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

Building Fiscal Capacity in Fragile States

The paper draws on recent country experience to describe the approach to designing and implementing fiscal reforms in fragile states (FS) taken in the IMF’s technical assistance (TA).

Labor and Product Market Reforms in Advanced Economies : Fiscal Costs, Gains, and Support

Product and labor market reforms are needed to lift persistently sluggish growth in advanced economies. But reforms have progressed slowly because of concerns about their distributive and short-term economic effects. Our analysis, based on new empirical and numerical analysis and country case-studies shows that most labor and product market reforms can improve public debt dynamics over the medium-term.

IMF Study Explores How to Better Manage Government Pay and Employment

Speaking to IMF Survey, Mercedes Garcia-Escribano, Deputy Division Chief, and Teresa Rose Curristine, Senior Economist, in the IMF’s Fiscal Affairs Department, discuss ways in which governments can improve their management of pay and employment.

Problem-Solving Ideas

The Evolution of Potential VAT Revenues and C-Efficiency in Advanced Economies

To understand the cyclical movements of value-added tax (VAT) revenues in advanced economies, this paper analyzes changes in the C-efficiency ratio by decomposing it into changes in the compliance and policy gaps between 2000 and 2014.

Income Inequality and Education Revisited: Endogeneity, Heterogeneity, and Persistence

This paper presents new results on the relationship between income inequality and education expansion—that is, increasing average years of schooling and reducing inequality of schooling. When dynamic panel estimation techniques are used to address issues of persistence and endogeneity, we find a large, positive, statistically significant and stable relationship between inequality of schooling and income inequality, especially in emerging and developing economies and among older age cohorts.

Can They Do It All? Fiscal Space in Low Income Countries?

According to U.N. estimates, low-income countries will have to increase their annual public spending by up to 30 percent of GDP to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), raising the question of whether they can do it all. This paper develops a new metric of fiscal space in low-income countries that accounts for macroeconomic uncertainty, allowing us to assess whether those spending needs can be accommodated.

Need to Know

Understanding Revenue Administration: Results from the Second Survey of the Revenue Administration—Fiscal Information Tool

This paper presents the results of the second round of the Revenue Administration Fiscal Information Tool (RA-FIT) country survey in an aggregated manner for all respondents and by income group.

Turkey Fiscal Transparency Evaluation

Turkey has made considerable strides in enhancing its fiscal transparency practices over the past decade and a half. Since first volunteering for a Fiscal Transparency ROSC1 in 2000, Turkey has substantially improved the comprehensiveness, timeliness, and reliability of publicly available fiscal information. In particular, over the past 15 years.

Uganda : Fiscal Transparency Evaluation

Uganda meets at least the standard of good or advanced practice in 13 of the 36 dimensions of the first three pillars of the IMF’s Fiscal Transparency Code, while 23 of the 36 dimensions are scored as basic or not met, reflecting issues with the coverage, quality, and reliability of some information.

Brazil: Fiscal Transparency Evaluation

Despite the development of fiscal responsibility legislation, several weaknesses in fiscal transparency have had adverse effects on the quality of fiscal policy—many of which are being addressed. Brazil has made significant progress over recent decades in providing regular information on the budget and its implementation at all levels of government, partly driven by the 2000 Fiscal Responsibility Law (FRL).

What People Are Saying

Building Fiscal Institutions in Fragile States

Fragile states face more obstacles to growth than most countries, and technical assistance and training can boost their capacity to raise revenues.

IMF Study Explores How to Better Manage Government Pay and Employment

Speaking to IMF Survey, Mercedes Garcia-Escribano, Deputy Division Chief, and Teresa Rose Curristine, Senior Economist, in the IMF’s Fiscal Affairs Department, discuss ways in which governments can improve their management of pay and employment.

Two to Tango—Inflation Management in Unusual Times

Monetary and fiscal policies interact in complex ways. Yet modern institutional arrangements typically feature a strict separation of responsibilities.

Peer Pressure: Tax Competition and Developing Economies

Economists tend to agree on the importance of competition for a sound market economy. So, what’s the problem when it comes to governments competing to attract investors through the tax treatment they provide? The trouble is that by competing with one another and eroding each other’s revenues, countries end up having to rely on other—typically more distortive—sources of financing or reduce much-needed public spending, or both.

Stressing the Public Finances – the UK Raises the Bar

Of all the major economies hit by the turbulent events of the global financial crisis, few were hit as hard and by as large a range of shocks as the United Kingdom


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.

Technical Assistance Reports

Botswana : Technical Assistance Report-Public Investment Management Assessment
Poland: Developing a Medium-Term Budget Framework
Paraguay : Technical Assistance Report-Establishing a Structural Balance Rule and a Public Debt Objective