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Mr. Johannes Mueller, Irene Yackovlev, and Hans Weisfeld
Most WAEMU countries are likely to see economic growth deteriorate over the next two years as a result of the global economic crisis, and some WAEMU countries will be more severely affected by the crisis than others. This could have a detrimental effect on efforts to reduce poverty. Deteriorating remittances and commodity export prices are projected to negatively affect the WAEMU countries’ external current account deficit and reserves, although the impact should be cushioned by positive terms-of-trade shocks, such as declining import prices for food and fuel products. These developments should also help lower inflation pressures, bringing WAEMU inflation closer to its historical level of about 2 percent by 2010.
Irene Yackovlev, Victor Duarte Lledo, and Lucie Gadenne
This paper documents cyclical patterns of government expenditures in sub-Saharan Africa since 1970 and explains variation between countries and over time. Controlling for endogeneity, it finds government expenditures to be slightly more procyclical in sub-Saharan Africa than in other developing countries and some evidence that procyclicality in Africa has declined in recent years after a period of sharp increase through the 1990s. Greater fiscal space, proxied by lower external debt, and better access to concessional financing, proxied by larger aid flows, seem to be important factors in diminishing procyclicality in the region. The role of institutions is less clear cut: changes in political institutions have no impact on procyclicality.
Mr. Johannes Mueller, Irene Yackovlev, and Hans Weisfeld

Most WAEMU countries are likely to see economic growth deteriorate over the next two years as a result of the global economic crisis, and some WAEMU countries will be more severely affected by the crisis than others. This could have a detrimental effect on efforts to reduce poverty. Deteriorating remittances and commodity export prices are projected to negatively affect the WAEMU countries’ external current account deficit and reserves, although the impact should be cushioned by positive terms-of-trade shocks, such as declining import prices for food and fuel products. These developments should also help lower inflation pressures, bringing WAEMU inflation closer to its historical level of about 2 percent by 2010.

Irene Yackovlev, Victor Duarte Lledo, and Lucie Gadenne

This paper documents cyclical patterns of government expenditures in sub-Saharan Africa since 1970 and explains variation between countries and over time. Controlling for endogeneity, it finds government expenditures to be slightly more procyclical in sub-Saharan Africa than in other developing countries and some evidence that procyclicality in Africa has declined in recent years after a period of sharp increase through the 1990s. Greater fiscal space, proxied by lower external debt, and better access to concessional financing, proxied by larger aid flows, seem to be important factors in diminishing procyclicality in the region. The role of institutions is less clear cut: changes in political institutions have no impact on procyclicality.

David Locke Newhouse, Irene Yackovlev, and Mr. Robert Gillingham
This paper uses household survey data to estimate the incidence of tax and spending programs in Honduras. Any such exercise is fraught with difficulty, so our simplifying assumptions are carefully explained. Rather than look at tax and spending completely independently, we evaluate net incidence of major programs-such as health care and pensions-to get a more holistic evaluation of redistribution. Our results show that fiscal policy is, on balance, progressive, but that there is room for significant improvement. In particular, energy subsidies, university education and public pension programs provide disproportionate benefits to higher-income households.
Christine J. Richmond, Irene Yackovlev, and Ms. Susan S. Yang
Natural resource revenues are an increasingly important financing source for public investment in many developing economies. Investing volatile resource revenues, however, may subject an economy to macroeconomic instability. This paper applies to Angola the fiscal framework developed in Berg et al. (forthcoming) that incorporates investment inefficiency and absorptive capacity constraints, often encountered in developing countries. The sustainable investing approach, which combines a stable fiscal regime with external savings, can convert resource wealth to development gains while maintaining economic stability. Stochastic simulations demonstrate how the framework can be used to inform allocations between capital spending and external savings when facing uncertain oil revenues. An overly aggressive investment scaling-up path could result in insufficient fiscal buffers when faced with negative oil price shocks. Consequently, investment progress can be interrupted, driving up the capital depreciation rate, undermining economic stability, and lowering the growth benefits of public investment.
David Locke Newhouse, Irene Yackovlev, and Mr. Robert Gillingham
Christine J. Richmond, Irene Yackovlev, and Ms. Susan S. Yang