Abstract

This handbook is aimed at anyone who is involved in a Public Investment Management Assessment (PIMA) or who has a practical interest in public investment management. It is intended to be useful for country authorities, IMF staff, staff of other financial institutions and development organizations, and anyone who is interested in exploring different aspects of public investment management to understand how country systems are designed and how they work in practice.

Public Investment Management Assessments (PIMAs) start with an overview of public investment trends in a country and discuss the outputs, outcomes, and efficiency of this investment. The investment trends include time-series data as well as cross-country comparisons with similar countries. This provides an important background for the subsequent discussion of public investment institutions. The data will also identify key differences between the countries being assessed and comparable countries, indicating the scope for changes in practices and results.

Public Investment Trends

PIMAs describe the history of public investment spending and the resulting capital stock. This is based on a standard database maintained by the IMF. The data give an overview of investment spending for the past 20–30 years, illustrating the public investment policies that have been in place during this period. The capital stock is computed as the aggregate capital spending over time reduced by a depreciation rate that varies by the country group. Box 2.1 gives an example of how these data are presented in the Georgia PIMA.1

The PIMA framework focuses on the management of physical infrastructure and on capital spending to acquire a physical asset or to extend the usable life of a physical asset. The PIMA definition of capital spending is broadly equivalent to acquisition of nonfinancial assets as defined in the 2014 Government Finance Statistics Manual (the GFSM 2014).2 Some countries use the term development spending rather than capital spending in their budgets, to include other forms of spending with long-term impacts. Other countries may use the term capital spending, but with a definition that goes beyond the GFSM 2014 and PIMA definition. In such cases, the PIMA analysis will focus on those components that fall within the PIMA definition of capital spending.

The public investment database includes several parameters that can provide useful background to the PIMA assessment and illustrate the impact of the existing institutions. The available data include the following:

  • Comparison between investment/capital stock and other macroeconomic and fiscal variables (GDP, deficit, debt)

  • PPP investment and capital stock

  • Investment and capital stock by government function

  • Investment and capital stock by level of government

  • Comparison of capital and current spending

  • Capital budget execution rates

  • Capital budget volatility

  • Capital budget churn (variability in composition of capital budget)

  • Country corruption index (according to Transparency International)

The choice of data to present and analyze depends on the specific circumstances of the country and the challenges it is facing in public investment. Box 2.2 provides examples of the additional data that were presented for Georgia. Figure 2.2.1 illustrates that the composition of public investment in Georgia is more skewed toward economic affairs than in other emerging market economies.3

The choice of comparator countries will also depend on country specificities and context. The authorities often have clear views on the choice of comparators. They will often want to focus on countries that are similar in terms of economic development or natural resource endowment. Many countries want to be compared with countries that have advanced practices they want to emulate. In some cases, the figures from the IMF database are complemented or updated during a PIMA. This may be because data are missing for specific time periods or certain parameters. It may also be that discussions during the PIMA process indicate that previously reported data are inaccurate. Additional data will usually be provided by the authorities or compiled from other relevant sources. In many PIMA missions, public corporations play an important role in the provision of public infrastructure assets, and data for public corporations have been added to the basic data sets to complete the analysis. Figures 2.2.3 and 2.2.4 illustrate the important role of public corporations and PPPs in public investment.

Georgia Public Investment and Capital Stock

Figure 2.1.2.
Figure 2.1.2.

Investment and capital stock

(Percent of GDP)

Figure 2.1.3.
Figure 2.1.3.

Capital stock

(Percent of GDP)

Source: Georgia PI MA 2018.
Figure 2.1.4.
Figure 2.1.4.

Capital stock per capita

(Thousands of 2011 purchasing power party dollar-adjusted per capita)

Georgia Composition of Public Investment

Figure 2.2.1.
Figure 2.2.1.

Georgia Public Investment, by Function, Last 5 Years

(Percent of GDP)

Figure 2.2.2.
Figure 2.2.2.

EME Public Investment, by Function, Last 5 Years

(Percent of GDP)

Figure 2.2.3.
Figure 2.2.3.

