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Tax Administration: Essential Analytics for Compliance Risk Management

February 26, 2024
This technical note introduces analytics for compliance risk management in tax administration. Together with its accompanying toolkit, the note is intended as a starter kit to support capacity development in compliance planning, risk, and intelligence groups. Developed primarily for emerging analysts new to tax administration, the note presents both theory and practical aspects of analytics. Its toolkit is comprised of an initial collection of analytics templates designed to assist in turning the theory presented into practice in the areas of: (1) compliance planning; (2) taxpayer profiling; and (3) audit case selection.

Rise of Digital Money: Implications for Pacific Island Countries

February 25, 2024
The departmental paper, "Rise of Digital Money: Implications for Pacific Island Countries," delves into the fast-evolving landscape of digital money in a diverse region of extremes in size, remoteness and dispersion, highlighting its significant macroeconomic and financial consequences. It provides an overview of the development of digital money and payment systems in Pacific Island Countries (PICs), assessing potential benefits and risks, with a focus on how they can harness digital technology to enhance financial inclusion and payment efficiency while minimizing risks. To this end, the paper also examines the prerequisites for successfully adopting various forms of digital money and proposes a strategic framework for policy decisions. The paper underscores the potential of digital money in advancing public policy goals, like financial inclusion and improved cross-border connectivity – given the specific characteristics of the region – while cautioning against the risks of rapid and inadequately regulated adoption. Accordingly, it advocates a gradual, well-informed approach, tailored to PICs' unique monetary and financial circumstances, including the presence of national currencies and the maturity of payment systems. Moreover, the paper suggests that a regional approach could help address capacity and scalability challenges in introducing new digital money forms and payment methods in PICs.

A New Measure of Central Bank Independence

February 23, 2024
This paper constructs a new index for measuring de jure central bank independence, the first entirely new index in three decades. The index draws on a comprehensive dataset from the IMF’s Central Bank Legislation Database (CBLD) and Monetary Operations and Instruments Database (MOID) and weightings derived from a survey of 87 respondents, mostly consisting of central bank governors and general counsels. It improves upon existing indices including the Cukierman, Webb, and Neyapti (CWN) index, which has been the de facto standard for measuring central bank independence since 1992, as well as recent extensions by Garriga (2016) and Romelli (2022). For example, it includes areas absent from the CWN index, such as board composition, financial independence, and budgetary independence. It treats dimensions such as the status of the chief executive as composite metrics to prevent overstating the independence of statutory schemes. It distills ten key metrics, simplifying current frameworks that now include upwards of forty distinct variables. And it replaces the subjective weighting systems relied on in the existing literature with an empirically grounded alternative. This paper presents the key features of the new index; a companion, forthcoming paper will provide detailed findings by country/region, income level, and exchange rate regime.

An Integrated Policy Framework (IPF) Diagram for International Economics

February 23, 2024
The Mundell-Fleming IS-LM approach has guided generations of economists over the past 60 years. But countries have experienced new problems, the international finance literature has advanced, and the composition of the global economy has changed, so the scene is set for an updated approach. We propose an Integrated Policy Framework (IPF) diagram to analyze the use of multiple policy tools as a function of shocks and country characteristics. The underlying model features dominant currency pricing, shallow foreign exchange (FX) markets, and occasionally-binding external and domestic borrowing constraints. Our diagram includes the use of monetary policy, FX intervention, capital controls, and domestic macroprudential measures. It has four panels to explore four key trade-offs related to import consumption, home goods consumption, the housing market, and monetary policy. Our extended diagram adds fiscal policy into the mix.

Navigating the Evolving Landscape between China and Africa’s Economic Engagements

February 23, 2024
China and Africa have forged a strong economic relationship since China’s accession to the WTO in 2001. This paper examines the evolution of these economic ties starting in the early 2000s, and the subsequent shift in the relationship triggered by the commodity price collapse in 2015 and by the COVID-19 pandemic. The potential effects on the African continent of a further slowdown in Chinese growth are analyzed, highlighting the varying effects on different countries in Africa, especially those heavily dependent on their economic relationship with China. The conclusion offers a discussion of ways how African countries and China could adapt to the changing relationship.

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