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By Luis Carlos Jemio (auth.)

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Critics of the IMF and World Bank position identify the external shocks as being the main factors for initiating the economic crisis. 21) argue that, 'The hyperinflation under [President] Siles was not so much a result of new spending as the inability to restrain spending in the face of falling foreign loans, falling tax revenues, and higher debt service payments abroad'. The external shock of the early 1980s therefore brought about an increased fiscal deficit (which was mainly financed through Central Bank credit due to the narrowness of the Bolivian financial market) and lower levels of investment and output; these two factors are regarded as being the main causes for the beginning of hyperinflation.

B) Equitable income distribution leading to the eradication of poverty and the satisfaction of basic needs. Bolivia is one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere and it is extremely important to understand how poverty is aggravated or ameliorated when a shock occurs or a policy package is implemented. The RF-CGE model provides a detailed picture of the resultant income distribution structure after an external shock has worked its way through the system. The soundness of alternative policies in ameliorating the impact of an external shock on the poorest groups of society can be evaluated in a very detailed way through the model.

The capitalization of public enterprises is expected to boost investment and technology transfers to key sectors of the economy: hydrocarbons, telecommunications, electricity, transport and mining; the pension reform will help to develop a long-term capital market in Bolivia and thus promote higher rates of domestic savings; and the education reform and popular participation are expected to bring about an increase in labour productivity and a more equitable income distribution. The setting up of a transparent and stable regulatory system will also promote private investment.

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