International Monetary Fund. Communications Department
This paper focuses on overcoming fears of technology and globalization means rethinking the rights and obligations of citizenship. While the causes of our discontent vary, they all point to the need to revitalize politics, economics, and social contract to provide citizens with a greater sense of security and confidence in the face of impending changes. The backlash highlights the need for a new social contract, one that adapts to changed economic realities and better manages the social implications of globalization. The social contract includes the payment of taxes in exchange for public goods, and the way that society looks after the old, the young, the infirm, and those who have fallen on hard times. Countries with greater social mobility grow faster because they more effectively match people to the right jobs. Another way to address inequality would be to put a floor under incomes, which would help ensure that even low-wage earners can enjoy a reasonable standard of living.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This Selected Issues paper reviews Pakistan’s tax regime, evaluates the level and composition of tax revenues, and estimates tax buoyancy and efficiency. Despite recent progress under the program, Pakistan’s tax revenue remains very low relative to comparator developing countries and the tax effort expected for the country’s level of development. This reflects narrow tax bases, overgenerous tax concessions and exemptions, weak and fragmented revenue administrations, and structural features of the economy. The findings suggest that unlocking tax revenue potential requires broadening tax bases, strengthening revenue administration and taxpayer compliance, eliminating distortionary tax expenditures, and rationalizing tax policy for greater efficiency and equity through a comprehensive and front-loaded reform agenda.
This Selected Issues paper presents a study on poverty in Madagascar. Madagascar is a country with general, widespread, and increasing poverty. Most of the population is extremely poor and struggling to pay for food. Madagascar has the potential to grow rapidly. It is endowed with abundant natural resources, a unique wildlife, and a young, vibrant, and rapidly growing population. Taking full advantage of the young population will require higher investment in education and healthcare. Economic inequality appears to have declined and the poorest have in fact increased their consumption. Thus, while it is true that more people are poor today than in 2001, on average those who are deepest into poverty appear to be economically better off today than in 2001. Poverty is primarily a rural challenge. An overriding majority of the population lives in rural areas and rural poverty rates are almost double those of urban areas.
Implementation of Chad’s first National Poverty Reduction Strategy was undermined by persistent internal conflict, weak governance, and lack of commitment to and ownership of economic and social reforms. The focus now is on the restoration of security, the improvement of governance, the diversification of the economy, and the promotion of human development. The government has to be mindful of the risks to this strategy. Executive Directors propose that the government should shift away from past patterns and demonstrate commitment to poverty reduction and good governance.
Studies of the impact of trade openness on growth are based either on crosscountry analysis—which lacks transparency—or case studies—which lack statistical rigor. This paper applies a transparent econometric method drawn from the treatment evaluation literature (matching estimators) to make the comparison between treated (that is, open) and control (that is, closed) countries explicit while remaining within a statistical framework. Matching estimators highlight that common cross-country evidence is based on rather far-fetched country comparisons, which stem from the lack of common support of treated and control countries in the covariate space. The paper therefore advocates paying more attention to appropriate sample restriction in crosscountry macro research.
The second Annual Progress Report (APR) evaluates progress of Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) implementation aimed to promote growth and reduce poverty of São Tomé and Príncipe. The report recognizes the need to tighten fiscal and monetary policies to safeguard macroeconomic stability, emphasize on strengthened implementation of public financial management reforms, and achieve MDGs, particularly in health and education. It also stressed the need to review oil prospects in future reports. The APR emphasizes on the importance of debt relief, strong policy implementation, and greater coordination with the country’s development partners.