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.
This paper provides empirical evidence that the propensity for political instability in the Central African Republic (C.A.R.) has been increased by low tax revenues and deteriorations in the terms of trade. The direct effect of political instability on economic growth is not statistically significant, once account is taken of domestic investment, and economic growth in neighboring countries. The policy implications are: (i) mobilization of domestic revenues to pay public employees' salaries and provide basic social services would lower the probability of coups; (ii) economic diversification would reduce the propensity for adverse terms of trade shocks to fuel coups; and (iii) neighboring countries' efforts to resolve conflicts and achieve sustained growth would be beneficial for the C.A.R.'s economic performance.