IMF Fiscal Affairs E-Newsletter

Fiscal Affairs Department (FAD) - October 2013

IMF Working Papers

"Taxing Immovable Property: Revenue Potential and Implementation Challenges" John Norregaard; WP/13/129.

"Pressure or Prudence? Tales of Market Pressure and Fiscal Adjustment" Salvatore Dell'Erba; Todd D. Mattina; Agustin Roitman; WP/13/170.

"Distributional Consequences of Fiscal Consolidation and the Role of Fiscal Policy: What Do the Data Say?" Jaejoon Woo; Elva Bova; Tidiane Kinda; Yuanyan Sophia Zhang; WP 13/195.

"The Growth and Stabilization Properties of Fiscal Policy in Malaysia" S. Rafiq; WP/13/149.

Waste Not, Want Not: The Efficiency of Health Expenditure in Emerging and Developing Economies" Francesco Grigoli; Javier Kapsoli; WP/13/187.

"Does Fiscal Policy Affect Interest Rates? Evidence From A Factor-Augmented Panel" Salvatore Dell'Erba; Sergio Sola; WP/13/159.


"Extracting Resource Revenue" By Philip Daniel; Sanjeev Gupta; Todd Mattina;, and Alex Segura-Ubiergo; Finance & Development, Volume 50, No. 3, September 2013.

"Fiscal Policy Implementation in Sub-Saharan Africa" Victor Lledó and Marcos Poplawski-Ribeiro, World Development (Elsevier) Vol. 46, pp. 79–91, June 2013.

"Fiscal Devaluation and Fiscal Consolidation: The VAT in Troubled Times" Ruud de Mooij and Michael Keen; 2013, pp. 443-485 in Alberto Alesina and Francesco Giavazzi (eds) , Fiscal Policy After the Crisis (Chicago: University of Chicago Press).

"Fiscal Impact of Privatization Revisited: The Role of Tax Revenues in Transition Economies" Ernesto Crivelli, Economic Systems (Elsevier); Vol. 37, Issue 2, pp. 217-32, June 2013.

"Oil Windfall, Public Spending and Price Stability: Modeling Inflation in Chad" Tidiane Kinda; Applied Economics, Vol. 45(21), pp. 3122-3135, July.

"Taxing Times": Autumn 2013 Fiscal Monitor Now Available

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The autumn 2013 edition of the IMF's Fiscal Monitor was launched on Wednesday, October 9th. The review of global fiscal developments concludes that five years into the crisis, the fiscal landscape remains challenging and that strengthening fiscal balances remains at the top of the policy agenda. Against this background, the current issue explores how tax reform can help strengthen public finances, while addressing both equity and growth concerns. Many countries have raised tax revenue to narrow ballooning deficits or to respond to growing spending demands. Can they do more, better, and more fairly? What are the key ingredients of a successful tax reforms? One of the main findings is the significant scope to improve the quality of tax systems, in advanced and emerging economies alike.

FAD High-Level Seminar on Tax Policy


On Wednesday, October 9, 2013, FAD held a conference entitled, “Tax Systems under Pressure”. The event examined issues of international tax policy, compliance and equity. The day concluded with a high-level panel moderated by Tom Keene (Bloomberg) and included the IMF’s Managing Director, Christine Lagarde; Alan Auerbach (University of California, Berkeley); Maria Kiwanuka (Minister of Finance, Uganda); Pravin Jamnadas Gordhan (Minister of Finance, South Africa); and Fernando Aportela Rodriguez (Minister of Finance, Mexico).

FAD and French Treasury Organize High-Level Conference on “Designing a European Fiscal Union”


On September 10, Christine Lagarde, IMF Managing Director, and Pierre Muscovici, the French Finance Minister opened a conference entitled “Designing a European Fiscal Union” in Paris. The purpose of the conference – organized jointly by FAD and the French Treasury - was to present the results of recent FAD research on how existing fiscal unions work, and stimulate a discussion on possible implications for Europe. The event concluded with a high-level panel comprising of Carlo Cottarelli (IMF), Marco Buti (EC), Ramon Fernandez (France), Carlo Monticelli (Italy), John Moran (Ireland), Dr. Thomas Steffen (Germany) and António Vitorino (Notre Europe – Institut Jacques Delors). The audience included representatives of public institutions, think tanks, international organizations, and academics.

