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Patrick Petit, Mario Mansour, and Mr. Philippe Wingender
Fighting the obesity epidemic has so far proven a difficult challenge, given the diversity of natural and processed foods, the complexity of food supply chains, and the fact that targeting excessive caloric consumption is far trickier than reducing overall consumption (as for tobacco). Nevertheless, efforts to curb caloric intake are gearing up and the experience from tobacco control has drawn much attention on a potential role for excise taxes in fighting obesity. Many related questions have therefore been raised as part of the IMF’s capacity development work: Should excises on unhealthy food be used to fight obesity? If so, under what conditions? What are the product and market characteristics that would help identify the relevant tax bases and the rates at which to tax them? While acknowledging that the scientific evidence keeps evolving, this note summarizes the ongoing debate and practice on food excises and on their potential role as a policy tool to fight the obesity epidemic, with a view to assist policymakers in deciding whether to go forward, and if so, how.How to Apply Excise Taxes to Fight Obesity
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
IMF strategic review; IMF transparency report; Article IV summaries: Mauritius, Zambia, Guinea; South Asia and oil prices; New EU member experiences with capital account opening; AFRITACS future work plan; Goldsbrough on FSAP; global imbalances.
International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper on the Republic of Kazakhstan underlies growth of the non-oil sector, fiscal management of oil wealth, and bank credit growth. The share of tradables in the non-oil sector has declined significantly, both in terms of value added and employment, while many nontradable activities, especially services and construction, have expanded. Kazakhstan can sustain non-oil deficits of more than 5 percent of GDP in the near term without reducing the value of oil wealth. Recent developments in the pattern of bank lending and borrowing have led to increased exposure to the property sector and international financial markets.
International Monetary Fund
The econometric results show that it is feasible to estimate robust price and inflation equations for Georgia. The long-term price equation expresses prices as a function of money, the exchange rate, and real income and may be interpreted as portraying equilibrium in the goods market. The paper also represents statistical data of transportation indicators, population and employment, personal income tax, monetary survey, average monthly wages, developments in commercial banking, interest rates, prudential indicators of commercial banks, balance of payments, and so on.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
For the latest thinking about the international financial system, monetary policy, economic development, poverty reduction, and other critical issues, subscribe to Finance & Development (F&D). This lively quarterly magazine brings you in-depth analyses of these and other subjects by the IMF’s own staff as well as by prominent international experts. Articles are written for lay readers who want to enrich their understanding of the workings of the global economy and the policies and activities of the IMF.
International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.
Primary commodities still account for the bulk of exports in many developing countries. However, real commodity prices have been declining almost continuously since the early 1980s. The appropriate policy response to a terms of trade shock depends importantly on whether the shock is perceived to be temporary or permanent. Our results indicate that the recent weakness in commodity prices is mostly secular, stressing the need for commodity exporting countries to concentrate on export diversification and other structural policies. There is, however, scope for stabilization funds and the use of hedging strategies, since the evidence also suggests commodity prices have become more volatile.
Mr. Michael G. Spencer and Mr. Peter M. Garber
This paper investigates the currency reforms undertaken subsequent to the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1918. The reforms were motivated by the lack of coordination of monetary policy and the absence of a rule for sharing seigniorage. Because the Successor States’ reforms were not carried out simultaneously, individuals could choose where to convert their crowns based on where their real value was greatest. The cross-border flows of notes was substantial, to the detriment of Hungary which was last to reform. The Austrian and Hungarian currencies were stabilized only with the help of League of Nations financial programs.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
For the latest thinking about the international financial system, monetary policy, economic development, poverty reduction, and other critical issues, subscribe to Finance & Development (F&D). This lively quarterly magazine brings you in-depth analyses of these and other subjects by the IMF’s own staff as well as by prominent international experts. Articles are written for lay readers who want to enrich their understanding of the workings of the global economy and the policies and activities of the IMF.