Ms. Stefania Fabrizio, Mr. Alexei Goumilevski, and Mr. Kangni R Kpodar
Increased focus on income inequality and distributional issues has made incidence analysis a crucial input into policy decisions. This note presents the theoretical framework used to conduct incidence analysis of fuel price subsidy reform and presents a user-friendly tool for its application. This new tool requires limited inputs and has the advantage of using the commonly available software program Excel. The note presents an illustration based on the case of Brazil, using the 2005 household survey and input-output table. The results reinforce the typical finding that fuel subsidies benefit well-off households and that their removal would be progressive.
Ara Stepanyan, Agustin Roitman, Gohar Minasyan, Ms. Dragana Ostojic, and Mr. Natan P. Epstein
In the face of sharply lower oil prices and geopolitical tensions and sanctions, economic activity in Russia decelerated in late 2014, resulting in negative spillovers on Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and, to a lesser extent, on Baltic countries. The spillovers to eastern Europe have been limited. The degree of impact is commensurate with the level of these countries’ trade, remittances, and foreign direct investment (FDI) links with Russia. So far, policy action by the affected countries has focused on mitigating the immediate consequences of spillovers.
Ms. Stefania Fabrizio, Mr. Rodrigo Garcia-Verdu, Ms. Catherine A Pattillo, Adrian Peralta-Alva, Mr. Andrea F Presbitero, Baoping Shang, Ms. Genevieve Verdier, Mrs. Marie T Dal Corso, Kazuaki Washimi, Ms. Lisa L Kolovich, Ms. Monique Newiak, Mr. Martin Cihak, Ms. Inci Otker, Luis-Felipe Zanna, and Ms. Carol L Baker
The formal launch of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) sets the global development agenda through 2030, placing significant emphasis on promoting social and environmental sustainability alongside economic growth and poverty reduction. Meeting the SDGs will require actions across a wide range of areas by both national governments and the international community. This paper examines the types of policies that developing countries will need to implement to foster economic transformation, to promote economic and social inclusion, and to meet key environmental objectives. Reducing inequality, achieving gender equity, and pricing energy and water resources appropriately receive particular attention.
Mr. Aasim M. Husain, Mr. Rabah Arezki, Mr. Peter Breuer, Mr. Vikram Haksar, Mr. Thomas Helbling, Mr. Paulo A Medas, and Mr. Martin Sommer
The sharp drop in oil prices is one of the most important global economic developments over the past year. The SDN finds that (i) supply factors have played a somewhat larger role than demand factors in driving the oil price drop, (ii) a substantial part of the price decline is expected to persist into the medium term, although there is large uncertainty, (iii) lower oil prices will support global growth, (iv) the sharp oil price drop could still trigger financial strains, and (v) policy responses should depend on the terms-of-trade impact, fiscal and external vulnerabilities, and domestic cyclical position.
Mr. David Coady, Mr. Javier Arze del Granado, Luc Eyraud, and Ms. Anita Tuladhar
Many developing and emerging countries do not fully pass-through increases in international fuel prices to domestic retail prices, with adverse consequences for fuel tax revenues and tax volatility. The adoption of an automatic fuel pricing mechanism can help to address this problem, and the incorporation of a price smoothing mechanism can ensure pass-through over the medium term but also avoid sharp increases (and decreases) in domestic prices. This technical note addresses the following issues: (i) the design of an automatic fuel pricing mechanism; (ii) the incorporation of domestic price smoothing and resulting tradeoffs; (iii) the transition from ad hoc pricing adjustments to an automatic mechanism; and (iv) policies to support this transition and the maintenance of an automatic mechanism. A standardized template for simulating and evaluating the implications of alternative pricing mechanisms for price and fiscal volatility is available on request.