This paper addresses the problems of defining and measuring government subsidies, examines why and how government subsidies are used as a fiscal policy tool, discusses their general economic effects in terms of real welfare costs and distributional implications, appraises international empirical evidence on government subsidies, and offers options for their reform. Recent international trends in government subsidy expenditure are analyzed for the 16-year period from 1975 to 1990, using general government subsidy data for 60 countries from the United Nations' System of National Accounts (SNA). The paper reviews major policy options for subsidy reform, focusing on ways to improve the cost-effectiveness of subsidy programs. Copyright 1999 by Blackwell Publishers Ltd
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Volume (Year): 13 (1999)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
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