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Petroleum subsidies in Yemen : leveraging reform for development

  • Breisinger, Clemens
  • Engelke, Wilfried
  • Ecker, Olivier

Petroleum subsidy reform is increasingly seen as an opportunity for consolidating public finances and fostering sustainable economic development. Yemen, as the country with the lowest per capita income in the group of countries with a high level of energy subsidies, started to reduce subsidies in 2010 and is discussing further options for reform. The results of this paper support a comprehensive petroleum subsidy reform in Yemen. Economic growth is projected to accelerate between 0.1 and 0.8 percentage points annually as a result of reform. Yet, the design of the reform is critically important, especially for the poor. Outcomes of alternative reform scenarios range from an increase in poverty of 2 to 6 percentage points. A promising strategy combines subsidy reduction with direct transfers of 13,800 to 19,700 Yemeni rials annually to the poorest 30 percent of households and enhanced public investments. Investments should focus on the utilities, transport, trade, and construction sectors to integrate economic spaces and create the platform for a restructuring of agricultural, industrial, and service value chains, which should encourage private sector led and job creating growth in the medium term.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 5577.

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Date of creation: 01 Feb 2011
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5577
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  1. Ivanic, Maros & Martin, Will, 2008. "Implications of higher global food prices for poverty in low-income countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4594, The World Bank.
  2. John M. Piotrowski & David Coady & Justin Tyson & Rolando Ossowski & Robert Gillingham & Shamsuddin Tareq, 2010. "Petroleum Product Subsidies; Costly, Inequitable, and On the Rise," IMF Staff Position Notes 2010/05, International Monetary Fund.
  3. Jean-Marc Burniaux & Jean Château & Rob Dellink & Romain Duval & Stéphanie Jamet, 2009. "The Economics of Climate Change Mitigation: How to Build the Necessary Global Action in a Cost-Effective Manner," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 701, OECD Publishing.
  4. Diao, Xinshen & Hazell, Peter & Resnick, Danielle & Thurlow, James, 2006. "The role of agriculture in development: implications for Sub-Saharan Africa," DSGD discussion papers 29, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  5. Breisinger, Clemens & Ecker, Olivier & Funes, Jose & Yu, Bingxin, 2010. "Food as the basis for development and security: A strategy for Yemen," IFPRI discussion papers 1036, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  6. Breisinger, Clemens & Collion, Marie-Helen & Diao, Xinshen & Rondot, Pierre, 2010. "Impacts of the triple global crisis on growth and poverty in Yemen," IFPRI discussion papers 955, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  7. Ecker, Olivier & Breisinger, Clemens & McCool, Christen & Diao, Xinshen & Funes, Jose & You, Liangzhi & Yu, Bingxin, 2010. "Assessing food security in Yemen," IFPRI discussion papers 982, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  8. Löfgren, Hans & Harris, Rebecca Lee & Robinson, Sherman, 2001. "A standard computable general equilibrium (CGE) model in GAMS," TMD discussion papers 75, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  9. Breisinger, Clemens & Diao, Xinshen & Thurlow, James, 2009. "Modeling growth options and structural change to reach middle income country status: The case of Ghana," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 514-525, March.
  10. Maros Ivanic & Will Martin, 2008. "Implications of higher global food prices for poverty in low-income countries-super-1," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 39(s1), pages 405-416, November.
  11. Jensen, Jesper & Tarr, David, 2002. "Trade, foreign exchange, and energy policies in the Islamic Republic of Iran : reform agenda, economic implications, and impact on the poor," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2768, The World Bank.
  12. Robert Gillingham & David Locke Newhouse & David Coady & Kangni Kpodar & Moataz El-Said & Paulo A. Medas, 2006. "The Magnitude and Distribution of Fuel Subsidies; Evidence From Bolivia, Ghana, Jordan, Mali, and Sri Lanka," IMF Working Papers 06/247, International Monetary Fund.
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