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Pietro Dallari, Mr. Nicolas End, Fedor Miryugin, Alexander F. Tieman, and Mr. Seyed Reza Yousefi
This paper investigates the role of tax incentives towards debt finance in the buildup of leverage in the nonfinancial corporate (NFC) sector, using a large firm-level dataset. We find that so-called debt bias is a significant driver of leverage, for both small and medium-sized enterprises and larger firms, with its effect accounting for about a quarter of leverage. The strength of this effect differs with firm size, the availability of collateral, income and income volatility, cash flow, and capital intensity. We conclude that leveling the playing field between debt and equity finance through tax policy reform would decrease NFC leverage, reducing economic risks posited by leverage.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This paper discusses Armenia’s Third Review Under the Extended Arrangement, and Request for Waiver and Modification of Performance Criteria (PC). Growth in Armenia is expected to remain subdued as recession in Russia continues and as the base effects of the 2015 one-off factors dissipate. The program performance has been broadly satisfactory. All end-December 2015 PCs, except for the fiscal deficit PC, and all the continuous PCs were met. The fiscal deficit PC was missed by 0.3 percent of GDP. The IMF staff supports completion of the review and the authorities’ request for a purchase in an amount equivalent to SDR 15.65 million.
International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues Paper quantifies the variability of tax elasticities in Lithuania using two alternative methods: rolling regressions and pooled mean group estimator. The analysis is motivated by the systematic variation of tax revenues observed over the economic cycle. Both methods confirm that tax elasticities moved with the cycle, which can be attributed to the procyclical tax compliance tendencies and structural composition effects across tax bases. The results of the study emphasize the importance of accounting for cyclical variation in tax elasticities when making short-term tax revenue projections.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
IMF and low-income countries; De Rato in Tokyo; U.K. poverty initiative; Palau, Lithuania, Ethiopia, Kuwait; Volatility in Latin America; U.S. home equity withdrawal; Botswana: avoiding the resource curse; India: tax reform; U.S corporate cash balances.
Mr. Ebrima A Faal
The persistence in Guyana of a substantial underground economy is an important consequence of economic and social policy over 1964-2000. The paper attempts to estimate the magnitude of, and changes to the underground economy in Guyana, as well as its adverse effect on tax collection, during this period.
International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper examines the competitiveness of the Irish manufacturing sector. The paper highlights that in 2001, production cuts and accelerating wage growth arrested the trend improvement in external competitiveness, but the level remains high. The paper presents some medium-term fiscal scenarios. It discusses indicators of financial system soundness based on official data and publications, as well as discussions with the authorities. The paper also examines indicators on the vulnerability and solvency of the financial system and presents a brief description of supervision arrangements.
International Monetary Fund
Compared with its U.S. and U.K. counterparts, the Labor Tax Credit (LTC) is likely to have more limited effects on incentives for primary-earners to enter the labor force, because of the smaller size of the credit. Any significant increase in the LTC to strengthen its effect on the still large poverty trap in the Netherlands is likely to be extremely expensive. Given the easy availability of part-time employment and the high marginal tax rates, the reduction in hours worked could be substantial in the Netherlands.
International Monetary Fund
This paper presents background issues and a statistical update on Chad. The paper highlights that by mid-1994, it became evident that major slippages had taken place under the economic adjustment program adopted by the authorities earlier in the year. As a result, the authorities examined the nature of the problems of program implementation and monitoring. The examination concluded that ownership of the program had been lacking, the objectives of the program had not been properly explained both within and outside government, and preparation and supervision of the required policy measures needed clearer and firmer guidance.
International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.
The CMEA countries are starting to conduct their trade at world prices and in convertible currencies. These are crucial steps in economic reform but will worsen Eastern Europe’s terms of trade and drive it into current account deficit with the U.S.S.R. Proposals have been made for a payments union, resembling the European Payments Union of 1950–58, to ease the transition. Such an arrangement would not function well if it included the U.S.S.R., which would be a persistent creditor. Other ways must be found to deal with the transition.
International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.
This paper outlines potential strengths and weaknesses of various versions of the target zone approach and confronts operational outlines potential strengths and weaknesses of various versions of the target zone approach but also confronts operational. Target zones differ from a pure system of clean floating in that the authorities are permitted (and indeed are likely) to intervene in the exchange market, and, more generally, are encouraged to take a view on the desirable level of the exchange rate. The hard version of target zones shares some of the attributes of the existing European Monetary System (EMS). Unlike the EMS, hard target zones neither entail a formal commitment for exchange rate intervention nor there is analog to the credit facilities of the EMS. The soft version of target zones differs from existing IMF surveillance. Whether measured in real or nominal terms, bilateral or effective terms, and the short-run variability of exchange rates over the period of managed floating has been high—indeed, significantly higher than during the previous Bretton Woods system.