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Xavier Sala-i-Martin and Mr. Arvind Subramanian

Some natural resources-oil and minerals in particular-exert a negative and nonlinear impact on growth via their deleterious impact on institutional quality. We show this result to be very robust. The Nigerian experience provides telling confirmation of this aspect of natural resources. Waste and poor institutional quality stemming from oil appear to have been primarily responsible for Nigeria's poor long-run economic performance. We propose a solution for addressing this resource curse which involves directly distributing the oil revenues to the public. Even with all the difficulties that will no doubt plague its actual implementation, our proposal will, at the least, be vastly superior to the status quo. At best, however, it could fundamentally improve the quality of public institutions and, as a result, durably raise long-run growth performance.

Timothy R. Muzondo and Ved P. Gandhi

This paper examines the environmental effects of mineral taxes in a framework that recognizes the importance of rates and cumulative externalities and proposes an appropriate corrective tax. It concludes that mineral resources taxation should combine neutral taxes with a dynamic Pigovian type tax proposed in the paper. Such a tax resembles a specific tax plus an element that depends on the amount of remaining reserves. This resemblance means that, in practice, specific taxes may act as proxies for environmental taxes. The paper also points at complementarities and tradeoffs between economic and environmental concerns that could arise in reforming mineral taxes.

Nicoletta Batini, Mario Di Serio, Matteo Fragetta, Mr. Giovanni Melina, and Anthony Waldron

This paper estimates multipliers for spending in clean energy and biodiversity conservation to help inform stimulus measures for a post-COVID-19 sustainable recovery. Using a new international dataset, part of which was especially assembled for this analysis, we find that every dollar spent on key carbon-neutral or carbon-sink activities—from zero-emission power plants to the protection of wildlife and ecosystems—can generate more than a dollar’s worth of economic activity. The estimated multipliers associated with green spending are about 2 to 7 times larger than those associated with non-eco-friendly expenditure, depending on sectors, technologies and horizons. These findings survive several robustness checks and suggest that ‘building back better’ could be a win-win for economies and the planet.

International Monetary Fund. Communications Department

SREYNITH HAK, 25, MOVED to Phnom Penh eight years ago to pursue a bachelor’s degree in media management. Cambodia’s capital offered her much more opportunity than the small town where her parents and siblings still live. “I can see more of the world; I can do what I want,” she says.

Richard J. Herring, Robert E. Litan, Warren L. Coats, William R. Cline, Martin Censola, Joel E. Cohen, Lant Pritchett, Richard N. Cooper, Michael Cohen, Martin Feldstein, James R. Hines, R. Glen Hubbard, and Emil M. Sunley

The design of payment systems has important implications for the conduct of monetary policy, the soundness of financial firms, and the functioning of the economy as a whole.

International Monetary Fund

In this paper, Mozambique’s financial stability is discussed. The poverty reduction strategy (PARP) aims to respond to these challenges and create the conditions for high, sustained, and inclusive economic growth. The prudent policies resulted in strong economic performance. Executive Directors emphasized the importance of adhering to a prudent borrowing strategy, further strengthening debt management, and improving investment planning. The resilience of the banking system during the global crisis has been noted; and continued vigilance was recommended in light of remaining vulnerabilities.

International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
Sweden entered the pandemic with substantial buffers and suffered a relatively shallow recession in 2020. The decline in output was moderated by substantial income and liquidity support as well as structural features of the economy. Sweden’s initial less stringent containment strategy seems to have altered the timing of the economic fallout, which intensified towards the middle of the year. This fallout has particularly impacted the youth and foreign-born. Economic recovery is projected over the next two years, but uncertainty has increased due to the new strains of the virus and slow vaccination.