Ukraine's track record with the IMF is not a good one. In November 2008 as the global financial crisis intensified, the IMF offered Ukraine an arrangement worth $16.4 billion. But only about a third of that amount was disbursed because of disagreements over fiscal policy. Another program for $15.3 billion was approved in 2010, but less than a quarter of those funds were given to the country.
The recidivist behavior is the product of a lack of political commitment to the measures contained in the Letters of Intent signed by the government of Ukraine. Ukraine, like other former Soviet republics, was slow to move to a market system, and therefore lagged behind East European countries such as Poland and Romania in adopting new technology. Andrew Tiffin of the IMF attributed the countr's economic underachievement to a 'market-unfriendly institutional base' that has allowed continued rent-seeking. Promises to enact reform measures have been made but not fulfilled. Are the chances of success any better now? Peter Boone of the Centre for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics and Simon Johnson of MIT are not convinced that there has been a change in attitude within the Ukrainian government, despite the overthrow of President Viktor Yanukovych. Consequently, they write: 'There is no point to bailing out Ukraine's creditors and backstopping Ukrainian banks when the core problems persist: pervasive corruption, exacerbated by the ability to play Russia and the West against each other.'The article was posted online on the Wellesley.edu.com blog on March 31, 2014
At this year's Royal Economic Society Annual Conference, held in Manchester 7-9 April 2014, Johannes Spinnewijn won the 2013 prize for his paper Insurance and Perceptions- How to Screen Optimists and Pessimists. Launched in 2007, this annual prize is awarded for the best non-solicited paper published in The Economic Journal by an author who has completed their PhD in the last five years. The winner is selected by the Editors of the EJ.
Oriana Bandiera was the Programme Chair for the 2014 conference, and the main sessions are available at http://live.wavecast.co/res-annual-conference/.
Maitreesh Ghatak and Sanchari Roy hold Gujarat up against other states to see if it grew more in the Modi decade than in the preceding 20 years. The article will be published in the forthcoming Oulook India Magazine on March 31st. The online version can be found here.