Poor performance of the electricity sector remains a drag to economic efficiency and a bottleneck to economic activity in many low-income countries. This paper proposes a number of models that account for different equilibria (some better, some worse) of the electricity sector. They show how policy choices (affecting insolvency prospects or related to rules for electricity dispatching or tariff setting), stochastic generation costs, and initial conditions, affect investment in generation and electricity supply. They also show how credible (non-credible) promises of stronger enforcement to reduce theft result in larger (smaller) electricity supply, lower (higher) government subsidies, and lower (higher) tariffs and distribution losses, which in turn affect economic activity. To illustrate these findings, the paper reviews the experience of Haiti, a country stuck in a bad equilibrium of insufficient supply, high prices, and electricity theft; and that of Nicaragua, which is gradually transitioning to a better equilibrium of the electricity sector.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This Selected Issues paper examines opportunities and challenges for growth in Haiti. Achieving a sustained increase in living standards in Haiti will require deep-seated reforms across a range of areas. Diversifying the export base is needed to cushion the impact of severe shocks that have reduced per capita income and prevented a sustained increase in the capital stock. Integration into global-value chains would also allow Haiti to take advantage of its proximity to the U.S. market and favorable trade preferences to generate employment, spur the creation of human capital, and allow Haiti to begin climbing the value added chain.
Gabriel Di Bella, Mr. Lawrence Norton, Mr. Joseph Ntamatungiro, Ms. Sumiko Ogawa, Issouf Samaké, and Marika Santoro
The oil price decline creates an opportunity to dismantle energy subsidies, which escalated with high oil prices. This paper assesses energy subsidies in Latin America and the Caribbean—about 1.8 percent of GDP in 2011–13 (approximately evenly split between fuel and electricity), and about 3.8 percent of GDP including negative externalities. Countries with poorer institutions subsidize more. Energy-rich countries subsidize fuel more, but low-income countries are more likely to subsidize electricity, as are Central America and the Caribbean. Energy subsidies impose fiscal costs, hurting SOEs, competitiveness, and distribution. The paper overviews country experience with subsidy reform, drawing lessons.
This paper is an overview of Nicaragua’s performance in the year 2011. The year 2012 is expected to face a recession and a moderation in the global oil prices. The tax revenue collections will be sturdy. The poverty scale will not face any oscillation. The rigid development in the business line, sustaining the electricity sector financially, and low dependence of oil imports are the anticipated preventive measures to overcome these challenges. The Board has taken these ideas as the positive outcome of a strong rule.
The paper is an elaborated report on Nicaragua’s potential economic growth. The challenges and idiosyncratic shocks were immense but the policies of better education, labor contracts, and accomplishments in public investments paved the way for movement of the economy. The external competitiveness and exchange rate assessment also have an important hand. The achievements in the electricity sector and the improvement in reforming the pension system are the prominent aspects. On the whole, the Board considers this growth as a positive trial of development in the global panorama.
This paper is a report of Nicaragua’s performance under the 2007–11 program. The period was marked by a stern financial crisis, price shocks, and disasters, but the program maintained the macroeconomic stability. Although the program had several hurdles, its achievements were remarkable—approval of tax reforms, improvements in banks' framework, power and electricity framework, dwindled poverty rate, and strong foreign relations. Overall, the Board is in high spirits in the triumph of the program in a critical situation though it had some flaws.
The Nicaraguan economy continued to post robust growth in the first half of 2011. The Seventh Review Under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) and Financing Assurances Review highlights that all quantitative performance criteria for end-June 2011 were met and the structural agenda is broadly on track. The fiscal performance of the central government was stronger than envisaged. The deficit in the external current account is projected to remain large and to be financed by resilient capital flows.