Other Public Sector Study

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  • Publication
    The World Bank's Support for Subnational Governance in Large Federal Countries: Lessons Learned from Argentina, Brazil and Nigeria
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2022) Stoykov, Petar Georgiev; Yilmaz, Serdar
    Limited local tax revenue and low public sector efficiency are two critical problems of public sector management and key constraints for the economic and social development of many subnational governments in large federal countries. To create fiscal space without compromising macroeconomic stability and fiscal sustainability, there is a need for reforms that lead to better use of public resources and improved expenditure efficiency through reforms in budgeting, procurement, and tax administration. This note presents lessons learned from the World Bank’s subnational governance projects in three large federal countries - Argentina, Brazil and Nigeria - between 2008-2017. These lessons learned can be useful in shaping the design of future subnational governance projects in other federal countries, particularly those projects seeking to improve service delivery, public expenditure systems and core governance institutions.
  • Publication
    Ethics and Corruption in the Federal Public Service: Civil Servants' Perspectives
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-12-09) World Bank
    This Survey on Ethics and Corruption in the Federal Public Service was held online from April 28 to May 28, 2021, in partnership with the Office of the Federal Comptroller General (CGU), the Ministry of the Economy, and the National School of Public Administration (ENAP). All civil servants were represented in the sample, totaling 22,130 respondents. The sample covered all federative units and ministries. Most civil servants report having witnessed some sort of unethical practice during their time in the public sector. Of all respondents, 58.7 percent stated that they witnessed some unethical practice during their career in public service. The most frequent practices were using one's position to help friends or family and bending the rules under pressure from one’s superiors. Over the past three years, around one third of all civil servants (33.4 percent) witnessed some unethical practice, according to their reports. Corruption in the public service is multifaceted, thus requiring granular information about its nature, prevalence, and vulnerable actors. In view of its scope, thematic scope, and representativeness, the data generated by the study could become a valuable source for the development of knowledge about corruption in the federal public service. We hope that this Survey on Ethics and Corruption in the Federal Public Service becomes a tool to complement current and future efforts to fight corruption.
  • Publication
    Promoting Competition in Local Markets in Mexico: A Subnational Application of the World Bank Group's Markets and Competition Policy Assessment Tool
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018-06-01) World Bank
    Stagnant productivity growth and high disparities in productivity levels across Mexican states have been holding back economic growth. In general, Mexico’s federal government has a solid competition policy framework in place. Subnational regulations in transport, agriculture, tourism, retail, and other sectors are holding back the potential of local economies to grow and provide consumers with affordable goods. Anticompetitive regulations for professionals such as notaries also increase the cost of doing business. The World Bank Group (WBG) was requested to address a critical gap and to pilot a reform-oriented engagement on competition policy at the subnational level. WBG engaged to motivate an actionable reform plan that can unlock competition in key markets at the local level. This note discusses the main findings of the WBG’s markets and competition policy assessment tool (MCPAT) application to various subnational governments in Mexico and the initial reform experience. It draws on the results of multiple pieces of analysis and implementation support projects since 2012 to assess, identify, prioritize, and modify regulations that restrict competition at the subnational level in key markets. This note is structured as follows: section 1 gives an introduction, section 2 discusses the international experience on the role of competition at the local level for development. Section 3 provides a brief presentation of the methodological steps of the MCPAT subnational application. Section 4 discusses incidences of anti-competitive regulation (some of which have been removed) to exemplify their harmful effect. Section 5 provides several examples of how to prioritize and design reforms based on how government interventions at the subnational level interact with particular features of subnational Mexican markets, as well as based on their feasibility and their potential effects.
  • Publication
    The Political Economy of the 2016 Tobacco and Proposed Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Tax Increases in Colombia
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2017-09) Garcia, Maria Isabel; Villar Uribe, Manuela; Iunes, Roberto
    In 2008, Colombia joined the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), which includes measures related to price and taxes designed to reduce supply and demand. By 2015, the overall prevalence of smokers in the country had decreased slightly but still reached 17 percent. The impact of tobacco on the mortality and quality of life of Colombians was estimated as a direct loss of more than 600,000 years of life and more than 26,000 deaths each year. The price of cigarettes in Colombia in 2015 was so low (approximately 2 US dollars per pack of 20 cigarettes), that it was higher than just one other country in Latin America and in the Caribbean. At the time, Colombia was contending with shrinking oil revenue (owing to a sharp drop in oil prices) and constantly rising public expenditure. In the health sector cost pressures stemmed, among other factors, from a change in the government's responsibility for health coverage in the subsidized system that covers the cost of health services for the country's lowest population segments. It was in this context that the government in early 2015 created a committee of experts responsible for proposing changes in the country's tax structure. This document describes the course of events that led to the phased adjustment of the tobacco tax approved by Congress in December 2016, with a view to aligning the price of cigarettes in Colombia with the Latin American average. Despite the failed attempt to introduce a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages, the discussion was framed and will most likely be renewed in the future.
