nep-eec New Economics Papers
on European Economics
Issue of 2021‒08‒30
sixteen papers chosen by
Giuseppe Marotta
Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia

  1. Saving behaviour in Malta: Insights from the Household Budgetary Survey By Roberta Montebello; Jude Darmanin
  2. Lockdown, Earnings Losses and Household Asset Buffers in Europe By Nolan, Brian; C. Palomino, Juan; Kuypers, Sarah; Marx, Ive
  3. Collecting the tax deficit of multinational companies simulations for the European Union By Mona Barake; Theresa Neef; Paul-Emmanuel Chouc; Gabriel Zucman
  4. Preparing for the tax reform: the risky French households' portfolio in 2018 By Luc Arrondel; Jérôme Coffinet
  5. More crucial than ever: employment content of Extra-EU exports By RUEDA CANTUCHE Jose; KUTLINA-DIMITROVA Zornitsa
  6. Time-Varying Dynamics of the German Business Cycle: A Comprehensive Investigation By Magnus Reif
  7. Mortgage pricing and monetary policy By Benetton, Matteo; Gavazza, Alessandro; Surico, Paolo
  8. Modeling simultaneous supply and demand shocks in input-output networks By Pichler, Anton; Farmer, J. Doyne
  9. Wage inequality and poverty effects of lockdown and social distancing in Europe By C. Palomino, Juan; G. Rodríguez, Juan; Sebastian, Raquel
  10. Why is productivity slowing down? By Lafond, François; Goldin, Ian; Koutroumpis, Pantelis; Winkler, Julian
  11. Media Coverage of Immigration and the Polarization of Attitudes By Sarah Schneider-Strawczynski; Jérôme Valette
  12. The Economics of Walking About and Predicting Unemployment By David G. Blanchflower; Alex Bryson
  13. The differentiated effects of minimum wage reforms on unemployment Evidence from the Greek labor market By Bechlioulis, Alexandros; Chletsos, Michael
  14. Borrowing to Finance Public Investment: A Politico-economic Analysis of Fiscal Rules By Uchida, Yuki; Ono, Tetsuo
  15. Analysis of the Impact of Borrower-Based Measures By Martin Cesnak; Jan Klacso; Roman Vasil
  16. Cryptocurrencies: An empirical view from a Tax Perspective By Andreas Thiemann

  1. By: Roberta Montebello; Jude Darmanin (Central Bank of Malta)
    Abstract: This paper computes sectoral contributions to real labour productivity growth in Malta during the two decades since 2000. The aim is to give an account of the sectoral developments affecting Malta’s productivity growth in the twenty years since 2000, in the context of significant structural change. To this end, this study employs the exactly additive GEAD technique developed by Tang and Wang (2004), which allows for the decomposition of sectoral productivity growth into efficiency gains and resource reallocation. Real labour productivity growth in Malta averaged 1.2% between 2000 and 2019, double that registered in the euro area. This divergence in growth rates was driven by a consistently positive reallocation level effect in each of the sample subperiods, as a result of the large structural shifts and reforms that have occurred since 2000. On the other hand, the contribution of within-sector efficiency gains in Malta was below that observed in the euro area on average and was the main driver of cyclical fluctuations in Malta’s productivity growth since 2000. Distortions such as government assistance and labour hoarding during recessions magnified these fluctuations. Across sectors, the results suggest that productivity developments were quite heterogenous, with services industries generally recording positive contributions to productivity growth. On the other hand, the manufacturing sector mainly registered negative contributions, as efficiency gains were offset by an outflow of resources towards other sectors.
    JEL: E24 J24 J21 O52
    Date: 2021
  2. By: Nolan, Brian; C. Palomino, Juan; Kuypers, Sarah; Marx, Ive
    Abstract: Measures taken to contain the spread of COVID-19 affect some workers' capability to work and hence earnings more than others. The initial impact may be mitigated, for instance by relying on savings and assets. Access to these buffers may, however, also vary considerably within and across countries. In this paper we estimate for Euro Area workers their potential earnings losses related to the COVID-19 labour supply shock (before state responses) using the Lockdown Working Ability Index and relate this to households' savings and assets observed in the Eurosystem Household Finance and Consumption Survey. We find that, on average across the Euro Area, affected households could only offset half of their losses by relying on their liquid assets, ranging from 25% in some countries to 80% in others. We also find that liquid asset buffers of households in the bottom earnings quintiles are often insufficient to prevent them from falling below a low earnings threshold.
