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International Monetary Fund

Abstract

This paper focuses mainly on official bilateral and multilateral financing for countries that have rescheduled their debts to official bilateral creditors. In contrast to the approaches taken by private lenders, official creditors have continued to provide new financing on a large scale to countries with debt-servicing difficulties that implement adjustment and reform programs. Financial support bas been provided through a wide variety of instruments and channels. For the low-income rescheduling countries as a group, total financial assistance has been about as large as these countries' own export earnings in every year since 1986. The recent trends in official financing have important ramifications for developing countries. Access to external financing from official sources is likely to remain high for those countries whose adjustment and reform efforts provide assurances that resources will be used efficiently. Conversely, countries with uneven records of policy implementation (particularly as regards payments arrears) are likely to find difficulty in attracting financial support.

Michel Camdessus

Abstract

During his tenure as Managing Director of the IMF, and in his interactions with civil society, Michel Camdessus was asked many questions related to the IMF's role in development. This pamphlet collects questions frequently asked by civil society around the world and the responses given by Mr. Camdessus that help to clarify the IMF position on human development.

Michel Camdessus

Abstract

1. How are development concerns—and, in particular, poverty reduction—addressed in IMF programs? How does the IMF intend to engineer economic growth and have the poor benefit from its programs?

International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper analyzes Haiti’s external competitiveness. The analysis shows that the country has been experiencing equilibrium real exchange rate appreciation pressures, which have originated more recently from the rising inflow of transfers. The paper discusses avenues for further developing Haiti’s monetary policy framework to help consolidate a stable low-inflation environment and support deepening domestic financial markets. The analysis suggests that Haiti’s monetary policy regime could be strengthened through a two-step approach. The paper also focuses on options to increase domestic revenues as a means of funding priority expenditures.
International Monetary Fund
This paper assembles findings on the use of trade taxes, examines the main contributing factors, and reviews the fiscal aspects of trade policy as they relate to both efficiency and macroeconomic stabilization. It demonstrates why trade taxes would generally not be part of an optimal tax package, and describes the conditions under which they could be used and what their structure would be. The paper also reviews the channels of the effects of trade taxes under fixed and flexible exchange rates, and concludes that the distortions and welfare loss that they create put them at a disadvantage vis-à-vis other fiscal and exchange rate policies.
ALAN A. TAIT, WILFRID L.M. GRATZ, and BARRY J. EICHENGREEN

The international comparison of taxation is a controversial enterprise, and critics have not been lax in pointing out the shortcomings of previous studies.1 Yet summary measures, to the extent they successfully encapsulate large amounts of information, retain utilitarian value.2 One frequently used summary measure has come to be known as the “tax effort index.”3 The concept of tax effort reflects an attempt to overcome the limitations of the most straightforward of all comparisons—the simple ratio of taxes to output (hereinafter referred to as the “tax ratio”).4 In tax effort studies, the tax ratio is analyzed in terms of a country’s “taxable capacity,” and this analysis yields a presumption as to the feasibility of changes in the tax ratio.

RAJA J. CHELLIAH, HESSEL J. BAAS, and MARGARET R. KELLY

The major results of a study of tax ratios and tax effort in developing countries, undertaken by the Fund's Fiscal Affairs Department, were reported in Staff Papers, July 1971.1 The time-series section of the study was based on a comparison of data for 1953–55 with those for 1966–68 for a sample of 30 developing countries, while the cross-section analysis, based on averages for 1966–68, covered 50 countries. The study first outlined the major changes in the levels and composition of taxes between the periods 1953–55 and 1966–68 and then examined in detail the tax structure in the 50 countries in the latter period. More importantly, the study attempted to measure relative tax effort in the sample countries for the period 1966–68. For this purpose, regression analysis was used on the cross-section data to quantify the influence of objective conditions and economic factors on the tax ratio so that the residuals could be used with proper adjustments to construct indices of relative tax effort for developing countries.