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Willi Wapenhans

For the latest thinking about the international financial system, monetary policy, economic development, poverty reduction, and other critical issues, subscribe to Finance & Development (F&D). This lively quarterly magazine brings you in-depth analyses of these and other subjects by the IMF’s own staff as well as by prominent international experts. Articles are written for lay readers who want to enrich their understanding of the workings of the global economy and the policies and activities of the IMF.

Gordon Hughes

For the latest thinking about the international financial system, monetary policy, economic development, poverty reduction, and other critical issues, subscribe to Finance & Development (F&D). This lively quarterly magazine brings you in-depth analyses of these and other subjects by the IMF’s own staff as well as by prominent international experts. Articles are written for lay readers who want to enrich their understanding of the workings of the global economy and the policies and activities of the IMF.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
For the latest thinking about the international financial system, monetary policy, economic development, poverty reduction, and other critical issues, subscribe to Finance & Development (F&D). This lively quarterly magazine brings you in-depth analyses of these and other subjects by the IMF’s own staff as well as by prominent international experts. Articles are written for lay readers who want to enrich their understanding of the workings of the global economy and the policies and activities of the IMF.
Philip Daniel, Alan Krupnick, Ms. Thornton Matheson, Peter Mullins, Ian Parry, and Artur Swistak
This paper suggests that the environmental and commercial features of shale gas extraction do not warrant a significantly different fiscal regime than recommended for conventional gas. Fiscal policies may have a role in addressing some environmental risks (e.g., greenhouse gases, scarce water, local air pollution) though in some cases their net benefits may be modest. Simulation analyses suggest, moreover, that special fiscal regimes are generally less important than other factors in determining shale gas investments (hence there appears little need for them), yet they forego significant revenues.
Mr. David C Nellor and Mr. Ronald T. McMorran
This paper provides a framework for examining environment taxes. It reviews the theoretical efficiency of three types of environment taxes: taxes on emissions or Pigouvian taxes; taxes on productive inputs or consumer goods whose use is related to environmental damage; and environment-related provisions in other taxes. A survey of environment taxes in 42 countries--drawn from developing countries, economies in transition, and industrial countries--illustrates that the use of environment taxes differs dramatically from the recommendations of environment tax theory. This divergence between the theory and practice of environment taxes can be attributed to several factors; environment taxes are difficult to implement, there are many factors that impede their effectiveness, and their introduction may be discouraged by their implications for other policy objectives.
Mr. Oleh Havrylyshyn and Mr. Donal McGettigan
This paper reviews a selection of studies on privatization experiences in transition countries. Empirical studies almost invariably show privatized enterprises outperform state enterprises. Moreover, the literature identifies de novo firms as being clearly the best performers, followed by outsider-dominated firms, while insider-dominated firms are the least efficient among those newly privatized. The importance of de novo firms in enlarging the private sector in transition economies is reviewed, along with the question of whether privatization efforts support or hinder de novo private sector development. Finally, the paper discusses the importance of providing a suitable market environment for successful private-sector development.
Kenneth Miranda and Timothy R. Muzondo

For the latest thinking about the international financial system, monetary policy, economic development, poverty reduction, and other critical issues, subscribe to Finance & Development (F&D). This lively quarterly magazine brings you in-depth analyses of these and other subjects by the IMF’s own staff as well as by prominent international experts. Articles are written for lay readers who want to enrich their understanding of the workings of the global economy and the policies and activities of the IMF.

International Monetary Fund

This Selected Issues paper and Statistical Appendix analyzes fiscal costs associated with Poland’s accession to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and European Union (EU). The paper highlights that Poland’s accession to the EU could result in fiscal costs in certain areas, especially in upgrading the infrastructure in transportation and utilities, and improving the environment. The legislative reforms and the establishment of the regulatory and administrative structures are also likely to entail costs, though these costs are more difficult to quantify. This paper also discusses fiscal management and restructuring in Poland.

Mr. Alexander Sundakov, Mr. Rolando Ossowski, and Timothy D. Lane

This paper examines whether shortages may occur in an economy in transition, even for goods whose prices are free. The empirical relevance of this phenomenon is suggested by a case study of Ukraine during 1992. The paper presents a model of enterprise behavior in an environment where key inputs are centrally allocated at preferential prices. It shows that the allocation of key inputs according to perceived need may create incentives for enterprises to perpetuate shortages, despite formal price liberalization. The analysis suggests that central allocation must be abolished for price liberalization to have its full efficiency effects.