This Selected Issues on Gabon seeks to quantify the impact of governance reforms on growth. It uses a dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) model calibrated to Gabon to simulate the potential benefits from governance and anti-corruption reforms to growth and public debt. Vulnerabilities in the fiscal institutional framework constrain effective revenue collection and reduce the efficiency of public spending, thus limiting fiscal space for priority pro-growth spending. The results of a DSGE model for Gabon suggest that macro-fiscal gains from governance reforms could be substantial. The potential additional growth can range from 0.8 to 1.5 percent per year over the next 10 years, and debt can decline by 1.0 to 2.0 percent of non-oil gross domestic product per year over the same period. It is urgent to improve governance and curb corruption to boost domestic revenue, enhance public finance management and the quality of spending, and improve the business environment to promote private investment and facilitate private sector activity.
Manoj Atolia, Bin Grace Li, Ricardo Marto, and Mr. Giovanni Melina
Why do governments in developing economies invest in roads and not enough in schools? In the presence
of distortionary taxation and debt aversion, the different pace at which roads and schools contribute to
economic growth turns out to be central to this decision. Specifically, while costs are front-loaded for both
types of investment, the growth benefits of schools accrue with a delay. To put things in perspective, with
a “big push,” even assuming a large (15 percent) return differential in favor of schools, the government
would still limit the fraction of the investment scale-up going to schools to about a half. Besides debt
aversion, political myopia also turns out to be a crucial determinant of public investment composition. A
“big push,” by accelerating growth outcomes, mitigates myopia—but at the expense of greater risks to
fiscal and debt sustainability. Tied concessional financing and grants can potentially mitigate the adverse
effects of both debt aversion and political myopia.
The government of the Republic of Congo launched a program aimed at consolidating peace and promoting economic and social development. The objectives included improvement of governance and consolidation of peace and security, promotion of growth and macroeconomic stability, improvement of public access to basic social services, improvement of the social environment, integration of disadvantaged groups, and combating HIV/AIDS. The review shows that much remains to be accomplished, and building on the significant gains of recent years, the decision to expand and strengthen the strategic poverty reduction framework was made.
This paper presents a description of the IMF and its activities, focusing in particular on its technical assistance (TA) activities. The report then describes in greater detail the Japan Administered Account for Selected Fund Activities (JSA)—including its objectives, size, scope, and use, as well as assessments of its activities, with a focus on fiscal year (FY) 2007—and the TA activities and scholarship programs that it finances. The IMF’s technical assistance is delivered mainly by its Fiscal Affairs Department (FAD), Monetary and Capital Markets Department (MCM), and Statistics Department (STA). Japan provides grant contributions for two scholarship programs. In 1996, the Japan-IMF Scholarship Program for Advanced Studies, which is administered by the IMF Institute, was established. JSA resources can be used to cover the cost of short- and long-term TA experts and other costs associated with conducting seminars and workshops, such as room rental fees. Although TA activities financed by the JSA can take place in all areas of the world, the Japanese authorities place high priority on funding TA activities in Asia and the Pacific, Central Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, and countries of the former Soviet Union.
This chapter focuses on IMF’s technical assistance (TA) activities and describes Japan Administered Account for Selected Fund Activities (JSA) including its objectives, size, scope, and use, as well as assessments of its activities, with focus on fiscal year. Activities to be funded from the JSA, as well as all other IMF TA activities, are planned each year. Reflecting greater global financial stability and fewer conflict situations over the past two years, FY2006 saw a reduction in JSA allocations for crisis prevention and the rehabilitation of economic and financial institutions in post-conflict countries, and an increase in JSA allocations for sustainable debt management and poverty reduction efforts. The distribution of the commitment of JSA funds among the subject areas has broadly reflected the foregoing distribution in the overall use of IMF resources for technical assistance. Japan also provides financial support for a scholarship program for qualified Asian nationals who want to study economics at the doctoral level at one of the leading universities in North America to pursue a career at the IMF or in their home country governments. The program covers tuition and reasonable costs for two years of study; scholars are expected to cover the remaining years of study, typically through additional funding from their universities.