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Mr. Francesco Grigoli, Emiliano Luttini, and Mr. Damiano Sandri

This paper provides the first assessment of the contribution of idiosyncratic shocks to aggregate fluctuations in an emerging market using confidential data on the universe of Chilean firms. We find that idiosyncratic shocks account for more than 40 percent of the volatility of aggregate sales. Although quite large, this contribution is smaller than documented in previous studies based on advanced economies, despite a higher degree of market concentration in Chile.We show that this finding is explained by larger firms being less volatile and by weaker propagation effects across Chilean firms.

Mr. Nalin M. Kishor, Mr. Muthukumara Mani, and Mr. Luis F. Constantino

An increasing number of tropical timber producing nations have enacted bans on export of logs. Proponents argue that a log export ban is a second-best policy tool for addressing environmental externalities; it also creates more jobs and improves scale efficiencies domestically. Theoretical arguments suggest that log export bans are largely incapable of achieving their objectives. However, little quantitative evidence exists. The authors maintain that eliminating log export bans in Costa Rica could generate economic gains as high as $14 million annually in addition to the environmental benefits.

Mr. Christophe J Waerzeggers and Mr. Cory Hillier
Tax avoidance continues to attract attention globally with strong support for tax law reform at all levels. This Tax Law IMF Technical Note focuses on some of the key design and drafting considerations of one specific legal instrument (being, a statutory general anti-avoidance rule (GAAR)) which is often considered by authorities to combat unacceptable tax avoidance practices. A GAAR is typically designed to strike down those otherwise lawful practices that are found to be carried out in a manner which undermines the intention of the tax law such as where a taxpayer has misused or abused that law. However, the objective of combating unacceptable tax avoidance can itself make the legal design of a GAAR complex. This is simply because the phrase “tax avoidance” means different things to different people. Whatever the form of a GAAR, it should give effect to a policy that seeks to strike down blatant, artificial or contrived arrangements which are tax driven. However, the GAAR should be designed and applied so as not to inhibit or impede ordinary commercial transactions. This Tax Law IMF Technical Note discusses and explores how drawing a line between those arrangements which should be caught by the GAAR is a matter of degree and can be delicate.
International Monetary Fund
This paper aims to illustrate the important fiscal aspects of an agricultural price stabilization fund by examining the operations and experience of the CSSPPA in Côte d’Ivoire. After considering some of the issues that determine whether a price stabilization fund should be in the private or public sector and investigating the fund’s resource mobilization role through explicit and implicit export taxation, the paper discusses issues related to the adequate insulation of producer prices from changing world market prices, and provides a macroeconomic perspective of the fund’s role in the transmission of export stimuli to the domestic economy.
Mr. Stephen C. Smith and Mr. Michael Keen
Like any tax, the VAT is vulnerable to evasion and fraud. But its credit and refund mechanism does offer unique opportunities for abuse, and this has recently become an urgent concern in the European Union (EU). This paper describes the main forms of noncompliance distinctive to a VAT, considers how they can be addressed, and assesses evidence on their extent in high-income countries. While the practical significance of current difficulties in the EU should not be over-stated, administrative measures alone may prove insufficient to deal with them, and a fundamental redesign of the VAT treatment of intra-community trade required. The current difficulties in the EU largely reflect circumstances that would not apply in the United States.
S. M. Ali Abbas, Mr. Kenji Moriyama, and Abdul Naseer
The paper aims to identify the optimal size, speed and composition of the medium-term fiscal adjustment in the context of Sudan's limited oil reserves. The permanently sustainable non-oil primary balance approach suggests the need for significant fiscal adjustment over the medium term, requiring a widening of the tax base. Cross-country comparisons highlight VAT and personal income tax (as well as tax administration) as key areas for reform. The paper also suggests the need for complementary expenditure-side measures in the areas of petroleum pricing and anchoring fiscal policy in non-oil indicators.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
The U.S. economy has staged a strong recovery from the COVID-19 shock. The positive effects of unprecedented policy stimulus, combined with the advantages of a highly flexible economy, have been clear. Just over two years after the COVID-19 shock, the unemployment rate and other measures of labor force underutilization have returned to end-2019 levels and output is close to its pre-pandemic trend. Rapid wage increases for lower income workers have reduced income polarization and poverty fell in 2020. On net, 8.5 million jobs have been created since the end of 2020. In addition, the swift policy response was able to maintain the smooth functioning of U.S. financial markets and prevent the surge of bankruptcies that many had feared.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
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