The First Millennium Development Goal (MDG#1) is to cut the fraction of global population living on less than one dollar per day in half, by 2015. Foreign aid financed investments may contribute to the attainment of this goal. But how much can aid be reasonably expected to accomplish? A widespread calibration approach to answering this question is to employ the so-called development planning technique, which has the Harrod-Domar growth model at its base. Two particularly problematic assumptions in this sort of analysis are the absence of diminishing returns to capital input and an infinite speed of adjustment to steady state after a shock to the economy. We remove both of these assumptions by employing a Solow model as an organizing framework for an otherwise similar analysis. We find that in order to successfully meet the MDG#1 in the context of the currently proposed aid flows, these flows will have to be accompanied by either an acceleration in the underlying productivity growth rate or a major boost to domestic savings and investment in sub-Saharan Africa. In the absence of such changes in the economic environment, the MDG#1 is unlikely to be reached.
This paper contributes to the existing empirical literature on the principal determinants of tax revenue performance across developing countries by using a broad dataset and accounting for some econometric issues that were previously ignored. The results confirm that structural factors such as per capita GDP, agriculture share in GDP, trade openness and foreign aid significantly affect revenue performance of an economy. Other factors include corruption, political stability, share of direct and indirect taxes etc. The paper also makes use of a revenue performance index, and finds that while several Sub Saharan African countries are performing well above their potential, some Latin American economies fall short of their revenue potential.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
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