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Mr. Christian Josz
This note studies Mali’s performance in poverty reduction by analyzing household data from surveys in 2001, 2006 and 2009–10. Mali’s share of poor households has decreased substantially during the past decade. While the reduction in headcount poverty was more pronounced from 2001–06 when all sectors of Mali’s economy grew at a similar pace, economic growth was mainly beneficial to the very poor during 2006–10 when agricultural production boomed.
Mr. Carlo A Sdralevich, Miss Randa Sab, Mr. Younes Zouhar, and Ms. Giorgia Albertin
In the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) countries price subsidies are common, especially on food and fuels. However, these are neither well targeted nor cost effective as a social protection tool, often benefiting mainly the better off instead of the poor and vulnerable. This paper explores the challenges of replacing generalized price subsidies with more equitable social safety net instruments, including the short-term inflationary effects, and describes the features of successful subsidy reforms.
Mr. Juan P Cordoba, Mr. Robert Gillingham, Mr. Sanjeev Gupta, Mr. Ali M. Mansoor, Mr. Christian Schiller, and Marijn Verhoeven

Abstract

This text provides guidance to policymakers on how to design and implement sound price-subsidy reforms. It draws on the experience of price-subsidy reform in 28 countries. The authors discuss economic and political considerations and make several recommendations concerning the speed of reform and social protection mechanisms. They discuss how the social impact of reform can be limited by establishing cost-effective and well-targeted temporary social protection mechanisms, and how governments can reduce the risk of political disruption by distributing the initial burden of reform fairly and by clearly explaining the costs and benefits to the public.

International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

This paper focuses on Jordan’s 2014 Article IV Consultation, Third and Fourth Reviews Under the Stand-By Arrangement (SBA), Request for Waivers of Nonobservance of Performance Criterion (PC) and Applicability of PCs. The program is broadly on track and, looking forward, will focus on deep tax reform. All end-2013 targets were met. The central government is expected to meet its end-March 2014 target, but the combined public sector deficit will be missed because of temporary shortfalls in gas delivery from Egypt. International reserves have continued to over-perform through March. The IMF staff supports the completion of the third and fourth reviews.

International Monetary Fund
Jordan’s 2008 Article IV Consultation discusses the appropriate policy response to mounting fiscal and external vulnerabilities and higher inflation. Sharply higher world fuel and food prices led to a marked widening of the fiscal and external current account deficits and, more recently, a jump in inflation. Economic prospects remain broadly favorable, though the public and external sector imbalances imply increased challenges to sustaining strong macroeconomic performance. Structural reforms are proceeding, aimed at reducing distortions and enhancing the private sector’s growth prospects.
International Monetary Fund
This 2012 Article IV Consultation highlights that the pace of economic activity in Jordan remains subdued. Following a period of robust growth during 2000–09 supported by a favorable external environment, economic activity slowed sharply. Jordan is also facing risks from a further deterioration in its terms of trade and unrest in neighboring countries. Executive Directors have commended the authorities’ track record of prudent and effective macroeconomic management. Directors have also welcomed the fiscal tightening in the 2012 budget and the authorities’ three-year fiscal reform agenda.
International Monetary Fund
This 2006 Article IV Consultation highlights that the Jordanian economy has performed remarkably well in recent years, mainly owing to far-reaching macroeconomic and structural reforms. Despite negative shocks, growth has been robust, inflation has remained low, public debt has continued to fall, and reserves have reached an all-time high. Economic performance remained strong in 2006. Growth is estimated at 6 percent for the year, reflecting buoyant domestic demand, in part financed by large private capital inflows. Average inflation was 6.3 percent, stemming mainly from fuel and imported food price increases.
International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.
This paper develops an endogenous growth model of the influence of public investment, public transfers, and distortionary taxation on the rate of economic growth. The growth–enhancing effects of investment in public capital and transfer payments are modeled, as is the growth–inhibiting influence of the levying of distortionary taxes that are used to fund such expenditure. The theoretical implications of the model are then tested with data from 23 developed countries between 1971 and 1988, and time series cross sectional results are obtained that support the proposed influence of the public finance variables on economic growth.