There is a growing strand of literature on the determinants of tax revenue. This paper largely contributes to this tax revenue performance in developing countries, particularly in Sub Saharan Africa. More specifically they estimate the tax elasticities of sectoral output growth and public expenditure. The unique features of this paper are twofold: Firstly, a simple analytical model for tax revenue performance is developed taking into account some structural features pervasive in most developing countries with large informal sectors. Secondly, they test the model predictions on Ugandan time series data using ARDL bounds testing techniques. Results indicate that dominance of the agricultural and informal sectors pose the largest impediments to tax revenue performance. In addition development expenditures, trade openness, and industrial sector growth are positively associated with tax revenue performance. We propose policies to support the development of value added linkages between agricultural and industrial sectors while emphasizing the need to unlock the potentially large contributions of the informal sector with a view of widening the tax base.
This annual report on the economy of Ghana for 2013-14 is a combined edition and devoted to Public Finance Management. The content comprises policies, legal frameworks, institutions, processes and mechanisms by which the public resources are managed and how it is accounted for. Persistent fiscal deficits, current account deficits, mounting public debt and the consequent fiscal bottlenecks in the past decade once again bring government’s spending and the machinery to account for public resources into a driving role in economic management. The issues raised by the deficits and the debt servicing have gained considerable momentum of late in public conversation as public institutions, especially those in education and health, grapple with shortfalls in the minimum spending required to deliver the desired levels of basic services to the population. The report is in two parts: Part I presents a review of economic performance over the period 2013-2014, and Part II is devoted to public financial management. The report focuses on three main issues: an overview of public finances in the past decade, the evolution of PFM in the past three decades, and finally on the nature of debt management in the near term. An overview is also provided of the sources of Ghana’s persistent fiscal deficits. The report highlights the role of the Legislature and Auditor General in PFM and concludes by drawing lessons from the experiences of other countries to provide key recommendations for ensuring the success of the next generation of PFM reforms.
Zambia has been reclassified as a middle income country. This exited the ruling party but how does this compare with Zambian's perceptions of economic performance? This paper therefore looks at the citizens' perceptions of the country's economic performance but also at the government's management of the economy. Economic growth since 2000 did not change the Zambians viewpoint until 2013 when a positive assessment of economic conditions and the handling of the economy was experienced.
Botswana's Economic Performance Rating Slips: Working-Aged People Express Dissatisfaction with Living Conditions
"The contradiction between assessments of the Botswana government’s economic management and its handling of social issues raises a number of concerns. Economic performance does not imply that living conditions of individuals will be improved. The Afrobarometer survey data suggests that there is a gap between rural and urban living standards and between those who have benefitted from the government’s highly praised economic management and those who have."
Islands Drifting Apart? A Comparative Analysis of the Socio-Economic Experience of Rodrigues and Mauritius
Mauritius is one of the leading economies in sub-Saharan Africa. Citizens on the main land have benefited from the economic growth of the past years. This however cannot be said from the Island of Rodrigues as their economy is still reliant on agriculture, fishing and small tourism sector. The economic gain for Rodriguans was small and combined with severe climatic conditions a negative impact was experienced in the agrarian economy. This briefing analysis how Mauritian citizens assess the country's economic management and living conditions.
"The nexus between economic growth and health outcomes has been extensively studied. However the relationship between the two is not clear. Historically, decline in both infant and child mortality rates, and the fall in both male and female adult mortality rates especially since the turn of the 20th century has been attributed to a multiplicity of factors associated with economic and social advancement. These factors include rising availability of material goods, urbanization, improved infrastructure and housing, rising levels of education, improvement in personal and social hygiene, medical advances, the disappearance of slavery, and other host of significant reductions in discrimination for gender, religious, ethnic groups, etc. This research investigates the relationship between economic performance and health service delivery in Zimbabwe with the investigated causality running from the former to the latter. Thus, the main objective of the study is to investigate the impacts or effects of economic performance on health service delivery in Zimbabwe for the period 1980 to 2009."
"This paper is intended to highlight the general impact of the crisis on African countries in terms of economic performance and then show some variations across countries by discussing how the different transmission channels operated in them, and what their effects have been so far or will be in the near future. The paper will argue that essentially the impact to date has been determined largely by the initial conditions prevailing in each country and the speed and nature of government responses, as already indicated. Section 2 of the paper will provide a broad overview of aggregate economic performance in Africa in the crisis period. This will look at the general performance in terms of growth and what the prognosis has been on welfare indicators, particularly poverty. In section 3 the discussion will focus on the transmission channels through which the effects have been observed, namely international trade,private capital flows, aid, remittances and competition among financial institutions. Section 4 of the paper will briefly explain the varied impacts looking at initial conditions and using Tanzania and Ghana for illustration. Section 5 will conclude."
The Impact of Democracy in Lesotho: Assessing Political, Social and Economic Developments since the Dawn of Democracy
"The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether the transition to a democracy in Lesotho, since its independence in 1966, has resulted in the socio-economic development and an improvement in the lives of citizens in this country. This paper traces the evolution of democracy and politics in Lesotho, including an evaluation of progress in the area of socio-economic development, which asssessed within the framework of the political developments and reforms that have taken place since 1966."
"This paper has the following structure: In section 2, “macroeconomic policies and economic growth” is discussed which allows the presentation of the growth record of Ghana and explains it in light of the Collins-Bosworth characterisation of African growth. Also discussed is the macroeconomic policies that produced the growth. Observing that Ghana’s economic history can be broadly placed into two distinct periods that reflect major policy regimes, that is, interventionist and liberal, in section 3 the micro factors underlying the macro structure is discussed. Following is a consideration of specific policies and how they affected the market structure and institutions of the economy. This includes the political economy situation underlying policies and their outcomes. This analysis is repeated in section 4 for the liberal policy regime. Section 5 concludes the attempt to explain the growth record of Ghana."
"Appropriate and full participation in the WTO is an important element of any strategy that calls for engagement rather than retreat from the international economy. Given the increasingly multi-faceted and intrusive reach of the WTO, the argument behind this assumption is reinforced by the conclusion of a growing body of literature that a range of interacting policy factors determines growth. According to this analysis, economic performance will be compromised if crucial policy complemen-tarities are ignored in the design of reform packages. The remainder of this paper is divided into sections that deal with seven new issues on the WTO agenda. The issues covered—trade in services, investment, intellectual property rights, competition policy, government procurement, trade facilitation, and trade and environment—are not sharply distinguished between those that already form part of the system and those that are only being discussed in working groups. The list does not include the subject of labour standards, which, although raised for discussion in the context of the Singapore Ministerial Meeting, does not form part of the WTO work programme. Given the number of new issues covered in this paper, it is impossible to provide an extensive treatment of any of them. The purpose, rather, is to identify the most salient aspects of the issues from a policy perspective, explain how they are being dealt with in the WTO context, and consider their relevance for African economies."