This Selected Issues paper takes stock of poverty in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Poverty has receded in the DRC over the last decade on the back of gradual stabilization in the security and political situation, strong economic growth, and sharp decline in inflationary pressures. Most social indicators also improved during the period. However, poverty remains pervasive with a level still among the highest in sub-Saharan Africa, and DRC will likely not achieve any of the Millennium Developments Goals by 2015. Policy actions should focus on fostering the development of labor-intensive sector, increasing social spending, and redirecting public resources to the poorest regions of the country.
This Technical Assistance (TA) Report on the Philippines discusses the fiscal regime for the mining sector. The Philippines has long been a producer of minerals, but the mining and petroleum sectors account for only a small share of the economy, exports, and government revenue. The petroleum sector comprises only two fields—one producing natural gas and condensate and one producing crude oil. The TA report suggests legislative reforms of financial and technical assistance agreements (FTAAs), repealing of tax incentives and consolidating all domestic tax rules, and fostering sound environmental practices.
This paper reviews recent literature on the macroeconomic effects of environmental taxes. It attempts to delineate the conditions under which a cleaner environment is compatible with attaining macroeconomic objectives, such as more employment and economic growth. The analysis reveals that an environmentally motivated fiscal reform—using the revenues from environmental taxes to cut labor taxes—may yield employment and environmental dividends if the tax burden can be shifted to agents outside the labor market, such as capitalists, transfer recipients, and foreigners. A cleaner environment and a higher rate of economic growth go hand in hand if the environment is considered an important public input into production.
The paper discusses options available to tax mineral extraction projects particularly in developing countries. A desirable government share of the economic rent generated from mineral extraction can be achieved through different tax and non-tax instruments. This gives some room to design a fiscal regime that will be attractive to investors while providing the government with a fair share of the economic rent. However, achieving this will require a careful assessment of the appropriate distribution of risk and reward between the investor and the government. Moreover, there is growing pressure on countries to provide increasingly lenient fiscal terms so as to remain competitive as global investment destinations.
Mali’s gold sector is an enclave with weak forward and backward linkages with the rest of the economy. Given the predominance of the fiscal transmission channel, it is important that the design of the mineral tax regime gives the state a fair share of the benefits. Using optimal control theory, this paper estimates that the optimal royalty tax in Mali is about 3.5 percent. By reducing the royalty rate from 6 percent to 3 percent, Mali’s mining code broadly ensures that the risk is shared between the state and mining companies, provides sufficient incentives to attract new exploration, and is comparable to the fiscal regimes in other sub-Saharan African countries in its mix of tax instruments and tax structure.
Rasmané Ouedraogo, Rene Tapsoba, Moussé Sow, and Ali Compaoré
Does the reliance on diversified tax structure enhance resilience to fiscal risks? This paper gives an answer to this question by proposing a new cross-country tax revenue diversification index (RDI). The RDI builds on the Theil index, and unlike the few existing tax diversification indices, which are constructed only at the state level for the US, is computed at the national level, covering a broad panel of 127 countries over the period 2000-15. We find suggestive evidence that tax revenue diversification reduces tax revenue volatility, thus bringing to the data long-held views about the prominence of tax revenue diversification for fiscal resilience strengthening. While exploring the drivers of the RDI, we find that tax revenue diversification is not just a reflection of economic diversification, but also an outcome of macroeconomic, political and institutional factors. Interestingly, a non-monotone relationship is also at play between the RDI and economic development, with countries’ portfolio of tax sources getting more diversified as their economy develops, until a tipping point, where richer countries start finding it harder to diversify further their tax revenue sources.
This Selected Issues and Statistical Appendix paper examines recent economic developments and medium-term outlook for Liberia. This paper focuses on economic developments during 2003 and 2004 and the medium-term challenges of reconstruction. The paper explores the pros and cons of adopting full (de jure) dollarization in Liberia. It reviews the theoretical arguments for and against adopting dollarization and the associated empirical evidence. The choices of monetary and exchange rate regimes made by other post-conflict countries are presented. The paper also assesses whether Liberia, in its current post-conflict situation, could benefit from dollarization.
There are few areas of economic policy-making in which the returns to good decisions are so high-and the punishment of bad decisions so cruel-as in the management of natural resource wealth. Rich endowments of oil, gas and minerals have set some countries on courses of sustained and robust prosperity; but they have left others riddled with corruption and persistent poverty, with little of lasting value to show for squandered wealth. And amongst the most important of these decisions are those relating to the tax treatment of oil, gas and minerals. This book will be of interest to Economics postgraduates and researchers working on resource issues, as well as professionals working on taxation of oil, gas and minerals/mining.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This Selected Issues paper examines the drivers and implications of the agricultural land price boom in Uruguay. It finds that almost half of the increase in agricultural land prices between 2000 and 2010 can be explained by commodity price dynamics. At the same time, farmland prices are estimated to have played an important role in the transmission of commodity price shocks to economic activity, accounting for about 30 percent of the effect of commodity price shocks on GDP growth in the region. The paper also examines the performance of Uruguay’s exports and external balances over the past decade.