Investment in infrastructure can be a driving force of the economic recovery in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic in the context of shrinking fiscal space. Public-private partnerships (PPP) bring a promise of efficiency when carefully designed and managed, to avoid creating unnecessary fiscal risks. But fiscal illusions prevent an understanding the sources of fiscal risks, which arise in all infrastructure projects, and that in PPPs present specific characteristics that need to be addressed. PPP contracts are also affected by implicit fiscal risks when they are poorly designed, particularly when a government signs a PPP contract for a project with no financial sustainability. This paper reviews the advantages and inconveniences of PPPs, discusses the fiscal illusions affecting them, identifies a diversity of fiscal risks, and presents the essentials of PPP fiscal risk management.
Mr. Raphael A Espinoza, Juliana Gamboa-Arbelaez, and Mouhamadou Sy
This paper explores whether public investment crowds out or crowds in private investment. To this aim, we build a database of about half a million firms from 49 countries. We find that the effect of public investment on corporate investment depends both on leverage and financial constraints. Public investment boosts private investment for firms with low leverage. However, for firms with high leverage, private investment does not react to an increase in public investment, in line with theory (Myers 1977). We also find that the effect of public investment on corporate investment is much weaker for firms that are financially constrained.
Drawing on the Fund’s analytical and capacity development work, including Public Investment Management Assessments (PIMAs) carried out in more than 60 countries, the new book Well Spent: How Strong Infrastructure Governance Can End Waste in Public Investment will address how countries can attain quality infrastructure outcomes through better infrastructure governance—an issue becoming increasingly important in the context of the Great Lockdown and its economic consequences. It covers critical issues such as infrastructure investment and Sustainable Development Goals, controlling corruption, managing fiscal risks, integrating planning and budgeting, and identifying best practices in project appraisal and selection. It also covers emerging areas in infrastructure governance, such as maintaining and managing public infrastructure assets and building resilience against climate change.
Digital connectivity, including through the modern cellular network technologies, is expected to play a key role for the Future of Work in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). We estimate the cost of introducing a full-scale 4G network by 2025 in SSA and an operable 5G network by 2040. We adapt the costing model of Lombardo (2019) by accounting for the significant demographic transformation and rapid urbanization in SSA. We use the WorldPop and GADM databases and the UN’s medium-variant population projections to project the population densities at the highest level of administrative division for each SSA country in 2025 and 2040. For full 4G connectivity, the required capital and operational costs stands approximately at US$14 billion by 2025 and for 5G connectivity, costs amount to US$57 billion in 2040, conditional on having the 4G in place by 2025. These costs roughly translate to 8.4 percent of annual subscriber income, on a median basis, by 2025 for 4G and 4.9 percent of subscriber income by 2040 for 5G. Having the infrastructure in place is not sufficient to bridge the mobile Digital Divide. In addition, policies are needed to address affordability and knowledge gaps.
Mr. Ali M. Mansoor, Salifou Issoufou, and Mr. Daouda Sembene
Economic transformation and diversification require solutions that take account of the political economy of reform. This book explores the process of economic transformation, using Senegal as an example. Sound macroeconomic and fiscal policies are prerequisites for achieving this kind of transformation, but these policies need to include the appropriate industrial policies and good economic governance, which provide incentives to help small- and medium-sized enterprises emerge from the informal sector and for foreign direct investment to use the country as a platform for globally competitive production. In many low-income countries extensive rent seeking and patronage have generated stability at the expense of inclusive growth and held back development. Although policymakers know what is needed to address these problems and achieve economic transformation and diversification, how to do it remains a challenge. This book shows how the political economy of reform may be navigated to achieve transformation. For example, the use of special economic zones may solve the problem if good global governance is emphasized, along with linking the zones to the global economy.
Mr. Ali M. Mansoor, Salifou Issoufou, and Mr. Daouda Sembene
Through 18 chapters, this book draws on policy lessons from successful countries that have managed to overcome political economy constraints and reach upper-middle-income emerging market economy status to examine how Senegal can achieve per capita growth rates of four to five percent per year over a 20-year period, as well as lessons for other low-income countries. Contributors working in academia, civil society, and government in Senegal, as well as at the World Bank, in peer countries like Mauritius, Morocco, and Seychelles, and the International Monetary Fund, address creating a sound, balanced, and efficient fiscal framework through new revenue-raising measures, expenditure rationalization, and more efficient public investment; promoting an inclusive and deeper financial sector; relieving constraints on doing business and promoting private investment, including foreign direct investment; and achieving high, sustained, and inclusive growth. They discuss Senegal's macroeconomic environment and what it means to be an upper-middle-income emerging market economy, including the country's industrial framework, the Plan Senegal emergent growth targets, and dimensions of inclusive growth; revenue mobilization, public expenditure efficiency and rationalization, and debt sustainability; ways to make Senegal's financial system more stable, deeper, and more inclusive in the context of the West African Economic and Monetary Union; aspects of structural reform in the country and ways to implement reforms to achieve growth; and social inclusion and protection in Senegal.