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Mario Mansour and Mr. Gregoire Rota Graziosi
We review the current state of the West African Economic and Monetary Union’s tax coordination framework, against the main objectives of the WAEMU Treaty of 1994: reduce distortions to intra-community trade, and mobilize domestic tax revenue. The process of tax coordination in WAEMU is one of the most advanced in the world—de jure at least—, but remains in many areas ineffective de facto. Nevertheless, the framework has, to some extent, succeeded in converging tax systems, particularly statutory tax rates, and may have contributed to improving revenue mobilisation. Important lessons can be drawn from the WAEMU experience, particularly in terms of whether coordination should take the form of harmonization through a top-down approach, or a softer approach of sharing best practice and limiting certain types of tax competition.
Ms. Heloisa Marone
This study analyzes Cabo Verde’s demographic transition from the perspective of gender equality. As the pace of the demographic transition slows, promoting gender equality and increasing women’s labor force participation will be progressively more important in enhancing otherwise slow-growth dynamics, reducing poverty, and improving the lives of all, women and men. The study investigates gender gaps in the labor market participation rate, employment conditions, and the use of time dedicated to unpaid work. It also discusses policy options to decrease the time women spend on unpaid work, enhance their employability, and enable them to secure employment. Overall, this study contributes to the debate on how better to manage the potential dividends resulting from demographic transitions on the still young but rapidly aging African continent.
Ms. Valerie Cerra and Martha Tesfaye Woldemichael
This paper investigates the determinants of sustained accelerations in goods and services exports. Strong predictors of export takeoffs include domestic and structural indicators such as lower macroeconomic uncertainty, improved quality of institutions, a depreciated exchange rate, and agricultural reforms. Lower tariffs, participation in global value chains and diversification also contribute to initiating export accelerations. The paper also finds heterogeneity, with somewhat different triggers for Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as for goods and services. Finally, despite the lack of a robust effect on output, export surges tend to be associated with lower post-acceleration unemployment and income inequality.
Mr. Dhaneshwar Ghura
An analysis of data for 39 sub-Saharan African countries during 1985–96 indicates that the variations in tax revenue-GDP ratios within this group are influenced by economic policies and the level of corruption. Namely, these ratios rise with declining inflation, implementation of structural reforms, rising human capital (a proxy for the provision of public services by the government), and declining corruption. The paper confirms that the tax revenue ratio rises with income, and that elements of a country’s tax base (such as the share of agriculture in GDP and the degree of openness) influence tax revenue.
Mr. Arvind Subramanian and Mr. Devesh Roy
This paper examines different explanations-initial conditions, openness to trade and FDI, and institutions-of the Mauritian growth experience since the mid-1970s. We show that arguments based on openness to trade and FDI are either misleading or incomplete, and the transmission mechanism insufficiently identified. However, even when correctly articulated, openness appears to be a proximate rather than an underlying explanation for the Mauritian experience. The institution-based explanation offers greater promise. Ultimately, however, the econometric results indicate that existing explanations may be incomplete. Some idiosyncratic factors, particularly Mauritian diversity and the responses to managing it, may provide the missing pieces in the story of Mauritius's success.
Wai-Yip Alex Ho and Chun-Yu Ho
We find that from 1995 to 2002 in China, the dispersion of wealth decreased, the moneywealth ratio increased for all wealth levels and the aggregate money-output ratio increased. We develop a two-asset dynamic general equilibrium model in which households face a portfolio adjustment cost and a borrowing constraint. We find that financial development lowers the dispersion of wealth by reducing the precautionary motive of households. In addition, tight monetary policies increase the value of money and thus increase the moneywealth ratio for all wealth levels and the aggregate money-output ratio.
Mr. Paulo Drummond and Miss Estelle X Liu
The rapid growth in China’s domestic investment in recent decades has generated a large appetite for global goods, including from sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). This paper estimates the impact of changes in China’s investment growth on SSA’s exports. Although rising trading links with China have allowed African countries to diversify their export base across countries, away from advanced economies, they have also led SSA countries to become more susceptible to spillovers from China. Based on panel data analysis, a 1 percentage point increase (decline) in China’s domestic investment growth is associated with an average 0.6 percentage point increase (decline) in SSA countries’ export growth. This impact is larger for resource-rich countries, especially oil exporters. These effects could be mitigated, however, to the extent that countries can reorient their exports.