International Monetary Fund

IMF Book Launch and Seminar

Energy Subsidy Reform: Lessons and Implications

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Event Details

  • Date: Thursday, October 3, 2013
  • Time: 3:00 – 4:00 p.m
  • Place: World Resources Institute
    10 G Street, NE (Suite 800)
    Washington, DC 20002 USA
  • To RSVP and for more information please contact: Pierre Albert (e-mail:; phone: 202-623-6178)

Energy subsidies have wide-ranging economic consequences. Although they are aimed at protecting consumers, subsidies aggravate fiscal imbalances, crowd out priority public spending, and depress private investment, including in the energy sector.

Subsidies also distort resource allocation by encouraging excessive energy consumption, artificially promoting capital-intensive industries, reducing incentives for investment in renewable energy, and accelerating the depletion of natural resources. Most subsidy benefits are captured by higher-income households, reinforcing inequality.

Even future generations are affected through the damaging effects of increased energy consumption on global warming. This book provides (1) the most comprehensive estimates of energy subsidies currently available for 176 countries and (2) an analysis of “how to do” energy subsidy reform, drawing on insights from 22 country case studies undertaken by the IMF staff and analyses carried out by other institutions.


Opening Remarks:

Carlo Cottarelli, Fiscal Affairs Department Director, IMF

Moderator :

Andrew Steer, President, World Resources Institute

Panelists :

David Lipton, First Deputy Managing Director, IMF

Nancy Birdsall, President, Center for Global Development

William Gale, Co-Director, Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, Brookings Institute

Advance Comments About Energy Subsidy Reform: Lessons and Implications:

“A splendid contribution.”

Nicholas Stern, IG Patel Professor of Economics and Government, London School of Economics, President of the British Academy

“Gold mine for researchers and policymakers.”

Philippe Aghion, Robert C. Waggoner Professor of Economics, Harvard University

“A must for policymakers.”

Rick van der Ploeg, Research Director, Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies and Professor of Economics, University of Oxford

“The kind of study we need.”

Adam Posen, President, Peterson Institute for International Economics