The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. With nearly 300 released each year, working papers cover a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
Commonly cited environmental instruments in the legal, regulatory, and fiscal domains are intended primarily to address market failures to ensure that environmental degradation and resource use is contained to appropriate levels. However, in many instances, environmental degradation is rooted not in market failure, but rather in policy failure. This paper identifies areas of public expenditure policy that interact with the environment. It argues that a reform of certain types of subsidies, increased operations and maintenance expenditures, and a thorough environmental assessment of capital projects will tend to benefit the environment, thereby moving an economy towards ‘sustainable' development.