These publications are addressed primarily at those individuals who are interested in preparing estimates of subsidies to particular products or sectors – people who engage in what might be called "subsidy accounting." As well as informing, these papers aim to kick-start a dialogue on when different methods should be used and how. Ultimately, the goal should be to establish a set of international standards for estimating subsidy elements, and for preparing and using aggregates and derived indicators.
For more information about estimating subsidies, see the GSI's subsidy accounting manual, Subsidy Estimation: A Survey of Current Practice, and the related policy brief, A How-To Guide: Measuring subsidies to fossil-fuel producers.
This technical manual draws together the different subsidy estimation methods that are used and have been published, mainly by intergovernmental organizations and governments.
The price-gap approach is one of the most commonly employed methodologies for estimating fossil-fuel subsidies: calculating the difference between the observed price for a fuel against what that price would be without government intervention. This report explains how the price-gap method works, reviews its benefits and limitations, and explores the potential for bias in estimates.
The manual explains the GSI's method for quantifying irrigation subsidies. The long-term aim of developing the method is to move towards a consistent and internationally accepted approach for measuring irrigation subsidy intensities.