Ms. Kimberly Beaton, Mr. Roberto Garcia-Saltos, and Mr. Lorenzo U Figliuoli
Abstract: Accelerating economic growth in Central America, Panama and the Dominican Republic (CAPDR) remains an elusive task. While the region performed relatively well in the post-global financial crisis period, over the last five years obstacles to growth have become more evident and new challenges have emerged. In response, the region has strengthened macro-financial frameworks but more progress will be required to pave the way to sustained growth and prosperity. This book considers the structural factors underlying the region’s growth outlook and assesses its macroeconomic and financial challenges to help shape the policy agenda going forward. The book first identifies the structural determinants of growth in the region related to: capital formation; employment; demographic factors, including immigration; productivity; and violence. It then highlights the importance of creating fiscal space through the design and implementation of fiscal rules and mechanisms to increase accountability (better quality of public spending, adequate policies to reduce income inequality and sustainable retirement plans). Finally, it presents recent evidence on the importance of a supportive financial sector for growth (including through financial inclusion and development).
This paper reports a brief description of the IMF and its activities, focusing in particular on its technical assistance (TA) activities. The report then describes in greater detail the Japan Administered Account for Selected Fund Activities (JSA)—including its objectives, size, scope, and use, as well as assessments of its activities, with a focus on fiscal year (FY) 2008—and the TA activities and scholarship programs that it finances. The IMF finances technical assistance for its member countries, devoting some 25 percent of its annual operating budget to TA work and training. Although most technical assistance is financed through internal resources, external financing from bilateral and multilateral partners has been increasing over the past few years and constitutes an important pillar. The responsibilities of the Regional Office in Tokyo include collaborative efforts between the IMF and Japan that strengthen economic prospects in the Asia-Pacific region, and also include support of various regional policy forums, such as Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and the Pacific Islands Forum.
The staff report for the 2006 Article IV Consultation on Botswana highlights economic developments and monetary and exchange rate policy. Botswana’s growth has been fueled by continued increases in diamond production; and real diamond output is projected to level off, and then decline sharply after about 15 years. Diversification of the economy will require implementation of substantial structural reforms, in particular the authorities’ planned reforms in labor markets, the investment environment, and the role of parastatals.
This report highlights progress made in implementing the Honduran Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS) from the time of its approval by the Government of Honduras in August 2001 to the present. The report monitors the economic and social programs that were defined in the original document and which were revised following consultation with civil society in the First Progress Report and Update of the PRSP. The report discusses that Honduras has thus far achieved approximately 18 percent of the improvement on the PRSP indicators that will be needed to reach to the goals set for 2015.
Mr. Erwin H Tiongson, Mr. Hamid R Davoodi, and Sawitree S. Asawanuchit
This paper provides a primer on benefit incidence analysis (BIA) for macroeconomists and a new data set on the benefit incidence of education and health spending covering 56 countries over 1960-2000, representing a significant improvement in quality and coverage over existing compilations. The paper demonstrates the usefulness of BIA in two dimensions. First, the paper finds, among other things, that overall education and health spending are poorly targeted; benefits from primary education and primary health care go disproportionately to the middle class, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, HIPCs and transition economies; but targeting has improved in the 1990s. Second, simple measures of association show that countries with a more propoor incidence of education and health spending tend to have better education and health outcomes, good governance, high per capita income, and wider accessibility to information. The paper explores policy implications of these findings.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
IMF economists and researchers from outside the institution gathered at the IMF’s Third Annual Research Conference on November 7-8. The conference had an overarching theme of capital flows and global governance but also dealt with an eclectic array of other issues that economists at the IMF and elsewhere are exploring.
During his tenure as Managing Director of the IMF, and in his interactions with civil society, Michel Camdessus was asked many questions related to the IMF's role in development. This pamphlet collects questions frequently asked by civil society around the world and the responses given by Mr. Camdessus that help to clarify the IMF position on human development.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
This paper highlights that there has been remarkable agricultural growth over the past three decades. Growth has been twice as rapid as in any previous period. Output has been fueled largely by developing countries’ increased capacity to produce more food and by continued growth in the developed countries. Despite this remarkable and sometimes unrecognized achievement, the “world food problem” continues to haunt mankind. Population growth, more rapid than agricultural growth in many poor countries, has sharply reduced the per capita benefits of increased food production.
Many studies on International tax compaisons have been undertaken since the early 1970s. While controversial, such studies have facilitated more subtle comparisons of a country's tax performance than would be afforded by focusing on its simple tax ratio.