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Mr. Ralph Chami, Elorm Darkey, and Mr. Oral Williams
We use a unique data set for 115 countries, from 2000–18, and 5-year non-overlapping averages to explore the impact of technical assitance on revenue mobilization. To the authors’ knowledge this is the first such effort to determine a direct relationship between technical assistance and the improvement in tax revenues. The paper finds that technical assistance significantly and positively increases tax revenues. Both income per capita and openness were found to positively improve the tax ratio in line with findings in the literature. Dynamic estimations also uncovered a long-run relationship among technical assistance, income per capita, openness, and tax revenues. This result further underscores that it takes time to build capacity and institutional resilience.
Mr. Ali J Al-Sadiq
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has helped accelerate the digitization of public services. The lockdown initiated by most governments to curb the spread of the coronavirus forced most public agencies to switch to online platforms to continue providing information and services to the public. It is widely recognized that information diffusion and communication technology play a large role in improving the quality of public services in terms of time, cost, and interface with the public, business, and other agencies. Potentially, e-government could enhance a country’s locational advantages and attract more Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows. This hypothesis is tested empirically using an unbalanced panel data analysis for 178 host countries over the period 2003-2018. The results suggest that e-government stimulates the inflow of FDI.
Amine Hammadi, Marshall Mills, Nelson Sobrinho, Mr. Vimal V Thakoor, and Ricardo Velloso
Countries in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) tend to lag those in most other regions in terms of governance and perceptions of corruption. Weak governance undermines economic performance through various channels, including deficiencies in government functions and distortions to economic incentives. It thus stands to reason that SSA countries could strengthen their economic performance by improving governance and reducing corruption. This paper estimates that strengthening governance and mitigating corruption in the region could be associated with large growth dividends in the long run. While the process would take considerable time and effort, moving the average SSA country governance level to the global average could increase the region’s GDP per capita growth by about 1-2 percentage points.
Mr. Serhan Cevik and John Ricco
This paper provides an empirical analysis of how the frequency and severity of terrorism affect government revenue and expenditure during the period 1970–2013 using a panel dataset on 153 countries. We find that terrorism has only a marginal negative effect on tax revenue performance, after controlling for economic and institutional factors. This effect is also not robust to alternative specifications and empirical strategies. On the other hand, we find strong evidence that terrorism is associated with an increase in military spending as a percent of GDP (and a share of total government expenditure). Our estimations reveal that this impact is greater when terrorist attacks are frequent and result in a large number of fatalities. Empirical findings also support the view that public finances in developing and low-income countries are more vulnerable to terrorism than those in countries that are richer and diversified.
Camilla Andersen

The cool, logical thinking of economics would at first glance seem as far removed from the hot emotions of hatred and racism as it can get. But think again. According to Professor Edward Glaeser of Harvard University, politicians often decide to spread hate-creating stories about a group they wish to exclude from state spending in order to discredit opponents whose policies would benefit that group. According to this logic, egalitarians may foment hatred against rich minorities, whereas redistribution opponents may seek to build hatred against poor minorities. Glaeser, who presented his thoughts at a recent IMF seminar, even thinks that economics can help explain hatred of blacks in the U.S. South, the genocide of Jews, and the recent surge of anti-Americanism in the Arab world. “An economic model of hatred can use the economic focus on incentives and equilibrium to create predictions about where we should expect to see outbreaks of hatred,” he writes.

Ms. Katrin Elborgh-Woytek and Mr. Julian Berengaut
The paper analyzes the initial output decline in transition economies by estimating a crosssection model stressing two major factors-conflicts and the legacies of the Soviet period. We link the Soviet legacies in place at the outset of the transition to the subsequent path for the development of market-related institutions. Institutional development (as proxied by measures of corruption) is used as an intermediate variable. An instrumental variable approach is followed to derive estimates that are not biased by the possible endogeneity of corruption with respect to output developments. Assuming that the extent of Soviet legacies was positively correlated with the length of the communist rule allows us to use the years under the Soviet regime as an instrument.