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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.
Christian Eigen-Zucchi, Gunnar S. Eskeland, and Zmarak Shalizi

greater participation of long-term investors and bringing higher value-added activities and employment to the community. There is also a stronger commitment to protect biodiversity. The annual area fee has risen from $0.14 a hectare in 1996 to $6.00 in 2002, and annual forest revenues have increased from under $3 million in 1995 to over $30 million in 2001 (excluding timber export taxes and duties), of which $8 million accrued to local communities. Time will tell if these reforms hold up, but improvements in the institutional landscape, greater transparency, and a

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

deforestation will decrease because of the reduction in timber exports. In addition, job creation, capturing more value-added domestically, and improving the scale efficiency of domestic processing are also often given as reasons for such restrictions. Many developing countries thus look to timber trade restrictions as a means of achieving economic, environmental, and social objectives. Several justifications are offered why a timber export tax and, its most extreme form—a log export ban (LEB) should be implemented. Industrial processing of natural resources has long been

Mr. Vito Tanzi, M. Zühtü Yücelik, Mr. Peter S. Griffith, and Mr. Carlos A. Aguirre

Kenya. According to a household survey conducted there in 1974, expenditures on taxed items were 77 per cent of household incomes in the lowest-income rural group, but amounted to only 14 per cent of household incomes for the highest-income rural group. Taxation of Primary Exports Many countries in sub-Saharan Africa are producers of primary export commodities, such as coffee, cocoa, tea, tobacco, sugar, groundnuts, cotton, livestock, and timber. Export taxes, which have traditionally raised substantial revenue, have three principal forms, and a country may

International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

initiatives like the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). Neighboring Liberia has set up a national system to verify the legality of timber (LiberTrace). Ghana deployed a similar digital wood-tracking system in 2009; some of the data is also made available to the public. 3. The authorities should revisit the overall taxation of timber to encourage sustainable logging, protect precious species, and promote domestic processing . Sierra Leone has a fixed timber export tax of US$3,000 per 20ft container and a US$300 afforestation levy, through which it

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
This paper describes the importance of luck, timing, and political institutions in beating inflation. The paper highlights that countries experiencing high inflation typically make several disinflation attempts, some of which succeed only temporarily. If a country trying to stabilize prices and wages is unlucky enough to be exposed to severe external shocks—for example, a decline in demand for its exports—during its disinflation, the likelihood of failure is increased. A shock such as an increase in U.S. interest rates makes failure more likely for a country with an open capital account.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
Sierra Leone continues to pursue its development path amidst continued vulnerability to shocks and still fragile institutions. Despite a decisive health and economic response to the COVID-19 pandemic, less than one in five Sierra Leoneans is vaccinated, and urgent challenges, such as food insecurity, persist. The authorities’ ambitious National Development Plan is showing first results in the education sector, but human development outcomes remain among the weakest worldwide. The COVID-19 crisis and the war in Ukraine has stoked inflation and exacerbated an exceptionally tight fiscal situation in the context of high risk of debt distress, severely limiting the authorities’ room to maneuver.