Public Finance in Small Open Economies: The Caribbean Experience

Public Finance in Small Open Economies: The Caribbean Experience

Public Finance in Small Open Economies: The Caribbean Experience

Public Finance in Small Open Economies: The Caribbean Experience

Synopsis

This book presents an analysis of Caribbean fiscal problems, with particular emphasis on the relationship between high levels of public expenditure and balance of payment problems. The study examines deficit financing, public expenditure growth, and IMF stabilization policies. Other issues raised relate to income distribution and problems of taxation and tax reform. The work focuses on Jamaica, Guyana, Barbados, and Trinidad and Tobago. The economies of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States are also considered.

Excerpt

This study deals with fiscal issues in the English-speaking Caribbean. The first objective of the book is to provide a comprehensive and interpretative treatment of public finance in small countries. The work therefore analyzes and surveys the Caribbean literature on public sector development, and also presents my own interpretation and discusses my research in the field. The second objective is to provide an empirically oriented textbook for students of public finance in developing countries.

The thesis of the first part of this work is that rapid growth in the size of government has been a major proximate cause of fiscal and balance of payments problems in these countries. Chapters 2 through 6 examine this view. Chapter 2 looks at fiscal disequilibrium, and the role of excessive government expenditure in generating huge fiscal and balance of payments deficits in Jamaica, Guyana, and Barbados. This is followed by a more indepth analysis of public expenditure growth in Chapter 3. Chapters 4 through 6 deal with public enterprises, defensive stabilization policies, and external debt.

Chapters 7 through 10 identify the structural and policy factors determining other fiscal problems in the Caribbean. Chapter 7 deals with the highly unequal income distribution and its structural causes, while Chapters 8 and 9 look at the evolution of the tax systems and tax reform. Chapter 10 is devoted to budgeting and development planning. Chapter 11 examines fiscal trends in the countries of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), comprising Antigua, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent.

I am grateful to a number of persons who supplied material for this book. These include Penelope Forde and Terrence Farrell of the Central Bank of . . .

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