brahmbhatt, Milan ; Canuto, Otaviano ; Ghosh, Swati
    An energetic debate on the danger of a global currency war has flared up in recent months, stoked by a renewed move to 'quantitative easing' in the United States, resurgent capital flows to developing countries and strong upward pressure on emerging market currencies. This economic premise views some of the arguments and concludes that the current United States monetary easing is a useful insurance policy against the risk of global deflation. But it is increasing pressure on developing countries to move toward greater monetary policy autonomy and exchange rate flexibility, as well as to undertake the institutional and structural policies needed to underpin such flexibility. Such reforms will take time.
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    Dealing with Dutch Disease
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2010-06) Brahmbhatt, Milan ; Canuto, Otaviano ; Vostroknutova, Ekaterina
    This note looks at so-called Dutch disease, a phenomenon reflecting changes in the structure of production in the wake of a favorable shock (such as a large natural resource discovery, a rise in the international price of an exportable commodity, or the presence of sustained aid or capital inflows). Where the natural resources discovered are oil or minerals, a contraction or stagnation of manufacturing and agriculture could accompany the positive effects of the shock, according to the theory. The note considers channels through which such natural resource wealth can affect the economy. It also focuses on the development implications of Dutch disease, particularly the potential negative effects related to productivity dynamics and volatility; and concludes with a summary of possible policy responses, including the mix of fiscal, exchange rate, and structural reform policies.
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    Natural Resources and Development Strategy after the Crisis
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2010-02) Brahmbhatt, Milan ; Canuto, Otaviano
    In this note the authors briefly review four questions: how dependent are developing countries on primary commodity exports? What is the outlook for primary commodity prices? Is there a natural resource "curse" (or blessing)? What policies can help poor countries best manage commodity resources for long-run development?