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Government Subsidies; Concepts, International Trends, and Reform Options

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  • Gerd Schwartz
  • Réjane Hugounenq
  • Benedict J. Clements

Abstract

This paper addresses the problems of defining and measuring government subsidies, examines why and how government subsidies are used as a fiscal policy tool, assesses their economic effects, 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 System of National Accounts (SNA) and central government expenditure on subsidies and other current transfers for 68 countries from Government Finance Statistics (GFS). The paper reviews major policy options for subsidy reform, focusing on ways to improve the cost-effectiveness of subsidy programs.

Suggested Citation

  • Gerd Schwartz & Réjane Hugounenq & Benedict J. Clements, 1995. "Government Subsidies; Concepts, International Trends, and Reform Options," IMF Working Papers 95/91, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:95/91
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    Cited by:

    1. Enrique Ospina, 1998. "Importaciones Agropecuarias: A qué Responden?," Borradores de Economia 107, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    2. Enrique Ospina G., 1998. "Importaciones Agropecuarias: A Que Responden?," BORRADORES DE ECONOMIA 002817, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA.
    3. Huther, Jeff & Shah, Anwar, 2000. "Anti-corruption policies and programs : a framework for evaluation," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2501, The World Bank.
    4. Hernán Rincón & Aaron Garavito, 2004. "Mercado Actual de la Gasolina y del ACPM en Colombia e Inflación," Borradores de Economia 287, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    5. Venetoklis, Takis, 2001. "Business Subsidies and Bureaucratic Behaviour," Research Reports 79, VATT Institute for Economic Research.
    6. Venetoklis, Takis, 2001. "Business Subsidies and Bureaucratic Behaviour - A Revised Approach," Research Reports 83, VATT Institute for Economic Research.

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