The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
Recurring balance of payments crises in countries that pursued import substitution have led some of them to establish a variety of export incentives, in particular subsidies, as a way to revive and re-orient their economies. However, exporters are likely to be uncertain of the government’s commitment to export promotion because of the years of neglect. This paper analyzes the issue of the credibility of export subsidies and suggests that a government is able to convince exporters of its commitment only at a cost, which reduces the attractiveness of promoting exports by means of subsidies.