    Keywords: earnings, assets, wealth, pandemic, lockdown
    JEL: D31 E24 G51 J21 J31
    Date: 2021–04
  3. By: Mona Barake (EU Tax - EU Tax Observatory); Theresa Neef (EU Tax - EU Tax Observatory); Paul-Emmanuel Chouc (EU Tax - EU Tax Observatory); Gabriel Zucman (PSE - Paris School of Economics - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, EU Tax - EU Tax Observatory)
    Abstract: This study estimates how much tax revenue the European Union could collect by imposing a minimum tax on the profits of multinational companies. We compute the tax deficit of multinational firms, defined as the difference between what multinationals currently pay in taxes, and what they would pay if they were subject to a minimum tax rate in each country. We then consider three ways for EU countries to collect this tax deficit. First, we simulate an international agreement on a minimum tax of the type currently discussed by the OECD, favored by a number of European Union countries, and by the United States. In this scenario, each EU country would collect the tax deficit of its own multinationals. For instance, if the internationally agreed minimum tax rate is 25% and a German company has an effective tax rate of 10% on the profits it records in Singapore, then Germany would impose an additional tax of 15% on these profits to arrive at an effective rate of 25%. More generally, Germany would collect extra taxes so that its multinationals pay at least 25% in taxes on the profits they book in each country. Other nations would proceed similarly. We find that such a 25% minimum tax would increase corporate income tax revenues in the European Union by about €170 billion in 2021. This sum represents more than 50% of the amount of corporate tax revenue currently collected in the European Union and 12% of total EU health spending. The revenue potential of a coordinated minimum tax is thus large. However, revenues significantly depend on the commonly agreed minimum tax rate. With a 21% minimum rate, the European Union would collect about €100 billion in 2021. Moving from 21% to 15% would reduce the potential revenue by a factor of two to about €50 billion. Second, we simulate an incomplete international agreement in which only EU countries apply a minimum tax, while non-EU countries do not change their tax policies. In this scenario, each EU country would collect the tax deficit of its own multinationals (as in our first scenario), plus a portion of the tax deficit of multinationals incorporated outside of the European Union, based on the destination of sales. For instance, if a British company makes 20% of its sales in Germany, then Germany would collect 20% of the tax deficit of this company. We find that that in such a scenario, using a rate of 25% to compute the tax deficit of each multinational, the European Union would increase its corporate tax revenues about €200 billion. Out of this total, €170 billion would come from collecting the tax deficit of EU multinationals; an additional €30 billion would come from collecting a portion of the tax deficit of non-EU multinationals. For the European Union, there is thus a much higher revenue potential from increasing taxes on EU companies than from taxing non-EU companies. To improve the fairness of its tax system and generate new government revenues (e.g., to pay for the cost of Covid-19), it is essential that the European Union polices its own multinationals. Last, we estimate how much revenue each EU country could collect unilaterally, assuming all other countries keep their current tax policy unchanged. This corresponds to a "first-mover" scenario, in which one country alone decides to collect the tax deficit of multinational companies. This first mover would collect the full tax deficit of its own multinationals, plus a portion (proportional to the destination of sales) of the tax deficit of all foreign multinationals, based on a reference rate of 25%. We find that a first mover in the European Union would increase its corporate tax revenues by close to 70% relative to its current corporate tax collection. Although international coordination is always preferable, a unilateral move of a single EU member state (or a group of member states) would encourage other EU countries to also collect the tax deficit of multinationals—as not doing so would mean leaving tax revenues on the table for the first movers to grab. This could pave the way for an ambitious agreement on a high minimum tax, within the European Union and then globally. This analysis shows that unilateral action can play a transformative role and that refusing international coordination is not a sustainable solution, since other countries can always choose to collect the taxes that tax havens choose not to collect. Our estimates are based on a transparent methodology that combines newly available macroeconomic data on the location and effective tax rates of multinational profits. We illustrate and validate our approach by applying it to firm-level data publicly disclosed by all European banks and 16 large non-bank multinationals. We find that European banks would have to pay 41% more in taxes if they were subject to a 25% country-by-country minimum tax. This estimate is in line with our finding that EU multinationals as a whole (all sectors combined) would have to pay around 50% more in taxes, thus suggesting that this number is indeed the correct order of magnitude. Companies such as Shell, Iberdrola, and Allianz—who voluntarily disclose their country-by-country profits and taxes—would also have to pay 35%-50% more in taxes if they were subject to a 25% minimum tax. This report is supplemented by a pioneering interactive website, This new tool allows policy makers, journalists, members of civil society, and all citizens in each EU country to assess the revenue potential from minimum taxation on both domestic and foreign firms. Users can select various scenarios (e.g., international coordination or unilateral action), and a full range of minimum tax rates from 10% to 50%. All the data and computer code are available online, making our estimates fully reproducible. We plan to regularly update our findings, as improved and more comprehensive macroeconomic data sources become available, refined estimation techniques are designed, and more companies publicly disclose their country-by-country reports.
