By Boris Pleskovic

The "Annual global financial institution convention on improvement Economics" (ABCDE) brings jointly the world's prime students and improvement practitioners for a full of life debate on cutting-edge considering in improvement coverage and the results for the worldwide economic system. The 10th convention handled 4 tricky subject matters in improvement: • the function of geography in nations' good fortune, with Paul Krugman, John Luke Gallup and Jeffrey Sachs; • the position and layout of legislation and pageant coverage, with Paul Joskow and Jean-Jacques Laffont; • the factors of economic crises and how one can hinder them, with Bruce Greenwald, Asli Demirguc-Kunt and Enrica Detragiache; and • how ethnic clash impacts democracy and development, with Paul Collier and Donald L. Horowitz. This quantity additionally contains insights from Nobel Prize winner James Tobin, Stanley Fischer, Joseph E. Stiglitz, and international financial institution President James D. Wolfensohn.

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Further, they show that although some of the countries in the region seemed less transparent than average, others-equally adversely affected-appear by these same statistics to be significantly more transparent than average. Page 18 Indeed, there are questions about the extent of crony capitalism and its impact on lending practices and growth as well as on vulnerability. For instance, on balance, there is no reason to believe that the system of government-business cooperation-the much heralded Japan Inc.

But lists of factors do not constitute a causal analysis. Many of the listed factors are neither necessary nor sufficient for a crisis. Some countries with less transparency, more political cronyism, weaker financial systems, and larger fiscal deficits not only avoided a crisis, but were also relatively unaffected by contagion. In the past we have seen countries with high degrees of transparency go through major financial crises, most notably the Scandinavian countries in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

But during this period the frequency of systemic banking problems has increased markedly, raising the possibility that greater fragility might be a consequence of liberalization. Using a large panel data set covering 53 industrial and developing economies during 1980-95, Demirgüç-Kunt and Detragiache found that financial fragility is affected by a host of factors, including adverse macroeconomic developments, poor macroeconomic policies, and vulnerability to sudden capital outflows. But even when these factors are controlled for, financial liberalization exerts a significant independent negative effect on the stability of the banking sector.

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