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Mr. Juan P Cordoba, Mr. Robert Gillingham, Mr. Sanjeev Gupta, Mr. Ali M. Mansoor, Mr. Christian Schiller, and Marijn Verhoeven

Abstract

This text provides guidance to policymakers on how to design and implement sound price-subsidy reforms. It draws on the experience of price-subsidy reform in 28 countries. The authors discuss economic and political considerations and make several recommendations concerning the speed of reform and social protection mechanisms. They discuss how the social impact of reform can be limited by establishing cost-effective and well-targeted temporary social protection mechanisms, and how governments can reduce the risk of political disruption by distributing the initial burden of reform fairly and by clearly explaining the costs and benefits to the public.

International Monetary Fund

The 2012 Article IV Consultation and Fourth Review under the three-year Extended Credit Facility (ECF) Arrangement discusses the macroeconomic conditions of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania. Mauritania’s economy has performed well in 2011, despite significant challenges. Economic activity is likely to pick up and inflation to remain low. However, Mauritania faces important short- and medium-term policy challenges, notably in the social area, where progress in reducing poverty has been slow and unemployment is still high. The performance under the ECF-supported program has remained strong.

Mr. Ehtisham Ahmad and Mr. Luc E. Leruth
In the context of continuing adjustments in the economy, the Government of Indonesia proposes to bring energy prices closer to long run marginal cost, while adequately compensating the poor. We focus on the constraints on central government policy objectives towards the poor as decentralization takes effect. However, local governments currently lack credible social protection instruments and their objectives usually do not match those of the center, which imposes constraints on program designs. We discuss the suitability of a number of safety net mechanisms in a decentralized context and draw policy implications.

Abstract

The 14 papers that comprise this book, edited by Ke-young Chu and Sanjeev Gupta, provide a comprehensive review of the IMF's work on social safety nets. Part I provides a broad overview of the social concerns in structural policy and the basic work related to social safety nets. Part II deals with the design of social safety nets. Part III provides case studies on nine countries from different parts of the world.