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 develops a model to estimate the effects of export subsidies on the supply of exports. Using data for Costa Rica over the 1980’s, it is shown that while the export subsidy scheme in operation led to an increase in exports, the direct fiscal costs of the scheme were quite large. Furthermore, the subsidy scheme led to a significant increase of imports. These results suggest that elimination of export subsidies would not have a particularly harmful effect on the trade balance, and would increase the fiscal position and generate economic efficiency besides.