A new IMF Working Paper and dataset identifies fiscal crises in 188 countries over the 1970 – 2015 period using four criteria including: credit events, exceptionally large official financing, implicit domestic public debt default, and loss of market confidence.

On the Ground

Macroeconomic Management When Policy Space is Constrained : A Comprehensive, Consistent and Coordinated Approach to Economic Policy

The recovery in GDP growth since the global financial crisis has been halting and weak. Concern is widespread that countercyclical policies have run out of space or lack the power to raise growth or deal with the next negative shock. This note argues that room exists for effective policies and that it should be used if appropriate.

Fiscal Monitor: Debt: Use it Wisely

The October 2016 IMF Fiscal Monitor examines the relationship between public and private debt. Global debt levels are at historic highs. What does these high levels of debt imply for fiscal policy, growth and adjustment.in facilitating the adjustment.

Enhancing the Effectiveness of External Support in Building Tax Capacity in Developing Countries

This report responds to the February 2016 request from the G20 for the IMF, OECD, United Nations and World Bank Group to: “…recommend mechanisms to help ensure effective implementation of technical assistance programs, and recommend how countries can contribute funding for tax projects and direct technical assistance, and report back with recommendations at our July meeting.”

Corruption: Costs and Mitigating Strategies

This Staff Discussion Note focuses on corruption that arises from the abuse of public office for private gain, whether it manifests itself transactionally (for example, a bribe) or through powerful networks between business and government that effectively result in the privatization of public policy.

Problem-Solving Ideas

How to Adjust to a Large Fall in Commodity Prices

This note discusses how to undertake large fiscal adjustments, which often tend to be protracted and with long-lasting impacts on growth. Consequently, the note also highlights how to better prepare for future booms and busts in commodity prices.

How to Assess Fiscal Implications of Demographic Shifts : A Granular Approach

This note presents a simple framework that can assist researchers in quantifying the effects of demographic changes resulting from population aging on government fiscal balances.

Implementing Accrual Accounting in the Public Sector

This technical note and manual (TNM) explains what accrual accounting means for the public sector and discusses current trends in moving from cash to accrual accounting.

Need to Know

The Blind Side of Public Debt Spikes

What explains public debt spikes since the end of WWII? To answer this question, this paper identifies 179 debt spike episodes from 1945 to 2014 across advanced and developing countries. We find that debt spikes are not rare events and their probability increases with time.

Fragmented Politics and Public Debt

In this paper, we study the impact of fragmented politics on public debt—in particular, between two consecutive legislative elections.

Keep "IMF Natural Resource Fiscal Transparency Code"

Following a public consultation in 2015, the IMF has released a revised draft of its Natural Resource Fiscal Transparency Code for further discussion and comment. The revised draft adapts the entire Code to the needs of natural resource producers, comprising modified versions of the original Pillars I-III and a fourth pillar focused on the regime for natural resource ownership, taxation, reporting, and management.

What People Are Saying

Big Bad Actors: A Global View of Debt

In the midst of the Great Depression, the American economist Irving Fisher warned of the dangers of excessive debt and the deflationary pressures that follow on its tail. He saw debt and deflation as the big, bad actors. Now, their close relatives—too high debt and too low inflation—are still in play, at least for advanced economies.

The Whole Can Be Greater Than the Sum of its Parts

There are policy options to bring new life into anemic economic recoveries and to counteract renewed slowdowns. Our new paper, along with our co-authors, debunks widespread concerns that little can be done by policymakers facing a vicious cycle of (too) low growth, (too) low inflation, near-zero interest rates, and high debt levels.

An Argument for Paying Down Public Debt

What should governments do about high public debt-to-GDP ratios? This question is getting much-deserved attention. Let’s abstract from macroeconomic (business cycle) considerations and look at the issue purely from an optimal tax smoothing perspective—that is, weighing the cost and benefits of raising taxes to pay down debt. By doing so we decidedly do not engage in the current debate about the contribution that fiscal policy may make to demand management.

The Overwhelming Case for a Carbon Tax in China

A single policy could do it all for China. A carbon tax—an upstream tax on the carbon content of fossil fuel supply—could dramatically cut greenhouse gases, save millions of lives, soothe the government’s fiscal anxieties, and boost green growth.


Inequality and Fiscal Policy

The book delves into this discussion by analyzing fiscal policy and its link with inequality. Fiscal policy is the government’s most powerful tool for addressing inequality.

Public Financial Management in Latin America: The Key to Efficiency and Transparency

This book brings together the knowledge and experiences of IMF and IDB staff and representatives from 16 governments in the region to document these reforms, and examines the experiences and lessons learned.

Getting Energy Prices Right: From Principle to Practice

This book develops a practical methodology, and associated tools, to show how the major environmental damages from energy can be quantified for different countries and used to design the efficient set of energy taxes.

Post-Crisis Fiscal Policy

The book underscores how the global financial crisis has reshaped our understanding of the role of fiscal policy with topics that include a historical view of debt accumulation; the timing, size, and composition of fiscal stimulus packages in advanced and emerging economies; the heated debate surrounding the size of fiscal multipliers and the effectiveness of fiscal policy as a countercyclical tool and more.

Technical Assistance Reports

Romania : Technical Assistance Report- Improving Compliance Risk Management of Large Taxpayers
Romania : Technical Assistance Report-Enabling the Large Taxpayer Office to Reduce the Tax Gap
Georgia : Technical Assessment Report-Tax Administration Diagnostic Assessment Tool-Performance Assessment Report
South Africa : Technical Assistance Report-Petroleum Sector Fiscal Regime Reform-Additional Analysis for the Davis Tax Committee
Italy : Technical Assistance Report-Enhancing Governance and Effectiveness of the Fiscal Agencies