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How the World Trade Organization functions will make much more of a difference to all countries than how the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade functioned. Another issue-and much closer to home-relates to the role of the World Bank. Our main role must remain helping more and more countries, particularly the poorest, join the mainstream of the new global economy: building markets, gaining access to private capital, and reducing poverty. But our future effectiveness is very much linked to the ''how" questions: How we can do more to leverage our analytical output by improving the dissemination of our cross-country experience and lessons learned.

The same argument could be made about the effects of volatility in output and demand (particularly for a relatively closed economy). Ramey and Ramey (1994) present empirical evidence supporting the view that volatility of output is detrimental to growth. Theoretically, there are several mechanisms through which volatility in relative prices (both atemporal and intertemporal) and output could hinder growth. One mechanism is of particular interest for Argentina. When a country precommits to a choice of technology, an increase in volatility leads to lower average output and, through any of the typical endogenous growth mechanisms, the rate of output growth (Ramey and Ramey 1991).

Rodrik notes that lending is required as an incentive, insofar as policy monitoring and conditionality cannot be adequately performed if they are not backed by loans, but that lending ought to be subsidiary to monitoring and conditionality. Commenting on their information function, Rodrik observes that the World Bank and other multilateral agencies see themselves first and foremost as lenders. Recasting their roles by placing monitoring and conditionally at the top of their agenda would have important repercussions on what they do and how they do it.

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