Sidney J. Gray and Helen Kang
This chapter explores accounting transparency as an important aspect of corporate accountability. After defining accounting transparency and identifying factors that influence it, the chapter considers the debate between providers and users of accounting information on how transparent accounting information should be defined, measured, and reported. It also discusses the roles of international standard-setting organizations in promoting accounting transparency as well as measures of accounting transparency, including disclosure level and market reactions. Finally, it looks at future prospects for setting international accounting standards, paying particular attention to International Financial Reporting Standards.
Alfred E. Eckes
This article deals with the administration of trade policy. It examines the individuals, ideas, and institutions that shape the trade regulation process. It focuses on the rules-based global trading system (World Trade Organization) and how the United States and other leading nations implement their obligations. It also provides readers with extensive bibliographical information, so that they can learn more about technical aspects of this broad subject.
Mark R. Thomas and Marcelo M. Giugale
African economies did not accumulate serious debt until the 1980s, when unprecedented export credits and development lending combined with slowing exports to send debt ratios climbing. This build-up became exponential in the 1990s. Influenced by defaults elsewhere, particularly in Latin America, early discussions of debt relief for Africa emphasized attracting private capital rather than writing off debt outright. The original 1996 Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative reflected this gradualism; only upon its 1999 enhancement did Africa receive real relief. By 2005, and the announcement of the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI), HIPC relief approached US$40 billion. By 2014, African debt relief in total was of the order of US$120 billion, with tangible effects on economic stability and on anti-poverty spending. This newfound economic stability has in turn ushered in increased mineral exploration and discovery, with a resulting boom in spending and borrowing on international markets, which could yet lead to new debt distress.
This chapter examines the role of Development Banks (DBs) as national and regional financial institutions that provide medium- to long-term capital for investment in various sectors of the African economy, particularly those that private commercial lenders are unwilling/unable to reach. More specifically, it considers the case for and the historical roles of DBs in financing Africa’s economic development. After presenting the generic case made for DBs, the article traces the history of DBs in Africa and discusses policies and practices across the region since independence. It then analyses why the economic rationale for DBs has been apparently unsuccessful in the presence of bottlenecks such as rent-seeking and political patronage. The article also evaluates alternative sources of development financing before concluding with a summary of lessons that can be learned from Africa’s experience with DBs in terms of development economics.
This chapter discusses the experience of African countries with monetary unions, focusing on the CFA Zone where that experience has been the longest and the deepest history of integration. It briefly discusses how the intellectual legacy of colonialism led to distorted expectations and the neglect of the exchange rate—a crucial tool for improving the standards of living in open economies. It then provides the analytical framework for understanding why trade reforms did not yield positive results in the fixed exchange rate environment. The chapter also draws some lessons from that macroeconomics of masochism, which consists in pegging the exchange rate of small, poor economies to a strong currency. Finally, it reexamines the criteria for assessing the validity of monetary unions regardless of whether they peg their currency or not.
This article attempts to provide in a succinct way a road map for those wandering into the territory of agricultural policy and trade. It begins with a brief discussion of the linkages between domestic farm policies and trade policies and the implications of those linkages for world markets. The second section deals explicitly with the treatment of agriculture within the GATT and later the WTO, and considers the significance of the current Doha Round for improving trade rules and lowering protection. A third section considers the situation with respect to regional and bilateral trade agreements, where agriculture has been a reluctant player but has over time been influenced significantly by this trend toward regional solutions to trade problems. A final section gives some indication of where the trade policies and trade rules in agriculture may be heading.
Peter Quartey and Gloria Afful-Mensah
Some authors have stressed the importance of aid in boosting growth, given that poverty levels in most aid recipient countries (particularly sub-Saharan Africa) have continued to worsen in the presence of increasing aid, others have questioned the relevance of aid in enhancing growth. The chapter briefly looks at the trend in aid by the major donors to Africa and the aid architecture in Africa. This is followed by a presentation on the varying arguments in this controversial topic by looking at some issues raised in the development discourse. Given that aid is viewed as a “cultural good” in Africa such that some governments are even evaluated based on their ability to attract aid inflows, a clear consequence of the financial crisis is that many donors have sent signals of cutting down aid which obviously a wake-up call for aid dependent economies (particularly Africa) to look for alternatives sources of finance.
Tony Addison, Saurabh Singhal, and Finn Tarp
This chapter explains how official development assistance (ODA) can help achieve the structural transformation of African economies, and thereby inclusive growth, employment and peace. It begins by looking at research on the link between aid and economic growth and considers how aid can assist Africa better integrate into the global economy. It then discusses the role of aid in Africa’s development strategy after 2015 and argues that investing in more infrastructure, especially for regional economic integration, will make aid a useful instrument to improve both growth and equity across the region. The chapter also highlights the role of infrastructure in building climate change resilience before concluding with an assessment of the future role for aid to Africa.
Enrique Dussel Peters
This chapter focuses on the effects of Mexico’s export-oriented industrialization (EOI) strategy, which replaced the previous import-substitution approach. It argues that since the implementation of an export-oriented approach, GDP growth in Mexico has lagged behind much of Latin America. The country has maintained a trade surplus with the United States, but has had growing deficits with the European Union and Asia. Section 1 of this chapter examines the theoretical and policy proposal of the current EOI developed in Mexico since the late 1980s, also relevant for the implementation of NAFTA in January of 1994. Section 2 analyzes the general trends in the mentioned variables since EOI strategies took place, and particularly for its most export-oriented sector, manufacturing. In this general context, section 3 discusses the structural changes of a specific sector, the yarn–textile–garment commodity chain, in order to understand the conditions and challenges of a concrete sector. This chain will also be useful to understand the specificities of EOI to the United States and the characteristics of Mexican exports in terms of linkages, inputs, and learning processes. Finally, section 4 outlines conclusions and proposals for Mexico’s socioeconomy in the current context of an open and globalized economy.
Are the Geese Still Flying? Catch-Up Industrialization in a Changing International Economic Environment
Inderjit N. Kaur
This chapter examines literature on catch-up industrialization in the context of the experience of the Asian Pacific economies. It provides a summary of the “flying geese” or product cycle model of waves of industrialization and discusses three aspects of catch-up industrialization: shifting manufacturing from consumer to capital goods, increasing sophistication of production, and economy-level development . It discusses a possible new version of the flying geese model and highlights the increased importance of activity-level economies of scale as a result of the disaggregation of production into more specialized and geographically dispersed stages.