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Abstract

Sub-Saharan Africa needs much faster economic growth and more effective economic, financial, and social policies if it is to make up for lost ground and reduce the number of people living in abject poverty. Edited by Laura Wallace, this volume presents the proceedings of a May 1998 seminar in Paris, organized jointly by the IMF and the Japanese Ministry of Finance, on ways to accelerate Africa's growth in our increasingly globalized world. Senior African and Asian government officials, representatives from multicultural institutions, donors, academics, and private sector participants gathered to discuss how to improve the private investment environment in African countries and take advantage of globalization's benefits while minimizing its risks, and how to strengthen the contribution of government in areas of capacity building, good governance, effective public resource management, and improved quality and composition of government spending.

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.
Mr. Reint Gropp, Mr. Liam P. Ebrill, and Ms. Janet Gale Stotsky

Abstract

In recent decades many countries have dismantled trade barriers and opened their economies to international competition. Trade liberalization is seen to promote economic efficiency, international competitiveness, and an expansion of trade, perhaps especially in imperfectly competitive markets.1 Yet despite this progress in trade liberalization, as evidenced by the conclusion of the Uruguay Round in 1994 and the establishment of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1995,2 trade barriers are still widespread. Some economies and some sectors (e.g., agriculture in many industrial countries) remain relatively insulated from the global economy by a variety of non tariff and tariff barriers, even as import substitution continues to lose ground as a strategy for economic development.

Mr. Reint Gropp, Mr. Liam P. Ebrill, and Ms. Janet Gale Stotsky

Abstract

Economists often rank trade liberalization reforms by order of importance, giving highest priority to the reduction or removal of quantitative restrictions and other non tariff barriers to trade or their conversion to tariffs. This is followed by reductions in both the number of distinct tariff rates and the range that they cover (i.e., their dispersion) and finally by reductions in the levels of tariffs. Although this liberalization strategy is typically justified on economic efficiency grounds (Box 1), the initial focus on the removal of non tariff barriers also has the advantage of helping preserve the revenue yield. The agenda for trade reform is also influenced by international practice and agreements and, in particular, by WTO rules and agreements on the design of trade reform.1

Mr. Reint Gropp, Mr. Liam P. Ebrill, and Ms. Janet Gale Stotsky

Abstract

This section considers the interplay between trade liberalization and revenue from international trade taxes in recent decades. The intent is to review what has actually occurred, in order to gain insight into the factors that govern the revenue consequences of trade liberalization and the related issue of how countries have pursued liberalization.

Delphine Prady, Herve Tourpe, Sonja Davidovic, and Soheib Nunhuck
During the 2020 pandemic, the majority of countries have provided income support to households at an unprecedented speed and scale. Social distancing measures and the large penetration of mobile phones in emerging markets and developing economies (EMDEs) have encouraged government-to-person (G2P) transfers through mobile platforms. This paper presents a comprehensive framework for sustainable money solutions in support of social assistance. The framework consists of eight building blocks that may help policymakers i) take stock and assess emergency fixes taken to scale up mobile money in a crisis context and ii) develop sustainable long-term solutions for mobile G2P transfers.
Ms. Era Dabla-Norris, Yan Ji, Robert M. Townsend, and Ms. Filiz D Unsal
We develop a micro-founded general equilibrium model with heterogeneous agents to identify pertinent constraints to financial inclusion. We evaluate quantitatively the policy impacts of relaxing each of these constraints separately, and in combination, on GDP and inequality. We focus on three dimensions of financial inclusion: access (determined by the size of participation costs), depth (determined by the size of collateral constraints resulting from limited commitment), and intermediation efficiency (determined by the size of interest rate spreads and default possibilities due to costly monitoring). We take the model to a firm-level data from the World Bank Enterprise Survey for six countries at varying degrees of economic development—three low-income countries (Uganda, Kenya, Mozambique), and three emerging market countries (Malaysia, the Philippines, and Egypt). The results suggest that alleviating different financial frictions have a differential impact across countries, with country-specific characteristics playing a central role in determining the linkages and tradeoffs between inclusion, GDP, inequality, and the distribution of gains and losses.
Mr. Reint Gropp, Mr. Liam P. Ebrill, and Ms. Janet Gale Stotsky

Abstract

The association between trade liberalization and economic growth underscores the importance of ensuring that fiscal considerations do not constrain the pace of trade reform. This study has examined the effect of trade liberalization on government revenue. The strategy has been to determine the revenue implications of trade reform in practice by taking three complementary approaches: a comparative analysis of reforms in selected countries, a simple examination of trends in a broad range of countries, and econometric analysis.

International Monetary Fund
This supplement presents ten case studies, which highlight the roles of targeted policies to facilitate sustainable financial deepening in a variety of country circumstances, reflecting historical experiences that parallel a range of markets in LICs. The case studies were selected to broadly capture efforts by countries to increase reach (e.g., financial inclusion), depth (e.g., financial intermediation), and breadth of financial systems (e.g., capital market, cross-border development). The analysis in the case studies highlights the importance of a balanced approach to financial deepening. A stable macroeconomic environment is vital to instill consumer, institutional, and investor confidence necessary to encourage financial market activity. Targeted public policy initiatives (e.g., collateral, payment systems development) can be helpful in removing impediments and creating infrastructure for improved market operations, while ensuring appropriate oversight and regulation of financial markets, to address potential sources of instability and market failures.