Contents

Recent experience holds lessons for when to tackle debt—and when not to.

BALANCING ACT: MANAGING THE PUBLIC PURSE

  • Seizing the Moment

  • Good economic times offer an opportunity to tackle budget deficits

  • Christoph B. Rosenberg

  • Climbing Out of Debt

  • A new study offers more evidence that cutting spending is less harmful to growth than raising taxes

  • Alberto Alesina, Carlo A. Favero, and Francesco Giavazzi

  • Public Finance Goes Digital

  • Technology is reshaping how governments raise and spend money

  • Sanjeev Gupta, Michael Keen, Alpa Shah, and Geneviève Verdier

  • Point of View: The Low-Income Trap

  • Urgent steps are needed to end the cycle of poverty and debt

  • Fanwell Kenala Bokosi

  • Raising Revenue

  • Five country cases illustrate how best to improve tax collection

  • Bernardin Akitoby

  • Spreading the Wealth

  • Fiscal instruments can reduce inequality, but some yield short-term results while others bear fruit over the long term

  • François Bourguignon

  • Fiscal Politics

  • A historic meeting laid the foundations of US finances

  • Vitor Gaspar and David Amaglobeli

  • The Debt Web

  • The interwar period shows how a complex network of sovereign debt can aggravate financial crises

  • Mark De Broeck, Era Dabla-Norris, Nicolas End, and Marina Marinkov

ALSO IN THIS ISSUE

  • Digital Crusaders

  • Technology offers weapons for the battle against corruption

  • Chris Wellisz

  • Unlocking Public Wealth

  • Governments could do a better job managing their assets

  • Dag Detter and Stefan Fölster

  • Bracing for the Storm

  • For the Caribbean, building resilience is a matter of survival

  • İnci Ötker and Krishna Srinivasan

DEPARTMENTS

  • People in Economics

  • Escape Artist

  • Peter J. Walker profiles Angus Deaton, who connects the dots between theory, policy, and people’s lives

  • In the Trenches

  • E-stonia Takes Off

  • Toomas Hendrik Ilves explains how digitalization can make people’s lives a whole lot easier

  • Picture This

  • Learning Curve

  • To realize education’s promise, countries need to prioritize learning, not just schooling

  • Marie Boursiquot

  • Point of View

  • Restoring Ethics to Economics

  • Modern economics should return to its roots

  • Anthony Annett

  • Book Reviews

  • Last Resort: The Financial Crisis and the Future of Bailouts, Eric A. Posner

  • Reinventing Capitalism in the Age of Big Data, Viktor Mayer-Schönberger and Thomas Ramge

  • The Mexican Heartland, John Tutino

  • Currency Notes

  • The Bug Bill

  • Fiji pays tribute to its rich animal and plant life

  • Eszter Balázs

Front Matter Page

F & D

FINANCE & DEVELOPMENT

A Quarterly Publication of the International Monetary Fund

March 2018 | Volume 55 | Number 1

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF:

Camilla Lund Andersen

MANAGING EDITOR: Maureen Burke

SENIOR EDITOR:

Chris Wellisz

ASSISTANT EDITORS:

Eszter Balázs

Marie Boursiquot

Bruce Edwards

DIGITAL EDITOR:

Rahim Kanani

ONLINE EDITOR:

Lijun Li

PRODUCTION MANAGER:

Niccole Braynen-Kimani

COPY EDITOR:

Lucy Morales

ADVISORS TO THE EDITOR:

Bernardin Akitoby

Celine Allard

Bas Bakker

Steven Barnett

Nicoletta Batini

Helge Berger

Paul Cashin

Adrienne Cheasty

Luis Cubeddu

Alfredo Cuevas

Rupa Duttagupta

Thomas Helbling

Laura Kodres

Tommaso Mancini Griffoli

Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti

İnci Ötker

Catriona Purfield

Uma Ramakrishnan

Abdelhak Senhadji

Alison Stuart

© 2018 by the International Monetary Fund. All rights reserved. For permission to reproduce any F&D content, submit a request via online form (www.imf.org/external/terms.htm) or by e-mail to copyright@imf.org. Permission for commercial purposes also available from the Copyright Clearance Center (www.copyright.com) for a nominal fee.

Opinions expressed in articles and other materials are those of the authors; they do not necessarily reflect IMF policy.

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Finance & Development is published quarterly by the International Monetary Fund, 700 19th Street NW, Washington, DC 20431, in English, Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, and Spanish. English edition ISSN 0145-1707

FSC FPO

Finance & Development, March 2018
Author: International Monetary Fund. Communications Department