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.
In contrast to the experience in industrial countries, government sectors in a number of African countries grew rapidly in relative size through the 1980s and early 1990s, implying a differential between measured GDP growth and growth of private sector activity. In these countries, the government sector was also an important source of employment growth. Leaving aside issues of crowding out, boosting growth in this way raises questions of fiscal sustainability. It also urges caution in interpreting growth performance.