Western Hemisphere > Bolivia

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Mr. Antonio Spilimbergo and Mr. Krishna Srinivasan


Brazil is at crossroads, emerging slowly from a historic recession that was preceded by a huge economic boom. Reasons for the historic bust following a boom are manifold. Policy mistakes were an important contributory factor, and included the pursuit of countercyclical policies, introduced to deal with the effects of the global financial crisis, beyond the point where they were helpful. More fundamentally, it reflects longstanding structural weaknesses plaguing the economy, that also help explain Brazil’s uninspiring growth performance over the past four decades.

Mr. Mauricio Vargas
As emphasized by Hausmann, Rodrik and Velasco, the policy challenge of boosting growth requires prioritization and identifying what are the most binding constraints. This paper draws on firm-level data from the World Bank Enterprise Survey, which suggests that the obstacles for the functioning of firms is related to firm size. Recognizing the potential endogeneity and simultaneity between firms' constraints and firm size, we implement an Ordered-Probit model with a potential categorical endogenous regressor to estimate, for the case of Bolivia, the conditional probability of facing obstacles given the firm size category, while controlling for other factors. The results confirm the importance of allowing for the roles of firm size in identifying constraints and suggest priorities for policies to remove constraints to economic performance.
International Monetary Fund
The Fund’s Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) program has significantly contributed to the international community’s response to money laundering and the financing of terrorism. This paper reviews how the Fund’s AML/CFT program has evolved during the past five years and discusses how the Fund could move forward in this area. The past five years have witnessed significant changes to the Fund’s AML/CFT technical assistance program. It is now being delivered more strategically than in the past and is almost exclusively funded by external resources. Its central pillar is now the AML/CFT Topical Trust Fund.
Elisabeth Paul and Ms. Era Dabla-Norris
This paper analyzes the pervasiveness and persistence of rent seeking, misgovernance, and public sector inefficiency in many developing and transition economies. We formalize evidence from country experiences and empirical studies into a stylized analytical framework that reflects realistic constraints faced in these countries. Our work departs from the standard economic literature by assuming that (i) the relationship between the government and its population is regulated through an implicit social consensus; (ii) traditional incentives (in the form of public expenditure controls, sanctions, or monetary incentives to perform) are, for various reasons, ineffective in many of these countries; and (iii) the persistence of high corruption reflects a very stable equilibrium, which in turn reflects the fact that several constraints are simultaneously binding. We argue that, when traditional incentives fail, transparency-information provision and disclosure, together with the means to use it-by relaxing different constraints, can contribute to improving public outcomes.
International Monetary Fund
This report provides an update on the work and direction of the Fund since the 2005 Spring Meetings. Since that time, the global economy has enjoyed strong growth--albeit with significant regional differences--and an absence of major financial crises, even though growing imbalances and rising oil prices have clouded the outlook. Although some steps the Fund has been advocating for some time have been taken--for example, increased flexibility in exchange rate regimes in Asia—decisive action to reduce global imbalances has remained elusive. At the same time, progress toward the Millennium Development Goals MDGs) remains slow and uneven,1 highlighting the need for concerted action by all countries. Further impetus is also urgently needed to move the Doha Round of trade negotiations toward an ambitious conclusion.
International Monetary Fund
Bolivia’s system to prevent and suppress money laundering fulfills most of the Financial Sanctions Related to Terrorism and Terrorist Financing (FATF) recommendations and applies to the insurance, stock market, and financial sectors. However, the system does not include other activities that are susceptible to money laundering. The institutional regulatory and financial intelligence responsibilities for combating money laundering are concentrated in the Bolivian Financial Intelligence Unit. Bolivia should continue to improve the legislation aimed at combating this offense, and strengthen the imposition and supervision of controls.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
The Web edition of the IMF Survey is updated several times a week, and contains a wealth of articles about topical policy and economic issues in the news. Access the latest IMF research, read interviews, and listen to podcasts given by top IMF economists on important issues in the global economy. www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/survey/so/home.aspx
International Monetary Fund
Real wage declines have been common in the public sector in many countries over substantial periods of time. In several cases, such wage reductions have coincided with a decline in the efficiency of the public sector. In a simple analytical framework, it is shown that higher wage levels alter the incentive compatible equilibrium by attracting relatively skilled human capital to the government sector, which raises the quality of public output--tax revenue collection in this paper. Increases in wages should be complemented with appropriate monitoring and penalty rates for effective tax administration; prescriptions of raising the statutory tax rate alone, however, may not increase revenue collection.