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Charles Cohen, S. M. Ali Abbas, Myrvin Anthony, Tom Best, Mr. Peter Breuer, Hui Miao, Ms. Alla Myrvoda, and Eriko Togo
The COVID-19 crisis may lead to a series of costly and inefficient sovereign debt restructurings. Any such restructurings will likely take place during a period of great economic uncertainty, which may lead to protracted negotiations between creditors and debtors over recovery values, and potentially even relapses into default post-restructuring. State-contingent debt instruments (SCDIs) could play an important role in improving the outcomes of these restructurings.
Irene Yackovlev, Ms. Zuzana Murgasova, Fei Liu, Gohar Minasyan, and Ke Wang
How to Operationalize IMF Engagement on Social Spending during and in the aftermath of the COVID-19 Crisis
International Monetary Fund. Fiscal Affairs Dept. and International Monetary Fund. Legal Dept.
In an environment in which growth and employment prospects in many countries remain subdued and a number of high-profile corruption cases have fueled moral outrage, and amid a growing consensus that corruption can seriously undermine a country’s ability to deliver inclusive economic growth in a number of different areas, addressing corruption globally—in both developed and developing countries—has become increasingly urgent. When corruption impairs government functions, it can adversely affect a number of important determinants of economic performance, including macrofinancial stability, investment, human capital accumulation, and total factor productivity. Moreover, when systemic corruption affects virtually all state functions, distrust of government can become so pervasive that it can lead to violence, civil strife, and conflict, with devastating social and economic implications. This Staff Discussion Note focuses on corruption that arises from the abuse of public office for private gain, whether it manifests itself transactionally (for example, a bribe) or through powerful networks between business and government that effectively result in the privatization of public policy. While designing and implementing an anticorruption strategy requires change on many different levels, the IMF's experience in assisting member countries suggests that several elements need to be given priority: transparency, rule of law, and economic reform policies designed to eliminate excessive regulation. Perhaps most important, however, addressing corruption requires building effective institutions, with the clear objective of developing a competent civil service that takes pride in being independent of both private influence and public interference.
Ms. Claudia H Dziobek, Mr. Alberto F Jimenez de Lucio, and Mr. James A Chan
This note addresses the following main issues: • Statistical definitions of government (Government Finance Statistics Manual 2001) • Institutional structure of government and public sector • What is a precise definition of government and why it is relevant • Potential pitfalls of lacking a precise definition of government • Definitions of government in IMF-supported programs • Applications for fiscal rules and other fiscal policy design
Mr. Thomas K. Morrison

Abstract

IMF technical assistance provided by the Statistics Department--toward assisting IMF member countries in developing the ability to provide reliable and comparable economic and financial data on a timely basis to policymakers and markets--has increased more than fourfold over the past decade. This assistance has proven critical in countries building their statistical capacity so as to come into line with international data standards in an increasingly globalized and electronically interconnected world. Statistical Capacity Building: Case Studies and Lessons Learned presents four case studies drawn from experience in three countries in transition to the market, two of which were also in postconflict situations, in the 1990s and early 2000s: Cambodia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Ukraine. Issues of setting, institutional and statistical arrangements, strategies, and implementation are examined, and lessons learned.

Mr. Juan P Cordoba, Mr. Robert Gillingham, Mr. Sanjeev Gupta, Mr. Ali M. Mansoor, Mr. Christian Schiller, and Marijn Verhoeven

Abstract

This text provides guidance to policymakers on how to design and implement sound price-subsidy reforms. It draws on the experience of price-subsidy reform in 28 countries. The authors discuss economic and political considerations and make several recommendations concerning the speed of reform and social protection mechanisms. They discuss how the social impact of reform can be limited by establishing cost-effective and well-targeted temporary social protection mechanisms, and how governments can reduce the risk of political disruption by distributing the initial burden of reform fairly and by clearly explaining the costs and benefits to the public.