Composition of Public Investment

(Percent of GDP)

Figure 2.2.4.
Figure 2.2.4.

Public Investment, by Sector, 2005–17

(Percent of GDP)

Source: Georgia PIMA 2018.Note: BCG = budgetary central government; EME = emerging market economy; LEPL = legal entity of public law; PC = public corporation; PPA = power purchase agreement; PPP = public-private partnership; SNG = subnational government.

Jordan Infrastructure Access and Quality

Figure 2.3.1.
Figure 2.3.1.

Perception of Infrastructure Quality, Jordan versus Comparators

Figure 2.3.2.
Figure 2.3.2.

Perception of Infrastructure Quality (Jordan Sectoral Breakdown)

Figure 2.3.3.
Figure 2.3.3.

Infrastructure Access in Jordan versus Comparators

Figure 2.3.4.
Figure 2.3.4.

Increase in Road Network versus Population Growth

Source: Jordan PIMA 2017.Note: For Figure 2.3.3, units vary to fit scale. Left scale: Public education infrastructure is measured as secondary teachers per 1,000 persons; electricity production per capita as thousands of kWh per person; roads per capita as kilometers per 1,000 persons; and public health infrastructure as hospital beds per 1,000 persons. Right scale: Access to treated water is measured as a percentage of population.

Public Investment Outputs, Outcomes, and Efficiency

PIMAs present assessments of public investment outputs, outcomes, and efficiency for each country. This is also based on the standard database maintained by the IMF. The database includes data for physical outputs of public investment, focusing on public education, electricity, roads, public health, and water, as well as for the perception of infrastructure quality in different countries. Box 2.3 gives an example of the perception (Figures 2.3.1 and 2.3.2) and the output (Figures 2.3.3 and 2.3.4) of public investment in Jordan.

Jordan Efficiency Frontier and Gap

Figure 2.4.1.
Figure 2.4.1.

Jordan Efficiency Frontier

Figure 2.4.2.
Figure 2.4.2.

Jordan Efficiency Gap

Source: Jordan PIMA 2017.

The PIMA efficiency assessment is based on a comparison of capital stock per capita to the outputs and outcomes of this capital stock.4 The results for different countries are plotted, and the countries that achieve the highest scores on infrastructure access and quality perception define the efficiency frontier. Other countries are compared with this efficiency frontier to determine the efficiency gap for each country. This gap reflects how much higher the results of capital investment could be for a given level of capital stock. Box 2.4 describes the estimation of the efficiency gap for Jordan. It is based on a hybrid indicator for public investment outputs and outcomes, combining the scores for infrastructure access and quality perception. The analysis indicates that the efficiency gap for Jordan is 21 percent, indicating that Jordan could achieve significantly better results if public investment management were as efficient as in the most efficient country with the same level of capital stock per capita.

The aggregate PIMA efficiency assessment complements the sectoral and project-based analysis. It gives a broad overview of how efficient public investment has been in a country, as well as the key drivers of existing inefficiencies. To understand the causes of this, and to design appropriate mechanisms to improve efficiency, the analysis of the detailed PIMA institutions, both “on paper” and “in practice,” is essential.

1

Summary public investment data and methodological descriptions, including for the computation of capital stock, are available at, what’s New in the IMF Investment and Capital Stock Dataset, IMF, updated May 2021, https://infrastructuregovern.imf.org/content/dam/ PIMA/Knowledge-Hub/dataset/WhatsNewinIMFInvest-mentandCapitalStockDatabase_May2021.pdf.

2

Nonfinancial assets as defined by GFSM 2014 include intangible assets (patents, software, etc.) that are not explicitly covered by the PIMA assessment, but spending on such assets will generally be included in data for capital spending in PIMA reports.

3

The figures in Box 2.2 include investment in defense assets, but countries vary in what they include in this category. See GFSM 2014, paragraph 7.36, for a discussion of defense assets.

4

The methodology for assessing investment efficiency is described in Annex II of IMF (2015).

Public Investment Management Assessment, 1st Edition
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