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Hites Ahir, Hendre Garbers, Mattia Coppo, Mr. Giovanni Melina, Mr. Futoshi Narita, Ms. Filiz D Unsal, Vivian Malta, Xin Tang, Daniel Gurara, Luis-Felipe Zanna, Linda G. Venable, Mr. Kangni R Kpodar, and Mr. Chris Papageorgiou
Despite strong economic growth since 2000, many low-income countries (LICs) still face numerous macroeconomic challenges, even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the deceleration in real GDP growth during the 2008 global financial crisis, LICs on average saw 4.5 percent of real GDP growth during 2000 to 2014, making progress in economic convergence toward higher-income countries. However, the commodity price collapse in 2014–15 hit many commodity-exporting LICs and highlighted their vulnerabilities due to the limited extent of economic diversification. Furthermore, LICs are currently facing a crisis like no other—COVID-19, which requires careful policymaking to save lives and livelihoods in LICs, informed by policy debate and thoughtful research tailored to the COVID-19 situation. There are also other challenges beyond COVID-19, such as climate change, high levels of public debt burdens, and persistent structural issues.
Mr. Kangni R Kpodar and Patrick A. Imam
While many developing countries limit the international fuel price pass through to domestic fuel prices, others do not. Against this backdrop, we examine the factors that determine whether governments allow international fuel price changes to be passed through to domestic prices in developing countries using a dataset spanning 109 developing countries from 2000 to 2014. The paper finds that the pass-through is higher when changes in international prices are moderate and less volatile. In addition, the flexibility of the pricing mechanism allows for higher pass-through while exchange rate depreciation and lower retail fuel prices in neighboring countries inhibit it. The econometric results also underscore the fact that countries with inflation tend to experience lower pass-through, whereas those with high public debt exhibit larger pass-through. Finally, no evidence is found that political variables or environmental policies matter with regard to fuel price dynamics in the short-term. These findings, which are consistent across fuel products (gasoline, diesel and kerosene), allow us to draw important policy lessons for fuel subsidy reforms.
International Monetary Fund. Fiscal Affairs Dept.
The contents of this report constitute technical advice provided by the staff of the IMF to the authorities of Nigeria in response to their request for technical assistance. Unlocking the potential of a rapidly growing population requires substantial improvements in human and physical capital. Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country and its largest economy. Recognizing challenges, Nigeria has embraced the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Agenda. The Economic Recovery and Growth Plan 2017–2020 gives prominence to economic, social and environmental issues. This report assesses additional spending associated with making substantial progress along the SDGs. The report focuses on critical areas of human and physical capital. For each sector, the report documents progress to date, assesses Nigeria relative to peers, highlights challenges, and estimates the spending to make substantial SDG progress. Nigeria has shown gradual improvements in education. A gradual and strategic approach should be considered given the relatively large additional spending.
International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, &, Review Department, and International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
The Methodology review identified three broad areas for improving the EBA-Lite methodology: (1) expanding the fundamentals and policy determinants in the CA and REER regressions to better capture the external balance of EBA-Lite countries; (2) identifying alternatives to regression models for external assessments of large exporters of exhaustible commodities; and (3) a revised approach for the assessment of external sustainability in highly indebted economies. Accordingly, the revised methodology consists of three modules: 1) Regression Module 2) Module for External Assessments of Exporters of Exhaustible Commodities 3) Module for the Assessment of External Sustainability
Mr. Niko A Hobdari, Vina Nguyen, Mr. Salvatore Dell'Erba, and Mr. Edgardo Ruggiero
Fiscal decentralization is becoming a pressing issue in a number of countries in sub-Saharan Africa, reflecting demands for a greater local voice in spending decisions and efforts to strengthen social cohesion. Against this backdrop, this paper seeks to distill the lessons for an effective fiscal decentralization reform, focusing on the macroeconomic aspects. The main findings for sub-Saharan African countries that have decentralized, based on an empirical analysis and four case studies (Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda), are as follows: • Determinants and effectiveness: Empirical results suggest that (1) the major driving forces behind fiscal decentralization in sub-Saharan Africa include efforts to defuse ethnic conflicts, the initial level of income, and the urban-ization rate, whereas strength of democracy is not an important determi-nant for decentralization; and (2) decentralization in sub-Saharan Africa is associated with higher growth in the presence of stronger institutions. • Spending assignments: The allocation of spending across levels of gov-ernment in the four case studies is broadly consistent with best practice. However, in Uganda, unlike in the other three case studies, subnational governments have little flexibility to make spending decisions as a result of a deconcentrated rather than a devolved system of government. • Own revenue: The assignment of taxing powers is broadly in line with best practice in the four case studies, with the bulk of subnational revenue coming from property taxes and from fees for local services. However, own revenues are a very small fraction of subnational spending, reflecting weak cadaster systems and a high level of informality in the economy.