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The Reduction of Fiscal Space in Zambia?Dutch Disease and Tight-Money Conditionalities

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  • John Weeks

    () (Professor Emeritus, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London)

Abstract

During 2005-2006, appreciation of the Kwacha, Zambia?s currency, had a significant negative impact on public income. This exchange-rate effect received little notice in the debate over macroeconomic policy. The appreciation reduced fiscal space largely because of binding IMF conditionalities on monetary polices. The fiscal effect had two major revenue components: a fall in the domestic-currency income equivalent of official development assistance and a fall in trade taxes. In 2005, the negative effect on the public budget of the Kwacha appreciation was largely balanced by the positive impact on reducing external debt service. This positive impact ended, however, with debt relief and was almost zero after 2005. Obviously, these revenue effects, though little noticed, had negative implications for Zambia?s ability to achieve the MDGs. The Zambia experience underscores some important general lessons. It indicates, for example, the necessity to coordinate fiscal, monetary and exchange-rate policy in order to achieve sustained growth, employment generation and poverty reduction. Most important, this experience is also a clear example of the dysfunctional consequences of having low-inflation targets rule monetary policy. In the context of currency appreciation, setting limits on the domestic money supply prevents effective exchange-rate management. This necessarily creates, as a by-product, larger fiscal deficits and, consequently, more public borrowing. And these negative fiscal consequences could significantly constrict the resources that some developing countries need to achieve the MDGs.

Suggested Citation

  • John Weeks, 2008. "The Reduction of Fiscal Space in Zambia?Dutch Disease and Tight-Money Conditionalities," Country Study 14, International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth.
  • Handle: RePEc:ipc:cstudy:14
    as

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    File URL: http://www.ipc-undp.org/pub/IPCCountryStudy14.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2008
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Edward Buffie & Christopher Adam & Stephen O'Connell & Catherine Pattillo, 2004. "Exchange Rate Policy and the Management of Official and Private Capital Flows in Africa," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 51(s1), pages 126-160, June.
    2. Fynn, John & Haggblade, Steven, 2006. "Potential Impact of the Kwacha Appreciation on Zambia Agriculture," Food Security Collaborative Policy Briefs 54617, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
    3. Stanley Fischer, 2001. "Exchange Rate Regimes: Is the Bipolar View Correct?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(2), pages 3-24, Spring.
    4. Corden, W Max & Neary, J Peter, 1982. "Booming Sector and De-Industrialisation in a Small Open Economy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(368), pages 825-848, December.
    5. Fynn, John & Haggblade, Steven, 2006. "Potential Impact of the Kwacha Appreciation and Proposed Tax Provisions of the 2006 Budget Act on Zambian Agriculture," Food Security Collaborative Working Papers 54475, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
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    The Reduction of Fiscal Space in Zambia?Dutch Disease and Tight-Money Conditionalities;

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