International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
This paper analyzes the IMF’s Convention for Settlement of Investment Disputes. In March 1965, the Executive Directors of the IMF approved a Convention for submission to governments, together with a report commenting on the Convention’s principal features. The Convention establishes the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes as an autonomous international institution “to provide facilities for conciliation and arbitration of investment disputes.” It will “provide facilities,” because the Centre will not itself engage in conciliation or arbitration activities.
This paper examines the reform of the external tariff initiated by the CEMAC and the WAEMU that is aimed at reinforcing their economic integration. Overall, there is broad compliance with the streamlined and moderate rates, but with significant deviations from the harmonized paths in several countries. WAMZ countries, except Ghana, need to undertake major reforms in order to align their external tariff structures with that of the WAEMU as planned for 2007. To promote full compliance with the harmonized external tariff policies, the paper suggests, measures need to be taken, including the creation of financial incentives, at the regional and country levels.
Mr. Saleh M. Nsouli, Mr. Mounir Rached, and Mr. Norbert Funke
This paper reviews the issues involved in determining the appropriate speed of adjustment and the sequencing of economic reforms, focusing on considerations relevant to policymakers. It points out that the debate between the protagonists of a high-speed approach and those favoring a gradualist approach is based primarily on the weights given to adjustment costs, policy credibility, reform feasibility, and risk assessment. It underscores the importance of appropriate sequencing and the impact of sequencing on the speed of adjustment and reforms. The paper concludes by highlighting factors that policymakers should consider when selecting their approach toward speed and sequencing.
Angana Banerji, Ms. Bergljot B Barkbu, Mr. James A John, Mr. Tidiane Kinda, Mr. Sergejs Saksonovs, Hanni Schoelermann, and Mr. Tao Wu
The momentum for structural reforms is waning in the euro area at a time when even faster progress is needed to boost productivity and growth, achieve real economic convergence, and improve the resilience of the monetary union. What can the European Union (EU) institutions do to bridge this divide? This paper argues for greater simplicity, transparency and accountability in the EU governance framework for structural reforms. Our three interrelated proposals—“outcome-based” benchmarking; better use of existing EU processes to strengthen oversight and reduce discretion; and improved financial incentives—could help advance reforms. Ex post monitoring by an independent EU-level “structural council” and ex ante policy innovation by national productivity councils could strengthen accountability and ownership. Deeper governance reforms should be considered in the medium-term with a view toward a greater EU role in promoting convergence.
Mr. David Amaglobeli, Mr. Valerio Crispolti, Ms. Era Dabla-Norris, Pooja Karnane, and Florian Misch
This paper describes a new, comprehensive database of tax policy measures in 23 advanced and emerging market economies over the last four decades. We extract this information from more than 900 OECD Economic Surveys and 37,000 tax-related news from the International Bureau of Fiscal Documentation using text-mining techniques. The innovation of this dataset lies in its granularity: changes in the rates and bases of personal and corporate income taxes, value added and sale taxes, social security contributions, excise, and property taxes are systematically documented. In addition, the database provides information on the announcement and implementation dates, whether the measures represent major changes, are part of a broader tax package, and phased in over several years. The paper also presents a range of stylized facts suggesting that information from this database is useful to deepen the analysis of tax policy changes for research and policy purposes.