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  • Timor-Leste, Democratic Republic of x
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Ali Alichi, Mr. Ippei Shibata, and Kadir Tanyeri
Government debt in many small states has risen beyond sustainable levels and some governments are considering fiscal consolidation. This paper estimates fiscal policy multipliers for small states using two distinct models: an empirical forecast error model with data from 23 small states across the world; and a Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium (DSGE) model calibrated to a hypothetical small state’s economy. The results suggest that fiscal policy using government current primary spending is ineffective, but using government investment is very potent in small states in affecting the level of their GDP over the medium term. These results are robust to different model specifications and characteristics of small states. Inability to affect GDP using current primary spending could be frustrating for policymakers when an expansionary policy is needed, but encouraging at the current juncture when many governments are considering fiscal consolidation. For the short term, however, multipliers for government current primary spending are larger and affected by imports as share of GDP, level of government debt, and position of the economy in the business cycle, among other factors.
Ms. Elva Bova, Mr. Paulo A Medas, and Mr. Tigran Poghosyan
Resource-rich countries face large and persistent shocks, especially coming from volatile commodity prices. Given the severity of the shocks, it would be expected that these countries adopt countercyclical fiscal policies to help shield the domestic economy. Taking advantage of a new dataset covering 48 non-renewable commodity exporters for the period 1970-2014, we investigate whether fiscal policy does indeed play a stabilizing role. Our analysis shows that fiscal policy tends to have a procyclical bias (mainly via expenditures) and, contrary to others, we do not find evidence that this bias has declined in recent years. Adoption of fiscal rules does not seem to reduce procyclicality in a significant way, but the quality of political institutions does matter. Finally, non-commodity revenues tend to respond only to persistent changes in commodity prices.
International Monetary Fund
This paper provides deeper insights on a few themes with regard to the experience with macroeconomic management in resource-rich developing countries (RRDCs). First, some stylized facts on the performance of these economies relative to their non-resource peers are provided. Second, the experience of Fund engagement in these economies with respect to surveillance, programs, and technical assistance is assessed. Third, the experience of selected countries with good practices in the management of the natural resource wealth is presented. Fourth, the experience of IMF advice in helping RRDCs set up resource funds is discussed. Finally, the main themes and messages from the IMF staff consultation with external stakeholders (CSOs, policy makers, academics) are presented.
International Monetary Fund
This Article IV Consultation reports that the main challenge is to maintain macroeconomic stability in substantial demand shock from the construction of two major liquefied natural gas projects. The global downturn had only a mild impact, as growth was supported by still strong terms of trade, a financial sector insulated from global capital markets, and an increase in public expenditure. IMF staff stressed that monetary policy needed to be focused on emerging inflation pressures and act preemptively to avoid high inflation from becoming entrenched in expectations.
International Monetary Fund
This paper presents a detailed analysis of the average fiscal policy responses of oil producing countries (OPCs) to the recent oil price cycle. We find that OPCs worsened their non-oil primary balances substantially during 2003-2008 driven by an increase in primary spending. However, this trend was partially reversed when oil prices went down in 2009. We also find evidence that fiscal policy has been procyclical and has hence exacerbated the fluctuations in economic activity. In addition, we estimate that a small reduction in oil prices could lead to very large financing needs in the near future. Finally, we show that long-term fiscal sustainability positions in OPCs have worsened.
Mr. Mauricio Villafuerte, Mr. Rolando Ossowski, Mr. Theo Thomas, and Mr. Paulo A Medas

Abstract

Oil-producing countries have benefited from rising oil prices in recent years. The increase in oil exports and oil revenues has had major implications for these countries. These developments have revealed how governments manage their fiscal policies in light of changing oil-market conditions and the role of special fiscal institutions (SFIs). In this Occasional Paper, IMF experts examine the fiscal response of oil-producing countries to the recent oil boom and the role of SFIs in fiscal management, they review the experiences of selected countries, and they draw general lessons. In doing so, they link findings on best practice in the design of SFIs with broader fiscal management advice.

Mr. Paulo A Medas and Mr. Eric Le Borgne
This paper looks at the role Sovereign Wealth Funds have played in the Pacific Island Countries in achieving key macro-fiscal policy objectives, namely, protecting the budget from high revenue volatility and strengthening fiscal prospects. Evidence shows that the funds' effectiveness has been hampered by lack of integration with the budget, institutional weaknesses, and inadequate controls. These factors, together with weak asset management, have sometimes led to substantial financial losses and undermined fiscal policy. Funds, if well designed, could be used as a tool to support a sound fiscal framework, but should not be seen as a substitute for fiscal reforms.
International Monetary Fund
This paper examines the fiscal responses of oil-producing countries (OPCs) to the oil boom through 2005 and the role of special fiscal institutions (SFIs)—oil funds, fiscal rules and fiscal responsibility legislation (FRL), and budgetary oil prices—in fiscal management in OPCs, and draws some general lessons.
Ms. Rina Bhattacharya, Mr. Benedict J. Clements, Mr. Sanjeev Gupta, Mr. Shamsuddin Tareq, Mr. Alex Segura-Ubiergo, and Mr. Todd D. Mattina

Abstract

This paper discusses experiences in reestablishing fiscal management in postconflict countries. Building fiscal institutions in postconflict countries essentially entails a three-step process: (1) creating a legal or regulatory framework for fiscal management; (2) establishing or strengthening fiscal authority; and (3) designing appropriate revenue and expenditure policies while simultaneously strengthening revenue administration and public expenditure management. Based on experiences in 14 postconflict countries, the paper reviews the challenges in rebuilding fiscal institutions in these countries, and identifies key priorities in the fiscal area following the cessation of hostilities.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
The Web edition of the IMF Survey is updated several times a week, and contains a wealth of articles about topical policy and economic issues in the news. Access the latest IMF research, read interviews, and listen to podcasts given by top IMF economists on important issues in the global economy. www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/survey/so/home.aspx