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International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.

Abstract

The pace of recovery has disappointed in recent years, and downside risks have increased, including from heightened geopolitical tensions. These increased risks make it a priority to raise actual and potential growth. In a number of economies, an increase in public infrastructure investment can also provide support to demand and help boost potential output. And in advanced economies as well as emerging and developing economies there is a general, urgent need for structural reforms to strengthen growth potential or make growth more sustainable. The four individual chapters examine the overall global outlook, the prospects for individual countries and regions, the benefits of increased public infrastructure investment in terms of raising output, and the extent to which global imbalances have narrowed significantly since their peak in 2006.

Mr. Benedict J. Clements, Mr. David Coady, Ms. Stefania Fabrizio, Mr. Sanjeev Gupta, Mr. Trevor Serge Coleridge Alleyne, and Mr. Carlo A Sdralevich

Abstract

Energy subsidies have wide-ranging economic consequences. Although they are aimed at protecting consumers, subsidies aggravate fiscal imbalances, crowd out priority public spending, and depress private investment, including in the energy sector. Subsidies also distort resource allocation by encouraging excessive energy consumption, artificially promoting capital-intensive industries, reducing incentives for investment in renewable energy, and accelerating the depletion of natural resources. Most subsidy benefits are captured by higher-income households, reinforcing inequality. Even future generations are affected through the damaging effects of increased energy consumption on global warming. This book provides (1) the most comprehensive estimates of energy subsidies currently available for 176 countries and (2) an analysis of “how to do” energy subsidy reform, drawing on insights from 22 country case studies undertaken by the IMF staff and analyses carried out by other institutions.