This Selected Issues paper provides an assessment of the redistributive impact of fiscal policies in Togo by estimating the impact of taxation and spending on household-level income inequality and poverty rates. Although the combination of direct taxes and subsidies is found to reduce inequality, it increases poverty rates, as the value of taxes paid by lower-income households outweighs the value of transfers they receive, increasing the share of the population living below the poverty line. These findings highlight the importance of targeting spending to lower-income households as the authorities progressively shift public spending from infrastructure to social expenditures.
Mr. Montfort Mlachila, Mr. Edgardo Ruggiero, and David Corvino
This paper examines the constraints that negative externalities (i.e., smuggling from a large neighbor)
impose on the application of automatic fuel price adjustment mechanisms. It is often recommended to
establish an automatic price adjustment mechanism to reduce fuel subsidy expenditures, but this
approach may not work in the presence of these externalities. The paper illustrates the constraints by
examining the case of Nigeria, a major oil exporter that subsidizes gasoline, and that of Togo, an oil
importer and neighbor of Nigeria. It finds that the price differential between formal prices in Togo and
Nigeria is the main driver of changes in formal sector gasoline consumption. Specifically, the lower the
formal price in Nigeria, the higher is smuggling from Nigeria to Togo, and the lower the tax base in
Togo. The econometric results suggest that, unless the real economy is performing very well, increases in
pump prices in Togo are likely to erode the tax base, unless there are greater border controls. The
unintended consequences of Nigeria’s pricing policies are the constraint they impose on fuel pricing
policies of its neighbors and the subsidy Nigeria transfers to them (equivalent to at least 3 percent of
Togo’s GDP in 2011), three-quarters of which was captured by smugglers in 2011, while one-quarter
enhanced consumers surplus through lower gasoline prices.
This Selected Issues paper discusses the assessment of economic activity in Togo in absence of quarterly GDP series. Togo collects about 40 macroeconomic indicators monthly that span a wide range of sectors of the economy. The selection of the variables for the economic activity index is conducted by finding the combination of variables. The indicators are aggregated into an index using a methodology used by the Conference Board. Then an economic activity index is constructed that effectively replicates the historical growth rates of real GDP in Togo. The selected index minimizes the deviations between the growth rates of the indicator and actual real GDP growth over 2002–13.
Mrs. Kerstin Gerling and Carlos Fernandez Valdovinos
Using a consistent dataset and methodology for all eight member countries of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) from 1994 to 2009, this paper provides evidence of the two major channels for real effects of inflation: inflation uncertainty and relative price variability. In line with theory and most evidence for advanced and emerging market economies, higher inflation increases inflation uncertainty and relative price variability in all WAEMU countries. However, the pattern, magnitude and timing of these two channels vary considerably by country. The findings raise several policy issues for future research.
This paper focuses on Togo’s Poverty Reduction Strategy. The Interim Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper adopted by the government in March 2008 has allowed Togo once again to benefit from international financial cooperation. With a view to improving political and economic governance, the government continued the ongoing process of national reconciliation and political reform, strengthening the rule of law and the security of persons and property, and implementation of institutional reforms. The government has introduced reforms designed to improve governance in nonperforming state enterprises and in the banking sector.
This paper discusses key findings of the First Review Under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility for Togo. All relevant performance criteria for the first review were met, some by wide margins. Implementation of the structural reform program was satisfactory. Good revenue collection and restrained spending resulted in a large primary surplus in the first half of 2008. A moderate revision to the end-2008 fiscal primary balance target is proposed to reflect the revenue losses and new expenditures resulting from the price shocks and flooding.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
Inflation, La crise des subprimes, Assistance technique, Ghana, Lutte contre le blanchiment des capitaux, Les dépenses sociales, États-Unis, La marasme immobilier, Japon, Lipsky, Swaziland, Investissements directs étrangers, L'actualité en bref.