  • Publication
    Dominican Republic Gearing Up for a More Efficient Tax System: An Assessment of Tax Efficiency, a Cost-Benefit Analysis of Tax Expenditures, and an Exploration of Labor Informality and its Tax Implications
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2017-06) World Bank
    This study discusses options how to increase the Dominican Republic tax revenue and attempts to identify priority areas for efficiency-enhancing reforms. A 2016 World Bank report on Dominican fiscal policy found that the country's tax expenditures were poorly targeted and regressively distributed, benefitting the wealthy more than the poor, and imposed considerable fiscal and economic costs. The report also showed that the tax contribution of the informal sector is extremely low, despite the fact that informal workers account for roughly half of the active labor force. As the new government prepares the ‘fiscal pact' first described in the country's development strategy 2030, policymakers will require a more thorough understanding of these issues and their fiscal, economic, and distributional implications. Thus, building on past analytical work, the present study focuses on two priority areas: tax efficiency and labor informality. Chapter One reveals that the DR's strong and sustained economic growth in recent years has had only a modest impact on revenues' efficiency from value-added tax, corporate income tax, personal income tax, and minor taxes. An analysis of tax-collection efficiency reveals several feasible options for boosting tax revenues. Chapter Two explores the characteristics, correlates, and effects of widespread labor informality in the DR. Identifying the correlates of informality yield important implications for promoting formalization and thereby broadening the income-tax base.
  • Publication
    Peru: Building a More Efficient and Equitable Fiscal Decentralization System
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2017-05-02) World Bank Group
    Over the past two decades, Peru has achieved remarkable economic success. Average annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth has exceeded 5 percent since 2001. Poverty has been consistently reduced, and sustained improvements have been observed in social and human development. The poverty incidence rate fell from 58 to 23 percent between 2004 and 2014, and households’ incomes at the bottom 40 percent grew 50 percent faster than the national average. The structural transformation of Peru’s economy striking fast and widely shared growth transformed Peru into an upper-middle income and diversified economy. This report analyzes recent trends of the fiscal decentralization process in Peru and presents a set of reform options designed to harvest the envisaged efficiency and equity gains in service delivery that the fiscal decentralization was expected to bring. The analysis and policy options are presented in a conceptually logical order: (i) departing from institutional arrangements in the vertical structure of subnational governments passing to (ii) the need of a clearer definition of spending responsibilities among levels of government that needs to be followed by (iii) a commensurate redefinition of revenue assignments and (iv) enhancing equalization role of the transfer system.
  • Publication
    Peru - Selected Issues in Fiscal Policy: Taxation and Equity
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2015-06-11) Junquera-Varela, Raúl Félix; Vostroknutova, Ekaterina
    This report takes an in-depth look, from a policy perspective, at the trade-offs between increasing tax collection and improving the equity of the fiscal system. As part of this effort, the report places the Peruvian tax system in an international context and considers the key challenges the government is facing in its drive to increase revenue. It also conducts qualitative and quantitative analyses of the impact of taxes and transfers on inequality and on the distribution of income. The report then makes several policy proposals that would increase tax collection without jeopardizing equity, and it then simulates the impacts of these changes on collection and equity. This advice spanned the 2012-2014 period, and included research on several tax policy-related issues, such as legal advice on double-taxation treaties and in-depth analyses of tax exemptions. To keep the focus tight, some of the work is not included in this report. Contributions were originally written in Spanish to provide the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) with timely advice on the subject and were discussed with the counterparts during and immediately after its preparation. As a result of prioritizing this process, two teams focused on different areas of research and were able to contribute to the analytical base behind the ongoing tax reform. The report summarizes the main elements of this process and resulting advice. It comes out at the same time as the finance ministry announces the first set of tax reforms that were informed by this work.