This paper seeks to document key characteristics of small island states in the Pacific. It restricts itself to a limited number of indicators which are macro-orientated - population, fertility of land, ability to tap into economies of scale, income, and geographic isolation. It leaves aside equally important but more micro-orientated variables and development indicators. We show that small island states in the Pacific are different from countries in other regional groupings in that they are extremely isolated and have limited scope to tap economies of scale due to small populations. They often have little arable land. There is empirical evidence to suggest that these factors are related to income growth.
Mr. Santiago Acosta Ormaechea, Mr. Takuji Komatsuzaki, and Carolina Correa-Caro
We estimate the effects on growth of nine fiscal reform episodes in seven high-income countries
using the Synthetic Control Method. These episodes are selected using an indicator-based approach
applied to the evaluation of growth-friendly fiscal reforms during 1975-2010. We find that in reform
countries the annual growth rate of real GDP was on average about 1 percentage point above their
synthetic units 10 years after each respective reform. Moreover, countries which were initially less
developed seemed to experience a larger growth impact after their reforms. Results are broadly
robust to controlling for structural reforms on business regulation, financial market, labor market, and
legal and product markets, which may also affect growth. Our findings also suggest that inequality is
not affected by the growth-friendly fiscal reforms analyzed in this paper.
Mr. Santiago Acosta Ormaechea and Atsuyoshi Morozumi
This paper studies the effects of public expenditure reallocations on long-run growth. To do this, we assemble a new dataset based on the IMF’s GFS yearbook for the period 1970-2010 and 56 countries (14 low-, 16 medium-, and 26 high-income countries). Using dynamic panel GMM estimators, we find that a reallocation involving a rise in education spending has a positive and statistically robust effect on growth, when the compensating factor remains unspecified or when this is associated with an offsetting reduction in social protection spending. We also find that public capital spending relative to current spending appears to be associated with higher growth, yet results are non-robust in this latter case.
The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
Corruption, particularly political or “grand” corruption, distorts the entire decision-making process connected with public investment projects. The degree of distortions is higher with weaker auditing institutions. The evidence presented shows that higher corruption is associated with (i) higher public investment; (ii) lower government revenues; (iii) lower expenditures on operations and maintenance; and (iv) lower quality of public infrastructure. The evidence also shows that corruption increases public investment while reducing its productivity. These are five channels through which corruption lowers growth. An implication is that economists should be more restrained in their praise of high public sector investment, especially in countries with high corruption.