    Date: 2021–07
  4. By: Luc Arrondel (PSE - Paris School of Economics - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement); Jérôme Coffinet (Banque de France - Banque de France - Banque de France, UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne)
    Abstract: Between 2004 and 2014, the number of shareholders in France fell by approximately 50%. The over-cautiousness of savers observed after the crisis now seems less topical, especially since 2017 was marked in France by a tax reform designed to support shareholding: the implementation of a flat tax and the abolition of wealth tax, replaced by property wealth tax. We therefore analyze the risky portfolios of French households from the last two waves (2014-2015 and 2017-2018) of the INSEE's "Life History and Wealth" survey, which have the advantage of being panelized. Although the 2017-2018 survey comes a little early to analyze the full impact of these reforms, this paper provides an original analysis of the dynamics of households' risky portfolios over the last three years, just before (and shortly after) the implementation of these policies. We show first that the demand for risky assets depends strongly on the level of household wealth and expectations of returns on the stock market, two variables that have likely been affected by the recent reforms. These data also make it possible to assess the extent to which the announcement of the recent tax reform has led to changes in securities holdings.
    Keywords: Portfolio choice,equity demand,risk premium puzzle,household finance
    Date: 2021–08
  5. By: RUEDA CANTUCHE Jose (European Commission - JRC); KUTLINA-DIMITROVA Zornitsa
    Abstract: The purpose of the current brief is to provide first results on the link between employment and international trade ahead of a more comprehensive package that DG TRADE and JRC are preparing for an event in Autumn 2021 with the participation of DGs and Commissioners. EU exports supported almost 38 million jobs in the EU in 2019, up from 29 million in 2010. In 2019, 18% of the total EU employment were directly or indirectly linked to EU exports to non-EU countries, up by 3 p.p. from almost 15% in 2010. The labour productivity related to extra-EU exports increased by 17% from 2010 to 2019, similar to the whole EU economy for the same period.
    Keywords: Trade, Jobs, European Union, COVID-19
    Date: 2021–07
  6. By: Magnus Reif
    Abstract: This paper provides insights into the time-varying dynamics of the German business cycle over the last five decades. To do so, I employ an open-economy time-varying parameter VAR with stochastic volatility, which I estimate by quasi-Bayesian techniques. The reduced-form analysis reveals substantial shifts in the variables’ long-run growth rates and shock volatilities over time. German trend inflation has strongly decreased and settled at a historically low level. GDP growth volatility exhibits marked fluctuations over time and has dropped to historically low levels only after the global financial crisis. The structural analysis employs externally identified oil supply shocks along with a recursive identification scheme to identify key macroeconomic shocks. The analysis reveals strong fluctuations in both the impact responses of macroeconomic aggregates to these shocks and the shock propagation processes. Thus, I conclude that business cycle stabilization in Germany is driven by both good policy and good luck.
    Keywords: time-varying parameters, Bayesian vector autoregression, counterfactuals, stochastic volatility, Great Moderation
    JEL: E31 E32 E52 E58
    Date: 2021
  7. By: Benetton, Matteo (Haas School of Business, University of California); Gavazza, Alessandro (London School of Economics); Surico, Paolo (London Business School)
    Abstract: This paper provides novel evidence on lenders’ mortgage pricing and on how central bank operations affected it. Using the universe of mortgages originated in the UK, we show that lenders seek to segment the market by offering two-part tariffs composed of interest rates and origination fees, and that during recent periods of unconventional monetary policy, such as UK’s Funding for Lending Scheme, lenders decreased interest rates and increased origination fees. To understand lenders’ pricing strategies and their effects on market equilibrium, we develop and estimate a structural discrete-continuous model of mortgage demand and lender competition in which borrowers may have different sensitivities to rates and fees. We use the estimated model to decompose the effects of central bank unconventional monetary policy on mortgage pricing and lending, finding that central bank operations increased borrower surplus and lender profits. Moreover, although origination fees allow lender to price discriminate and capture surplus, banning fees would lower borrower surplus and aggregate welfare.
