Fiscal inertia, donor credibility, and the monetary management of aid surges
Donors cannot pre-commit to support scaled-up public spending programs on a continuing basis, nor can governments credibly commit to curtail expenditure rapidly in the event that aid revenues contract. An aid boom may therefore be accompanied by a credibility problem. When this is the case, the absorb-and-spend strategy recommended by the IMF leads to capital flight, higher inflation, and large current account surpluses inclusive of aid. The right policy package combines a critical minimum degree of fiscal restraint with reverse sterilization.
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