This paper concludes that the existing framework remains broadly appropriate, but proposes methodological refinements to improve the assessment of market access, clarifies how serious short-term vulnerabilities are assessed, and proposes a modest extension of the transition period before graduation decisions become effective.
This paper reviews the evidence on how households in Sub-Saharan Africa segment along consumption, income and earning dimensions relevant for quantitative macroeconomic policy models which incorporate heterogeneity. Key findings include the importance of home-grown food in the income and consumption of house-holds well up the income distribution, the lack of formal financial inclusion for all but the richest households, and the importance of non-wage income. These stylized facts suggest that an externally-generated macroeconomic shock and the short-term policy response would mainly affect the behavior and welfare of these richer urban households, who are also more likely to have the means to cope. Middle class and poor households, especially in rural areas, should be insulated from these external shocks but vulnerable to a wide range of structural factors in the economy as well as idiosyncratic shocks.
The proposed FY 14–16 Medium-Term Budget was formulated within the Fund’s strengthened strategic planning framework and seeks to align the allocation of resources to the delivery of institutional priorities. Despite the additional resources that have been provided to meet crisis demands, crisis related work and overall work pressures remain elevated. At the same time, available resources are not being fully utilized. Therefore, the budget strategy—instead of asking for further additional resources—is geared toward making more efficient use of existing resources to reduce work pressures and meet new demands.
This paper proposes to maintain the Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust (PRGT)-eligibility criteria established in early 2010 and considers, based on the application of such criteria, whether updates to the eligibility list are warranted at this time. The premise remains that access to the Fund’s scarce concessional resources should be preserved for members with low income and related vulnerabilities, while keeping PRGT eligibility closely aligned with International Development Association (IDA) practices. Based on the application of the PRGT-eligibility framework, no countries are proposed for entry or graduation at this time.
Will Ghana’s oil production from 2011 accelerate progress toward middle-income status, or will it retard gains in living standards through a possible "resource curse"? This paper examines the likelihood of "resource curse" effects, drawing on a dataset of 150 low and middle income countries from 1973 to 2008 using static and dynamic panel estimation techniques. Results confirm that resource rich countries in Ghana’s income range do experience slower growth than their more diversified peers, an effect that appears to be related to weaker governance. Provided that Ghana can preserve and improve its economic governance and also strengthen fiscal management, prospects look good for converting its oil wealth into sustained strong economic growth.
Mr. Robert Gillingham, David Locke Newhouse, Mr. David Coady, Mr. Kangni R Kpodar, Moataz El-Said, and Mr. Paulo A Medas
With the recent jump in world oil prices, the issue of petroleum product pricing has become increasingly important in developing countries. Reflecting a reluctance of many governments to pass these price increases onto energy users, energy price subsidies are absorbing an increasing share of scarce public resources. This paper identifies the issues that need to be discussed when analyzing the fiscal and social costs of fuel subsidies. Using examples from analyses recently undertaken for five countries, it also identifies the magnitude of consumer subsidies and their fiscal implications. The results of the analysis show that-in all of these countries-energy subsidies have significant social and fiscal costs and are badly targeted.
Using available data on the distribution of HIV/AIDS prevalence across population groups for four sub-Saharan African countries and transposing this information to household income and expenditure surveys, we simulate the impact of HIV/AIDS on poverty and inequality. We find that the epidemic lowers average income and increases poverty, and that the jump in poverty is larger than expected from the fall in average income. This disproportionate increase in poverty reflects the large share of the population living on the threshold of poverty and the higher HIV prevalence rates in those segments of the population.
The Annual Report 2005 to the Board of Governors reviews the IMF's activities and policies during the financial year (May 1, 2004, through April 30, 2005). The main sections cover country, global, and regional surveillance; strengthening surveillance and crisis prevention; IMF program support and crisis resolution; the Fund's role in low-income countries; financial operations and policies; technical assistance and training; governance and management of the IMF; and cooperation, communication and outreach. Besides the full financial statements for the year, appendixes cover international reserves, financial operations and transactions, principal policy decisions, relations with other international organizations, press communiqués of advisory committees, Executive Directors and their voting power, and changes in the Executive Board's membership.