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 Topic A, the core agenda for world leaders, has become clear: how to fill the economic middle with jobs that can put Europe back to work, get incomes climbing in the United States and absorb a bulge of young people in parts of Asia and the developing world.

But deep into the world’s financial crisis response, and as officials wrap up annual spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, there is no consensus on how to proceed. Europe remains locked in a feud over more spending in hopes of job growth now vs. austerity and the potential for...

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