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Mr. Francesco Grigoli
The measurement of the efficiency of public education expenditure using parametric and non-parametric methods has proven challenging. This paper seeks to overcome the difficulties of earlier studies by using a hybrid approach to measure the efficiency of secondary education spending in emerging and developing economies. The approach accounts for the impact of the level of development on education outcomes by constructing different efficiency frontiers for lower- and higher-income economies. We find evidence of large potential gains in enrollment rates by improving efficiency. These are largest in lower-income economies, especially in Africa. Reallocating expenditure to reduce student-to-teacher ratios (where these are high) and improving the quality of institutions (as measured by the "governance effectiveness" indicator in the World bank's Governance Indicators database) could help improve the efficiency of education spending. Easing the access to education facilities and reducing income inequality (as measured by the Gini coefficient) could also help improve efficiency.
Mario Mansour and Mr. Michael Keen
This paper evaluates the nature and extent of, and possible responses to, two of the central challenges that globalization poses for revenue mobilization in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA): from corporate tax competition, and from trade liberalization. It does so using a new dataset with features needed to meaningfully address these issues: a distinction between resourcerelated and other revenues, and a disentangling of tariff from commodity tax revenue. Countries' experiences vary quite widely, nonresource revenues have been essentially stagnant. Corporate tax revenues have held up, despite a reduction in rates and evidence of substantial base-narrowing-something of a puzzle-and trade tax revenue reductions have been largely offset by other measures. Options for dealing with the continuation and intensification of the challenges, which the present crisis is likely to accelerate-including through regional cooperation-are discussed.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
Assemblée annuelle, Communiqué du CMFI, Principes pour fonds souverains, Crise financière mondiale, Comptabilité à la juste valeur, Tensions financières et ralentissements, Crise des subprimes, Où en sont Fannie et Freddie?, Analyse des taux de change, Centres régionaux d'assistance technique, Assistance technique : fonds fiduciaires, Perspectives économiques africaines, Protection contre les chocs exogènes, L'actualité en bref.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
Reuniones Anuales, Comunicado del CMFI, Fondos soberanos de inversión, Crisis financiera mundial, Metodologías contables, Impacto del estrés financiero, Crisis hipotecaria, El futuro de Fannie y Freddie, Análisis de tipos de cambio, Centros de asistencia técnica, Fondos fiduciarios de asistencia, Perspectivas económicas de África, Servicio para Shocks Exógenos, Notas breves
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
Annual Meetings, IMFC Communiqué, Global Financial Stability Report, Sovereign Wealth Fund Principles, Global Financial Crisis, Fair Value Accounting, Financial Stress and Downturns, Subprime Crisis, What Next for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac?, Exchange Rate Analysis, IMF Technical Assistance Centers, TA Trust Funds, African Economic Outlook, Exogenous Shocks Facility, News Briefs.
Mr. Gonzalo Salinas and Patrick A. Imam
The growth literature has had problems explaining the "sub-Saharan African growth dummy" in cross-country regressions. Instead of taking the usual approach of focusing on long-run growth and assuming that sub-Saharan countries have homogenous parameters in growth regressions, we concentrate our analysis on episodes of growth turnarounds (identifying growth accelerations, decelerations, and collapses) and use only West African countries in our sample. The driving force of growth turnarounds are estimated by analyzing external shocks, political and institutional changes, economic reforms, and indicators particularly relevant to the region. Using probits for a group of 22 Western African economies for the period 1960-2006, we find that growth accelerations are most clearly associated with external shocks, economic liberalization, political stability, and closeness to the coast; decelerations occurred during short-lived regimes and when corruption indices weakened; and collapses are linked to external shocks, falling domestic credit, and proximity to the coast. We then identify policy implications.
Mr. Jian-Ye Wang, Nisreen H. Farhan, Amar Shanghavi, Mr. Márcio Valério Ronci, and Ms. Misa Takebe
This paper assesses São Tomé and Príncipe's monetary and exchange rate arrangements in light of the country's monetary history and the relevant experience of comparable countries in Africa. The study highlights several structural characteristics of São Tomé and Príncipe including its very small size, high degree of openness, extensive use of foreign currencies, and inflexible product and factor markets in the consideration of an appropriate monetary and exchange regime. Firmly anchored currency arrangements, defined in this paper to include memberships in monetary unions or hard pegs, are found to be preferable to the status quo of a managed float. The paper applies statistical methods and takes into account other factors to identify the appropriate anchor currency. It stresses that fiscal discipline and prudent debt management are the main prerequisites for a firmly anchored currency arrangement.
Yongzheng Yang, Mr. Robert Powell, and Mr. Sanjeev Gupta

Abstract

Over the next decade, African countries are expected to be the largest beneficiaries of increased donor aid, which is intended to improve their prospects for achieving the Millennium Development Goals. This handbook will help these countries assess the macroeconomic implications of increased aid and respond to the associated policy challenges. The handbook is directed at policymakers, practicing economists in African countries, and the staffs of international financial institutions and donor agencies who participate in preparing medium-term strategies for African countries, including in the context of poverty reduction strategy papers. It provides five main guidelines for developing scaling-up scenarios to help countries identify important policy issues involved in using higher aid flows effectively: to absorb as much aid as possible, to boost growth in the short to medium term, to promote good governance and reduce corruption, to prepare an exit strategy should aid levels decrease, and to regularly reassess the policy mix.