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Ian Parry
The United States has pledged to become carbon neutral by 2050, meet sectoral objectives (e.g., for carbon free power, electric vehicles) and encourage greater mitigation among large emitting countries and of international transportation emissions. Fiscal policies at the national, sectoral, and international level could play a critical role in implementing these objectives, along with investment, regulatory, and technology policies. Fiscal instruments are cost-effective, can enhance political acceptability, and do not worsen, or could help alleviate, budgetary pressures. Domestically, a fiscal policy package could contain a mix of economy-wide carbon pricing and revenue-neutral feebates (i.e., tax-subsidy schemes) with the latter reinforcing mitigation in the transport, power, industrial, building, forestry, and agricultural sectors. Internationally, a carbon price floor among large emitters (with flexibility to implement equivalent measures) could effectively scale up global mitigation, while levies/feebates offer a practical approach for reducing maritime and aviation emissions.
Majdi Debbich
This paper uses an untapped source of satellite-recorded nightlights and gas flaring data to characterize the contraction of economic activity in Yemen throughout the ongoing conflict that erupted in 2015. Using estimated nightlights elasticities on a sample of 72 countries for real GDP and 28 countries for oil GDP over 6 years, I derive oil and non-oil GDP growth for Yemen. I show that real GDP contracted by a cumulative 24 percent over 2015-17 against 50 percent according to official figures. I also find that the impact of the conflict has been geographically uneven with economic activity contracting more in some governorates than in others.
Mr. Yehenew Endegnanew and Dawit Tessema
Bolivia’s “Patriotic Agenda 2025” sets targets for social and economic development propelled by state-led industrialization under a five-year development plan (2016–2020). Large-scale public investment has aimed to fill infrastructure gaps and raise productivity to ensure sustained medium-term growth. Pursuit of these goals in a period of lower hydrocarbon revenues has, however, contributed to widening fiscal and external current account deficits. The paper uses a structural model to outline different scenarios for the level of public investment in the face of declining hydrocarbon revenues. It finds that if public investment is sustained at current levels as a share of GDP while hydrocarbon revenues continue to decline, the sustainability of the public debt could be called into question.
Mr. Giovanni Melina, Hoda Selim, and Concepcion Verdugo-Yepes
This paper argues that oil revenue management and public investment in Congo are vulnerable to corruption as a result of limited transparency and accountability. Corruption has potentially contributed to poor macro-fiscal outcomes. The paper acknowledges the authorities’ anti-corruption efforts made so far and proposes further critical reforms to reduce remaining vulnerabilities. Using a dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model results show that, depending on the reforms adopted, the potential additional growth can range between 0.8 to 1.8 percent per year over the next 10 years, and debt can decline by 2.25 to 3 percent of GDP per year over the same period. These results suggest that macrofiscal gains from anti-corruption reforms could be substantial even under conservative reform scenarios.
Mr. David Coady, Ian Parry, Nghia-Piotr Le, and Baoping Shang
This paper updates estimates of fossil fuel subsidies, defined as fuel consumption times the gap between existing and efficient prices (i.e., prices warranted by supply costs, environmental costs, and revenue considerations), for 191 countries. Globally, subsidies remained large at $4.7 trillion (6.3 percent of global GDP) in 2015 and are projected at $5.2 trillion (6.5 percent of GDP) in 2017. The largest subsidizers in 2015 were China ($1.4 trillion), United States ($649 billion), Russia ($551 billion), European Union ($289 billion), and India ($209 billion). About three quarters of global subsidies are due to domestic factors—energy pricing reform thus remains largely in countries’ own national interest—while coal and petroleum together account for 85 percent of global subsidies. Efficient fossil fuel pricing in 2015 would have lowered global carbon emissions by 28 percent and fossil fuel air pollution deaths by 46 percent, and increased government revenue by 3.8 percent of GDP.
Mr. Rabah Arezki and Mr. Akito Matsumoto

Abstract

A survey of the complex and intertwined set of forces behind the various commodity markets and the interplay between these markets and the global economy. Summarizes a rich set of facts combined with in-depth analyses distillated in a nontechnical manner. Includes discussion of structural trends behind commodities markets, their future implications, and policy implications.