Hilary Devine, Adrian Peralta-Alva, Hoda Selim, Preya Sharma, Ludger Wocken, and Luc Eyraud
The Covid-19 pandemic has aggravated the tension between large development needs in infrastructure and scarce public resources. To alleviate this tension and promote a strong and job-rich recovery from the crisis, Africa needs to mobilize more financing from and to the private sector.
Public-private partnerships (PPPs) have increased rapidly in emerging and developing countries, creating both opportunities and fiscal challenges. One of the main challenges is that while governments have increased commitments in guarantees and direct subsidies to promote PPPs, contractual disputes remain high with significant costs. This paper examines how fiscal institutions affect the selection of PPP contracts and the probability of contract disputes using about 6,000 PPP contract-level data. The analysis shows that larger government financing needs, lower budget transparency and bureaucratic efficiency are associated with higher probability for governments to offer guarantees. Propensity score matching results show that disputes are more common for guaranteed contracts due to adverse selection and contingent liability effects. PPP management quality and budget transparency are found to be key determinants for a longer survival of PPPs.
Vitor Gaspar, Laura Jaramillo, and Mr. Philippe Wingender
Is there a minimum tax to GDP ratio associated with a significant acceleration in the process of growth and development? We give an empirical answer to this question by investigating the existence of a tipping point in tax-to-GDP levels. We use two separate databases: a novel contemporary database covering 139 countries from 1965 to 2011 and a historical database for 30 advanced economies from 1800 to 1980. We find that the answer to the question is yes. Estimated tipping points are similar at about 12¾ percent of GDP. For the contemporary dataset we find that a country just above the threshold will have GDP per capita 7.5 percent larger, after 10 years. The effect is tightly estimated and economically large.
Vitor Gaspar, Laura Jaramillo, and Mr. Philippe Wingender
An empirical finding by Gaspar, Jaramillo and Wingender (2016) shows that once countries cross a tax-to-GDP threshold of around 12¾ percent, real GDP per capita increases sharply and in a sustained manner over the following decade. In this paper, we attempt via four case studies—Spain, China, Colombia, and Nigeria—to illustrate that the improvements in tax capacity have been part of a deeper process of state capacity building. We discuss the political conditions that supported tax capacity building, highlighting three important political ingredients: constitutive institutions, inclusive politics and credible leadership.
Capital markets can improve risk sharing and the efficiency with which capital is allocated to the real economy, boosting economic growth and welfare. However, despite these potential benefits, not all countries have well developed capital markets. Moreover, government-led initiatives to develop local capital markets have had mixed success. This paper reviews the literature on the benefits and costs of developing local capital markets, and describes the challenges faced in the development of such markets. The paper concludes with a set of policy recommendations emerging from this literature.
This paper provides a broad empirical analysis of the determinants of post-conflict economic transitions across the world during the period 1960–2010, using a dynamic panel estimation approach based on the system-generalized method of moments. In addition to an array of demographic, economic, geographic, and institutional variables, we introduce an estimated risk of conflict recurrence as an explanatory variable in the growth regression, because post-conflict countries have a tendency to relapse into subsequent conflicts even years after the cessation of violence. The empirical results show that domestic factors, including the estimated probability of conflict recurrence, as well as a range of external variables, contribute to post-conflict economic performance.
This paper tests the theoretical framework developed by North, Wallis and Weingast (2009) on the transition from closed to open access societies. They posit that societies need to go through three doorsteps: (i) the establishment of rule of law among elites; (ii) the adoption of perpetually existing organizations; and (iii) the political control of the military. We identify indicators reflecting these doorsteps and graphically test the correlation between them and a set of political and economic variables. Finally, through Identification through Heteroskedasticity we test these relationships econometrically. The paper broadly confirms the logic behind the doorsteps as necessary steps in the transition to open access societies. The doorsteps influence economic and political processes, as well as each other, with varying intensity. We also identify income inequality as a potentially important force leading to social change.
An influential theoretical literature has observed that economic diversification can reduce risk and increase financial development. But causality operates in both directions, as a well functioning financial system can enable a society to invest in more productive but risky projects, thereby determining the degree of economic diversification. Thus, ordinary least squares (OLS) estimates of the impact of economic diversification on financial development are likely to be biased. Motivated by the economic geography literature, this paper uses instruments derived from topographical characteristics to estimate the impact of economic diversification on the development of finance. The fourth estimates suggest a large and robust role for diversification in shaping financial development. And these results imply that, by impeding financial sector development, the concentration of economic activity common in developing countries can adversely affect financial and economic development.
This paper reviews current thinking on the relationship between financial development and poverty alleviation-a subject that has grown increasingly important in the policy prescriptions of the IMF and other international financial institutions in recent years. Although work on this issue is far from over, some important lessons can be learned from the existing evidence. The paper reflects on these lessons and looks at some of the policy implications of the analysis.