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Ms. Dora Benedek, Mr. Edward R Gemayel, Mr. Abdelhak S Senhadji, and Alexander F. Tieman
The COVID-19 pandemic hit countries’ development agendas hard. The ensuing recession has pushed millions into extreme poverty and has shrunk government resources available for spending on achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This Staff Discussion Note assesses the current state of play on funding SDGs in five key development areas: education, health, roads, electricity, and water and sanitation, using a newly developed dynamic macroeconomic framework.
Mr. Ales Bulir, Daniel Baksa, Mr. Juan S Corrales, Andres Gonzalez, Diego Rodriguez, and Dyna Heng
This technical note and manual (TNM) addresses the following issues: • Evaluating the full implications from the policies adopted to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy requires a well-developed macroeconomic framework. This note illustrates how such frameworks were used to analyze Colombia and Cambodia's shock impact at the beginning of the pandemic. • The use of macroeconomic frameworks is not to infer general policy conclusions from abstract models or empirical analysis but to help policymakers think through and articulate coherent forecasts, scenarios, and policy responses. • The two country cases illustrate how to construct a baseline scenario consistent with a COVID-19 shock within structural macroeconomic models. The scenario is built gradually to incorporate the available information, the pandemic's full effects, and the policy responses. • The results demonstrate the value of combining close attention to the data, near-term forecasting, and model-based analyses to support coherent policies.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This 2019 Article IV Consultation with Cambodia discusses stable macroeconomic environment, strong growth and ongoing structural reforms have contributed to significant progress toward Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). However, uncertainties including slower global growth and potential suspension of preferential market access under the Everything but Arms (EBA) scheme highlight the importance of maintaining macroeconomic stability while meeting still large development needs, addressing elevated financial sector vulnerabilities, and accelerating structural reforms. Continued strong revenue mobilization efforts and a prudent fiscal stance supported by restraining nondevelopment current spending will allow additional spending to address development needs. Expenditures should be oriented toward supporting inclusive growth through priority infrastructure investment, as well as health and education spending. Policies should be geared toward addressing sizeable spending needs to reach SDG targets in health, education and infrastructure, with support from the private sector and international donors. Accelerated implementation of structural reforms is needed to remove structural constraints to growth, correct external imbalances, address governance and corruption weaknesses and promote sustainable and inclusive development.
Mr. Niels-Jakob H Hansen and Albe Gjonbalaj
We evaluate the impact of fiscal reforms on growth and inequality in Cambodia using a calibrated general equilibrium model with heterogeneous agents (Peralta-Alva et al., 2018). Over the last two decades, Cambodia’s consumption inequality and poverty have declined. However, income inequality is higher, and large gaps remain between urban and rural residents. At the same time, domestic revenue mobilization has improved substantially, but collection of tax revenue is biased towards non-progressive sources. We use the model to evaluate the growth and inequality impact of reforms that increase infrastructure spending by raising (i) VAT, (ii) property tax, or (iii) personal income tax. We find that using property taxes delivers the largest increase in GDP and reduction in inequality. Reaping the gains from property taxation will however require additional investments in tax administration.