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Francisco Arizala, Mr. Jesus R Gonzalez-Garcia, Mr. Charalambos G Tsangarides, and Mustafa Yenice
This paper examines the growth performance of sub-Saharan African countries since 1960 through the lens of growth turning points (accelerations and decelerations) and periods of sustained growth (growth spells). Growth accelerations are generally associated with improved external conditions, increased investment and trade openness, declines in inflation, better fiscal balances, and improvements in the institutional environment. Transitioning from growth accelerations to growth spells often requires additional efforts beyond what is needed to trigger an acceleration. Growth spells are sustained by fiscal policy that prevents excessive public debt accumulation, monetary policy geared toward low inflation, outward-oriented trade policies, and structural policies that reduce market distortions, as well as supportive external environment and improvements in democratic institutions. Overall, determinants of growth spells in sub-Saharan Africa are different from those in the rest of the emerging and developing countries.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This Selected Issues paper offers policy recommendations for Senegal to reach high and sustained growth with the goal of exiting low-income country status. For Senegal to reach Plan Sénégal Emergent (PSE) objectives, reforms under the PSE need to create space for small and medium-sized enterprises and foreign direct investment to thrive. Reform of Senegal’s business environment needs to be accelerated. Macrostructural reforms should be stepped up in the energy sector, in which Senegal still ranks 170th in the world. Progress in the electricity sector can be achieved by continuing to improve reliability of supply and reduce electricity costs. Reform of the taxation system, by simplifying procedures and optimizing the tax rates, is another macro-critical area in which Senegal needs to make significant strides.
Ms. Christine Dieterich, Anni Huang, and Mr. Alun H. Thomas
As labor market data is scarce in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), this paper uses household survey data to analyze the determinants of the gender gap in the labor market and its welfare implications for five SSA countries in multinomial logit models with propensity score matching method. The analysis confirms that education opens up opportunities for women to escape agricultural feminization and engage in formal wage employment, but these opportunities diminish when women marry—a disadvantage increasingly relevant when countries develop and urbanization progresses. Opening a household enterprise offers women an alternative avenue to escape low-paid jobs in agriculture, but the increase in per capita income is lower than male-owned household enterprises. These findings underline that improving women’s education needs to be supported by measures to allow married women to keep their jobs in the wage sector.
Anh D. M. Nguyen, Mr. Jemma Dridi, Ms. Filiz D Unsal, and Mr. Oral Williams
The perception that inflation dynamics in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) are driven by supply shocks implies a limited role for monetary policy in influencing inflation in the short run. SSA’s rapid growth, its integration with the global economy, changes in the policy frameworks, among others, in the last decade suggest that the drivers of inflation may have changed. We quantitatively analyze inflation dynamics in SSA using a Global VAR model, which incorporates trade and financial linkages among economies, as well as the role of regional and global demand and inflationary spillovers. We find that in the past 25 years, the main drivers of inflation have been domestic supply shocks and shocks to exchange rate and monetary variables; but that, in recent years, the contribution of these shocks to inflation has fallen. Domestic demand pressures as well as global shocks, and particularly shocks to output, however, have played a larger role in driving inflation over the last decade. We also show that country characteristics matter—the extent of oil and food imports, vulnerability to weather shocks, economic importance of agriculture, trade openness and policy regime, among others, help in explaining the role of shocks.
Munseob Lee and Cheikh A. Gueye
We examine the impact of resource windfall on the standard of living both in the short-run and long-run, using a sample of 130 countries, 1963-2007. Then, we systematically investigate the effect of resource windfall on welfare in three different groups of countries: We find that in the short-run resource windfall is welfare enhancing in the whole sample, especially via increases in income and decreases in inequality. However, in SSA countries, the size of welfare improvement is small and it is smaller and almost zero after one year in fragile Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries. In the whole sample, a resource windfall shock leads to significant welfare growth even in the long-run, but we couldn’t find any significant long-run effect of resource windfall in SSA countries.
Ian W.H. Parry
Fiscal instruments are potentially among the most effective, and cost-effective, options for addressing externalities related to poor air quality, urban road congestion, and greenhouse gases. This paper takes a case study, focused on Mauritius (a pioneer in the use of green taxes) to illustrate how existing taxes, especially on fuels and vehicles, could be reformed to better address these externalities. We discuss, in particular, an explicit carbon tax; a variety of options for reforming vehicle taxes to meet environmental, equity, and revenue objectives; and a progressive transition to usage-based vehicle taxes to address congestion
International Monetary Fund
We compile a historical dataset covering nearly 40 years of booms and busts in the commodity terms of trade of over 150 countries. We discuss the characteristics of these events and their effects on macroeconomic performance and, in particular, compare the most recent commodity-price cycle with its historical precedents.