Philip Daniel, Alan Krupnick, Ms. Thornton Matheson, Peter Mullins, Ian Parry, and Artur Swistak
This paper suggests that the environmental and commercial features of shale gas extraction do not warrant a significantly different fiscal regime than recommended for conventional gas. Fiscal policies may have a role in addressing some environmental risks (e.g., greenhouse gases, scarce water, local air pollution) though in some cases their net benefits may be modest. Simulation analyses suggest, moreover, that special fiscal regimes are generally less important than other factors in determining shale gas investments (hence there appears little need for them), yet they forego significant revenues.
This Technical Assistance report lists key issues discussed between the IMF’s Fiscal Affairs Department (FAD) and the Davis Tax Committee regarding recommendations for tax reforms in the oil and gas sector in South Africa. It is suggested that the royalty should have a single flat rate, rather than the current variable rate formula. The 5 percent flat rate proposed in the FAD report is modest by international standards. For corporate tax purposes, the current immediate expensing of capital expenditure and the 100 percent and 50 percent uplifts for exploration and development expenditure are overly generous and will lead to both a revenue loss and a long delay before revenue is collected.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
This article presents an overview of the life of Richard Layard, who believes that the basic purpose of economics is the maximization of happiness and well-being. As director of the Wellbeing Programme at the London School of Economics’ Centre for Economic Performance, Layard focuses on the study of happiness. Layard was a distinguished labor economist long before he turned his attention to happiness. He is best known for his research in the 1980s on unemployment and for his advocacy of policies to support unemployed people on the condition that they try to find work. This “welfare to work” approach became popular in parts of continental Europe and was a mainstay of British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s economic program. Layard’s other current preoccupation is climate change. He is one of the drivers of the Global Apollo Program, a project to make renewable energy cheaper than fossil fuels within 10 years through publicly funded, internationally coordinated research and innovation.
Mr. Dominique M. Guillaume, Mr. Roman Zytek, and Mr. Mohammad Reza Farzin
On December 18, 2010, Iran increased domestic energy and agricultural prices by up to 20 times, making it the first major oil-exporting country to reduce substantially implicit energy subsidies. This paper reviews the economic and technical issues involved in the planning and early implementation of the reform, including the transfers to households and the public relations campaign that were critical to the success of the reform. It also looks at the reform from a chronological standpoint, in particular in the final phases of the preparation. The paper concludes by an overview of the main challenges for the second phase of the reform.