International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office
This report seeks to help the IMF enhance its effectiveness by identifying major recurring issues from the IEO’s first 20 evaluations and assessing where they stand. The IMF’s core areas of responsibility are surveillance, lending, and capacity development. The aim of this report is to strengthen the follow-up process by focusing on key issues that recurred in IEO evaluations, rather than on specific recommendations on their implementation. The IEO believes that a framework of reviewing and monitoring recurring issues would be useful in establishing incentives for progress, strengthening the Board’s oversight, and providing learning opportunities for the IMF.
Canada’s macroeconomic and policy performance has continued to outshine most other industrial countries, and its outlook remains favorable. The new government has pledged to maintain the strong social consensus in favor of fiscal surpluses, while aiming at enhancing incentives. The new budget should ensure that a prudent fiscal framework is maintained. The favorable domestic and external environment will boost the economy’s long-term growth potential. While the financial system appears well placed to support growth, there is still room to furthering its efficiency and resilience.
This Selected Issues paper for Sweden reports that the gradual introduction of a detailed fiscal framework accompanied the successful consolidation effort over the last decade in Sweden. The framework includes a surplus target of 2 percent of GDP for the general government, multiyear expenditure ceilings for central government, and a balanced budget requirement for local governments. Reliance on the expertise of an independent agency for the implementation of the fiscal framework could further enhance transparency and strengthen enforcement.
The Selected Issues paper analyzes tax policy trends at the local level in Sweden and assesses the effectiveness of the vertical fiscal policy coordination system. The study reviews Sweden’s local public finances from an international perspective and empirically explores various explanations for the gradual increase in local tax rates. It discusses long-term challenges for local public finances and aggregate fiscal policy coordination. The design of vertical fiscal policy coordination in other countries is described. The paper also examines the Swedish experience of work absence in a European context.
Sweden’s quality of life, public health, and educational attainment indicators are among the best in the world. Although it is impossible to pin down the optimal size of the welfare state precisely, the government has generally agreed to have become too big by the late 1980s. Globalization is changing the context in which the Swedish model operates by limiting its tax-based financing, but it does not rule out the preservation of its key elements. This paper assesses the effectiveness and impact of the extensive and highly developed welfare state in Sweden.