International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This Selected Issues paper discusses various aspects of goods and service tax (GST) on India’s tax policy. Dual rate structure with a low standard rate and an additional higher rate on select items can be progressive and preserve revenue neutrality, while streamlining exemptions would further contribute to progressivity and reduce compliance and administrative costs. Simplifying the GST is possible without imposing a significantly higher burden on the poor. There are likely significant benefits from lower costs of compliance and administration. The literature on value added tax (VAT) compliance costs shows that there is broad variation across countries; however, there is a consensus that compliance costs are regressive and administrative costs increase with complexity. While evidence on India is nascent and remains to be assessed as experience with the GST is gained, anecdotal evidence from large firms indicates sizable increases in costs, which may be even more burdensome for smaller firms. Streamlined rates would also weaken incentives to lobby for lower rates.
Mr. Rabah Arezki, Mr. Christian Bogmans, and Mr. Harris Selod
This paper is the first to provide both theoretical and empirical evidence of farmland
globalization whereby international investors directly acquire large tracts of agricultural land
in other countries. A theoretical framework explains the geography of farmland acquisitions
as a function of cross-country differences in technology, endowments, trade costs, and land
governance. An empirical test of the model using global data on transnational deals shows that
international farmland investments are on the aggregate likely motivated by re-exports to
investor countries rather than to world markets. This contrasts with traditional foreign direct
investment patterns where horizontal as opposed to vertical FDI dominates.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This paper explores key issues affecting the Indian economy and implications for fiscal, monetary, financial sector, and other structural policies. This paper evaluates the build-up of corporate and banking sector vulnerabilities in India, linked to the past macroeconomic slowdown and supply-side bottlenecks, particularly in the infrastructure sector; the nature, scope, and the effectiveness of macroprudential policies in India; the potential costs and benefits of gold monetization schemes in India; two recent episodes of financial market volatility—the taper tantrum of the summer of 2013 and the China spillover episode of the summer of 2015; effectiveness of India’s capital controls using an arbitrage based approach; the relationship between Indian; and international market prices of cereals.
The October 2013 Regional Economic Outlook: Sub-Saharan Africa provides a comprehensive report on the prospects for growth in the region, as well as the major risks to the outlook. Generally, growth is expected to remain strong despite a downward revision since the May 2013 report. The report analyzes drivers of growth in nonresource-rich sub-Saharan African countries, and examines the risks to frontier market economies of volatile capital flows as they become more integrated with international capital markets.
We study the effects of permanent and temporary income shocks on precautionary saving and investment in a "store-or-sow" model of growth. High volatility of permanent shocks results in high precautionary saving in the safe asset and low investment, or a "volatility trap." Namely, big savers invest relatively little. In contrast, low volatility of permanent shocks leads to low precautionary saving and high or low investment, depending on the volatility of temporary shocks. Empirical evidence shows a nonlinear relationship between investment and saving and that investment is a hump-shaped function of the volatility of permanent shocks, as predicted by the model.
Mr. Sanjaya P Panth, Mr. Paul Cashin, and Mr. W. A Bauer
The Caribbean has made substantial progress in recent years in implementing economic reforms, both at the national and regional level. The Caribbean: Enhancing Economic Integration examines the product of the efforts made by Caribbean policymakers to strengthen regional cooperation and integration, which has yielded economic transformation and tighter integration with the global economy. This volume discusses regional financial integration as a means of deepening financial systems and raising regional growth; the relationship between tax incentives and investment, where harmonized regional action is important in seeking to overcome collective actions problems; and the consequences for the Caribbean of the erosion of trade preferences in key export markets. The book is based on empirical research carried out as part of the IMF's regional surveillance work in the Caribbean.
This 2006 Article IV Consultation highlights that economic performance of Benin has been relatively subdued since 2003 after a decade of high growth. Slow economic growth has reflected limited progress in addressing core economic vulnerabilities and delays in implementing crucial growth-supporting structural reforms, against a backdrop of an appreciating real effective exchange rate and, more recently, a sizable deterioration in the terms of trade. Notwithstanding further delays in structural reforms, a turnaround in cotton production is helping to revive growth in 2006.
This paper examines Liberia’s 2001 Article IV Consultation and Overdue Financial Obligations to the IMF. Liberia’s policy performance, as well as its relations with donors and creditors, has deteriorated since the conclusion of the last Article IV Consultation and the last post-ineligibility review. Payments to the IMF have become increasingly irregular, although relations with the World Bank remain in hiatus. IMF staff proposes that the Executive Board note the intention to initiate the procedure on the suspension of Liberia’s voting and related rights in the IMF.
Mrs. Anuradha Dayal-Gulati and Mr. Aasim M. Husain
This paper uses provincial time series data from China to empirically investigate two propositions relating to economic development: (i) that economic takeoff is associated with technological transfer through foreign direct investment (FDI); and (ii) that takeoff is accompanied, at least in the short term, by widening income inequality. The results indicate that FDI flows have increased the rate of convergence in per capita incomes across China’s provinces. However, the pattern of FDI, which has gone mainly to the relatively wealthy provinces, has caused different provinces to converge to different steady states.