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Mr. Daniel Leigh and Moataz El-Said
This paper looks at the fiscal cost and distributional impact of implicit fuel price subsidies in Gabon, where fuel prices have remained largely unchanged since 2002. Using estimated implicit import parity prices, we evaluate the total fiscal cost of the subsidies at 3.2 percent of non-oil GDP in 2005-more than total public health expenditures. We also analyze the distribution of the subsidies using household survey data and find that the bulk of the subsidies benefit higher-income households. Finally, we suggest use of a number of existing programs to provide a more targeted and cost-effective means of protecting the real incomes of lower-income households from the effects of energy price increases.
Mr. Daniel Leigh and Moataz El-Said
Mr. Daniel Leigh and Moataz El-Said

This paper looks at the fiscal cost and distributional impact of implicit fuel price subsidies in Gabon, where fuel prices have remained largely unchanged since 2002. Using estimated implicit import parity prices, we evaluate the total fiscal cost of the subsidies at 3.2 percent of non-oil GDP in 2005-more than total public health expenditures. We also analyze the distribution of the subsidies using household survey data and find that the bulk of the subsidies benefit higher-income households. Finally, we suggest use of a number of existing programs to provide a more targeted and cost-effective means of protecting the real incomes of lower-income households from the effects of energy price increases.

Ana Lariau, Moataz El-Said, and Ms. Misa Takebe
This paper estimates the exchange rate pass-through to consumer price inflation in Angola and Nigeria, with particular emphasis on the changes of the pass-through over time. Even though the two countries share smilar dependence on oil exports, this paper reveals different results. For Angola, the long-run exchange rate pass-through to prices is high, though it has weakened in recent years reflecting the de-dollarization of the economy. In Nigeria, there is no stable long-run relationship between the exchange rate and prices, and changes in the exchange rate do not have a significant pass-through effect on inflation. However, the passthrough effect on core inflation is significant.
Ana Lariau, Moataz El-Said, and Ms. Misa Takebe
Ana Lariau, Moataz El-Said, and Ms. Misa Takebe

This paper estimates the exchange rate pass-through to consumer price inflation in Angola and Nigeria, with particular emphasis on the changes of the pass-through over time. Even though the two countries share smilar dependence on oil exports, this paper reveals different results. For Angola, the long-run exchange rate pass-through to prices is high, though it has weakened in recent years reflecting the de-dollarization of the economy. In Nigeria, there is no stable long-run relationship between the exchange rate and prices, and changes in the exchange rate do not have a significant pass-through effect on inflation. However, the passthrough effect on core inflation is significant.

Mr. Robert Gillingham, David Locke Newhouse, Mr. David Coady, Mr. Kangni R Kpodar, Moataz El-Said, and Mr. Paulo A Medas
With the recent jump in world oil prices, the issue of petroleum product pricing has become increasingly important in developing countries. Reflecting a reluctance of many governments to pass these price increases onto energy users, energy price subsidies are absorbing an increasing share of scarce public resources. This paper identifies the issues that need to be discussed when analyzing the fiscal and social costs of fuel subsidies. Using examples from analyses recently undertaken for five countries, it also identifies the magnitude of consumer subsidies and their fiscal implications. The results of the analysis show that-in all of these countries-energy subsidies have significant social and fiscal costs and are badly targeted.
Mr. Robert Gillingham, David Locke Newhouse, Mr. David Coady, Mr. Kangni R Kpodar, Moataz El-Said, and Mr. Paulo A Medas
Mr. Robert Gillingham, David Locke Newhouse, Mr. David Coady, Mr. Kangni R Kpodar, Moataz El-Said, and Mr. Paulo A Medas

With the recent jump in world oil prices, the issue of petroleum product pricing has become increasingly important in developing countries. Reflecting a reluctance of many governments to pass these price increases onto energy users, energy price subsidies are absorbing an increasing share of scarce public resources. This paper identifies the issues that need to be discussed when analyzing the fiscal and social costs of fuel subsidies. Using examples from analyses recently undertaken for five countries, it also identifies the magnitude of consumer subsidies and their fiscal implications. The results of the analysis show that-in all of these countries-energy subsidies have significant social and fiscal costs and are badly targeted.

Mr. Koshy Mathai, Mr. Christoph Duenwald, Ms. Anastasia Guscina, Rayah Al-Farah, Mr. Hatim Bukhari, Mr. Atif Chaudry, Moataz El-Said, Fozan Fareed, Mrs. Kerstin Gerling, Nghia-Piotr Le, Mr. Franto Ricka, Mr. Cesar Serra, Tetyana Sydorenko, Mr. Sébastien Walker, and Mr. Mohammed Zaher

This paper examines the role of social spending in improving socioeconomic outcomes in the Middle East and Central Asia. In particular, it addresses the following questions: (1) how large is social spending across the region? (2) how do countries in the region fare on socioeconomic outcomes? (3) how important is social spending as a determinant of these outcomes? and (4) how efficient is social spending in the region?