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Yasemin Bal Gunduz, Mr. Christian H Ebeke, Ms. Burcu Hacibedel, Ms. Linda Kaltani, Ms. Vera V Kehayova, Mr. Chris Lane, Mr. Christian Mumssen, Miss Nkunde Mwase, and Mr. Joseph Thornton

Abstract

This paper aims to assess the economic impact of the IMF’s support through its facilities for low-income countries. It relies on two complementary econometric analyses: the first investigates the longer-term impact of IMF engagement—primarily through successive medium-term programs under the Extended Credit Facility and its predecessors (and more recently the Policy Support Instrument)—on economic growth and a range of other indicators and socioeconomic outcomes; the second focuses on the role of IMF shock-related financing—through augmentations of Extended Credit Facility arrangements and short-term and emergency financing instruments—on short-term macroeconomic performance.

Mr. Eduardo Borensztein, Mr. Olivier D Jeanne, Mr. Paolo Mauro, Mr. Jeromin Zettelmeyer, and Mr. Marcos d Chamon

Abstract

The debate on government debt in the context of possible reforms of the international financial architecture has thus far focused on crisis resolution. This paper seeks to broaden this debate. It asks how government debt could be structured to pursue other objectives, including crisis prevention, international risk-sharing, and facilitating the adjustment of fiscal variables to changes in domestic economic conditions. To that end, the paper considers recently developed analytical approaches to improving sovereign debt structure using existing instruments, and reviews a number of proposals--including the introduction of explicit seniority and GDP-linked instruments--in the sovereign context.

Mr. Rolando Ossowski, Mr. Steven A Barnett, Mr. James Daniel, and Mr. Jeffrey M. Davis

Abstract

This chapter examines whether funds can help countries pursue good macroeconomic, and especially fiscal policies, and consequent design issues. Nonrenewable resource funds (NRF) have been suggested as a way of dealing with the effects of price variability, making it easier to put revenues aside when prices are high so that they can be made available to maintain expenditures when prices are low. Funds may also serve as mechanisms to allow part of the nonrenewable resource wealth to be shared by future generations. A detailed evaluation of country experience suggests that NRFs have been associated with a variety of operating rules and fiscal policy experience. In several cases, rules have been bypassed or changed and they do not themselves seem to have effectively constrained spending, and the integration of the fund's operations with overall fiscal policy has often proven problematic. Whether the political economy arguments for an NRF outweigh the potential disadvantages will need to be considered based on the situation in each country.

Mr. Liam P. Ebrill

Abstract

This paper provides an overview of the recent revenue performance in the Baltics, Russia, and other countries of the former Soviet Union, and a survey of these countries efforts to modify tax policy in line with the needs of increasingly market-oriented economies and to increase the effectiveness of tax administration. It focuses principally on the 12 countries of the CIS, but refers also to the Baltic countries, and addresses the period from 1995 to mid-1998, prior to the August 1998 financial crisis in Russia.