Book Launch - "Energy Subsidy Reform: Lessons and Implications"


Although energy subsidies have wide-ranging adverse economic consequences and most of the benefits are captured by higher-income households, energy subsidies are often difficult to reform. A new book, “Energy Subsidy Reform: Lessons and Implications,” provides the most comprehensive estimates of energy subsidies currently available for 176 countries. The book was launched at the World Resources Institute (WRI) on October 3, 2013. The event was opened by Sanjeev Gupta, FAD Acting Director and featured a presentation by David Lipton, the First Deputy Managing Director of the IMF. This was followed by a panel discussion chaired by Andrew Steer (WRI) and included David Lipton, Nancy Birdsall (Center for Global Development), and William Gale (Brookings Institution).

New Paper on the Role of Women in the Economy


Staff from the IMF’s Fiscal Affairs and Strategy Policy and Review Departments has prepared a new report entitled “Women, Work, and the Economy: Macroeconomic Gains from Gender Equity”. The paper finds that their contribution to economic activity is far below its potential, with serious macroeconomic consequences. Female labor force participation is lower than male participation, women account for most unpaid work, and they are over-represented in the informal sector and among the poor. The paper also examines constraints preventing women from developing their full labor market potential, and outlines policies to overcome these obstacles. The paper builds on earlier work by FAD, in particular a policy paper on “Fiscal Policy and Employment”.

Fiscal Councils “Promote Stronger Fiscal Discipline as Long as They Are Well-Designed”

FAD has prepared a policy paper reviewing experiences with fiscal councils across the IMF membership, based on a unique dataset summarizing the key characteristics of their remit, tasks and institutional forms. Fiscal councils are independent institutions aimed at promoting sustainable public finances through assessments of fiscal plans and performance, and the evaluation of macroeconomic and budgetary forecasts. Both cross-sectional analysis and case studies point to key features that could support fiscal councils’ role in encouraging better fiscal performance. These include a strict operational independence from politics, a strong presence in the public debate, and an explicit role in monitoring fiscal policy rules.

Upcoming Events

October 21, Third Asian Regional Public Financial Management Seminar

“Reforming the Management and Accountability of Public Finances” will be the topic of the next Asian regional PFM seminar, to be held in Tokyo, Japan from October 21–22, 2013. This high-level seminar is organized jointly by FAD and the Japanese Ministry of Finance. This event will bring together senior budget officials from some 20 South East Asian countries to discuss major PFM reforms pertinent to Asia’s fiscal challenges.

December 3-5, International Tax Dialogue (ITD) Conference, Marrakesh Morrocco

The 5th International Tax Dialogue Global Conference will take place in Marrakesh, Morocco on December 3-5. The topic of this year's event will be "Tax and Inter-Governmental Relations". The event will be opened by the Minister of Economy and Finance, Morocco and Nemat Shafik, Deputy Managing Director, IMF. The event is open to government officials; previous conferences (on VAT, financial taxation, taxing small businesses, and taxation and equity) have typically attracted 150-250 high-level participants from more than 80 country governments. The ITD is a collaborative arrangement between the IMF, World Bank, OECD, EC and IDB.

FAD in the News

Fiscal sustainability - Breaking the BRIC piggy bank - The Economist.

Tax policy can help countries turn the corner on debt -

IMF bites double Irish Dutch sandwich - Irish Times.

Levying the land: Governments should make more use of property taxes - The Economist.

IMF attacks speed of global austerity measures -International Business Times.

The IMF on fiscal policy as macro stabiliser at the ZLB - FT Alphaville.

IMF says lesson of fiscal crisis is to not cut budgets too quickly - Reuters.

Recent Blogs

Still some hurdles on the fiscal path - Martine Guerguil, iMFdirect.

"The fiscal milestone: achievements, fatigue, and prospects" - Carlo Cottarelli, Huffington Post.

The times they are a-changin’: will (fiscal) history repeat itself? - Carlo Cottarelli, iMFdirect.

IMF backs counter-cyclical fiscal activism in times of crisis -

FAD Videos

Fiscal Monitor

Taxing Times Seminar

Energy Subsidy Reform: Lessons and Implications

Career Opportunities

FAD seeks talented professionals with a background in public finance, to work on macro-fiscal policy issues and to provide technical assistance advice to IMF member countries on PFM, tax reform, revenue administration, and different expenditure policy issues. Vacancies in FAD for staff and long-term expert positions are posted here. FAD also seeks experts who are interested in occasional short-term (2–3 week) assignments. Interested candidates may send their CVs here.

Useful Links

IMF Fiscal Monitor

Contacts in FAD

PFM Blog

Fiscal Issues at the IMF

FAD Brochure

Further Information

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