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CGD Policy Blogs

A map of the fatalities due to terrorism across the world, 2018.

Avoiding the High Fiscal Costs of Terrorism in the Post-COVID Era

The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed 120 million people across the globe into extreme poverty, and the limited data available thus far suggests that the wealth of extremely rich individuals has risen at the same time. In this blog post, we provide new evidence that in addition to its human cost, terrorism can have important consequences for public budgets. Most of the costs of terrorism—like loss of life and political upheaval—are well-known, but the macroeconomic and fiscal impacts are less well understood.

An image of a graph showing Median annual Gini coefficient in LIDCs around a fiscal tightening, by tightening type

Low-Income Developing Countries Will Surely Need More Debt Relief Down the Line

The COVID-19 pandemic has left a large dent in the government budgets of low-income countries (LIDCs). During 2020, they had no choice but to increase public spending to fight the pandemic at a time when shrinking economic activity depressed their revenues. In this blog post, we argue that while these efforts to expand the flow of concessional resources to LIDCs are laudable, they are unlikely to be sufficient and, going forward, some form of debt relief will be necessary to secure fiscal sustainability down the road for these countries. 

$57 Trillion Additional Climate Debt Calls for Policy Action by G20

While a drastic reduction in carbon emissions is necessary to contain climate change, countries still have not reached a consensus on a fair division of responsibilities in reducing them. While advanced economies were the biggest emitters in the past, emerging economies, such as China and India, account for an increasing share of new emissions. From the standpoint of fiscal policy, these carbon emissions, which adversely affect the world’s well-being, are a negative externality. At present, countries do not bear the full cost of these externalities. The cumulative sum of these liabilities can be viewed as a “climate debt” a country owes to the global community.

An image showing bank notes and a calculator to refer to tax

What Influences Tax Rates in Sub-Saharan Africa?

The Addis Ababa Agenda for financing development pays special attention to domestic revenue mobilization to help finance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in developing countries. In the case of sub-Saharan African countries, much of the discussion has centered on improving their overall revenue performance, and while they have, there is still a long way to go.

COVID-19 and Seizing the Opportunity for Reforming Tax Expenditures in Africa

In this blog post, we argue that the COVID-19 crisis has made it imperative for developing countries to begin reforming their tax systems to generate more resources domestically—reforms which they have postponed until now because of vested interests. Reforming tax expenditures would not only generate additional revenues, but it would also improve taxpayer perception of the fairness of the tax system and enhance budget transparency.