We review the current state of the West African Economic and Monetary Union’s tax coordination framework, against the main objectives of the WAEMU Treaty of 1994: reduce distortions to intra-community trade, and mobilize domestic tax revenue. The process of tax coordination in WAEMU is one of the most advanced in the world—de jure at least—, but remains in many areas ineffective de facto. Nevertheless, the framework has, to some extent, succeeded in converging tax systems, particularly statutory tax rates, and may have contributed to improving revenue mobilisation. Important lessons can be drawn from the WAEMU experience, particularly in terms of whether coordination should take the form of harmonization through a top-down approach, or a softer approach of sharing best practice and limiting certain types of tax competition.
This paper develops a model that highlights the importance of clusters for attracting foreign direct investment. It shows from a game theoretical perspective how the combination of setting up a cluster and implementing policy reforms will be a key engine for attracting FDI. Based on agglomeration externalities, the paper shows that the very emergence of clusters can make investment so profitable that investors can even afford to tolerate more policyinduced distortions than otherwise. With perfect information, it shows the existence of multiple equilibria, in which some countries attract FDI while other do not. An extension to the context of imperfect information refines the analysis to a unique equilibrium, in which some investors respond to reforms. The paper presents case studies to support the findings.
We use the concepts of deliberative democracy from political science and cheap talk from economics to develop a better understanding of how public discussion can contribute to building and demonstrating ownership of IMF programs and hence to program success. We argue that ownership is more complex than many discussions of it would suggest, since it must include not only the willingness to carry out a program, but also the technical capacity and especially the political ability to do so. Public discussion can serve a number of purposes, each of which can be better understood by moving to a more formal treatment. We illustrate our points by means of simple examples. We also consider some of the drawbacks of public discussion, especially as applied to IMF programs.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
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