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Mr. Yehenew Endegnanew and Dawit Tessema
Bolivia’s “Patriotic Agenda 2025” sets targets for social and economic development propelled by state-led industrialization under a five-year development plan (2016–2020). Large-scale public investment has aimed to fill infrastructure gaps and raise productivity to ensure sustained medium-term growth. Pursuit of these goals in a period of lower hydrocarbon revenues has, however, contributed to widening fiscal and external current account deficits. The paper uses a structural model to outline different scenarios for the level of public investment in the face of declining hydrocarbon revenues. It finds that if public investment is sustained at current levels as a share of GDP while hydrocarbon revenues continue to decline, the sustainability of the public debt could be called into question.
Mr. Fabian Valencia
Using precautionary savings models we compute levels of optimal reserves for Bolivia. Because of Bolivia's reliance on commodity exports and little integration with capital markets, we focus on current account shocks as the key balance of payments risk. These models generate an optimal level of net foreign assets ranging from 29 to 37 percent of GDP. For comparison purposes, we contrasted these results with standard rule of thumb measures of reserve adequacy, which in the case of Bolivia resulted in substantially lower levels of adequate reserves. These differing results emphasize the need to appropriately account for country-specific risks in order to derive adequate measures of reserve buffers.
John M. Piotrowski, Mr. David Coady, Justin Tyson, Mr. Rolando Ossowski, Mr. Robert Gillingham, and Mr. Shamsuddin Tareq
Petroleum product subsidies have again started to increase with the rebound in international prices. This note reviews recent developments in subsidy levels and argues that reforming the policy framework for setting petroleum product prices is necessary to reduce the fiscal burden of these subsidies and to address climate change. Between 2003 and mid-2008, global consumer subsidies for petroleum products are estimated to have increased more than eightfold, from $57 billion to $490 billion. Although subsidies decreased to $136 billion by mid-2009, they are projected to increase to $237 billion by end-2010 (or nearly 0.3 percent of global GDP). Tax-inclusive subsidies, reflecting sub-optimal taxation of petroleum products, are projected to increase to $733 billion, or 1.0 percent of global GDP. G-20 countries account for over 70 percent of tax-inclusive subsidies. Halving tax-inclusive subsidies could reduce projected fiscal deficits in subsidizing countries by one-sixth and greenhouse emissions by around 15 percent. Subsidy reform strategies should contain measures to mitigate the impact of higher prices on the poorest groups.
Ms. Gabriela Inchauste
Recognizing that intrahousehold inequalities exist, this study focuses on the distribution of resources toward children across household types. A bargaining framework is used to test whether it matters who has control over resources. Results show that control over resources matters, as well as the characteristics of family members. The policy implication is that the education of mothers is important to improve child welfare, over and above the benefits of cash transfer schemes. Parental education campaigns should accompany child welfare programs, particularly among indigenous families. Children fare better when mothers are educated, both parents are present, and there are fewer children.
Mr. Carlos A. Végh Gramont
The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
Mr. Jose De Gregorio
This paper investigates the relationship between inflation and long-run growth. It presents an endogenous growth model that illustrates the channels through which inflation affects growth. The model highlights the effects of inflation on the productivity of capital and the rate of capital accumulation. The reduction in growth is caused by a diversion of resources away from activities that lead to faster rates of growth toward activities associated with reducing the costs of inflation. The negative association between inflation and growth is assessed empirically for a sample group of Latin American countries.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
This paper highlights that the 1980 Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the IMF affirmed the willingness of the IMF to evolve, under its charter, to meet new circumstances; but in some ways there was a departure from the past. Two substantive problems dominated the Meeting: the persistence of high inflation as a worldwide problem and the large payments deficits engulfing the non-oil developing countries. There was general agreement that these were the immediate threats to international monetary stability.