    Keywords: origination fees; mortgage demand; heterogeneity; structural estimation; unconventional monetary policy
    JEL: E52 G21
    Date: 2021–08–13
  8. By: Pichler, Anton; Farmer, J. Doyne
    Abstract: Natural and anthropogenic disasters frequently affect both the supply and demand side of an economy. A striking recent example is the Cover-19 pandemic which has created severe industry-specific disruptions to economic output in most countries. Since firms are embedded in production networks, these direct shocks to supply and demand will propagate downstream and upstream. We show that existing input-output models which allow for binding demand and supply constraints yield infeasible solutions when applied to pandemic shocks of three major European countries (Germany, Italy, Spain). We then introduce a mathematical optimisation procedure which is able to determine best-case feasible market allocations, giving a lower bound on total shock propagation. We find that even in this best-case scenario network effects substantially amplify the initial shocks. To obtain more realistic model predictions, we study the propagation of shocks bottom-up by imposing different rationing rules on firms if they are not able to satisfy the emergence of input bottlenecks, making the rationing assumption a key variable in predicting adverse economic impacts. We further establish that the magnitude of initial shocks and network density heavily influence model predictions.
    Keywords: Covid-19, production networks, input-output models, rationing, linear programming, economic shocks, shock propagation, economic impact
    JEL: C61 C67 D57 E23
    Date: 2021–01
  9. By: C. Palomino, Juan; G. Rodríguez, Juan; Sebastian, Raquel
    Abstract: Social distancing and lockdown measures taken to contain the spread of COVID-19 may have distributional economic costs beyond the contraction of GDP. Here we evaluate the capacity of individuals to work under a lockdown based on a Lockdown Working Ability index which considers their teleworking capacity and whether their occupation is essential or closed. Our analysis reveals substantial and uneven potential wage losses across the distribution all around Europe and we consistently find that both poverty and wage inequality rise in all European countries. Under four different scenarios (2 months of lockdown and 2 months of lockdown plus 6 months of partial functioning of closed occupations at 80%, 70% and 60% of full capacity) we estimate for 29 European countries an average increase in the headcount poverty index that goes from 4.9 to 9.4 percentage points and a mean loss rate for poor workers between 10% and 16.2%. The average increase in the Gini coefficient ranges between 3.5% to 7.3% depending on the scenario considered. Decomposing overall wage inequality in Europe, we find that lockdown and social distance measures produce a double process of divergence: both inequality within and between countries increase.
    Keywords: Wage inequality, Poverty, Teleworking, Social distancing, Europe
    JEL: D33 E24 J21 J31
    Date: 2020–05
  10. By: Lafond, François; Goldin, Ian; Koutroumpis, Pantelis; Winkler, Julian
    Abstract: We review recent research on the slowdown of labor productivity and examine the contribution of different explanations to this decline. Comparing the post-2005 period with the preceding decade for 5 advanced economies, we seek to explain a slowdown of 0.8 to 1.8pp. We trace most of this to lower contributions of TFP and capital deepening, with manufacturing accounting for the biggest sectoral share of the slowdown. No single explanation accounts for the slowdown, but we have identified a combination of factors which taken together account for much of what has been observed. In the countries we have studied, these are mismeasurement, a decline in the contribution of capital per worker, lower spillovers from the growth of intangible capital, the slowdown in trade, and a lower growth of allocative efficiency. Sectoral reallocation and a lower contribution of human capital may also have played a role in some countries. In addition to our quantitative assessment of explanations for the slowdown, we qualitatively assess other explanations, including whether productivity growth may be declining due to innovation slowing down.
    JEL: O40 E66 D24
    Date: 2021–05
  11. By: Sarah Schneider-Strawczynski (PSE - Paris School of Economics - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement); Jérôme Valette (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the extent to which media impact immigration attitudes by modifying the salience of this topic. We measure the salience of immigration using original data including all the news covered on the main French national television evening news programs between 2013 and 2017. We combine this information with individual panel data that enable us to link each respondent to his/her preferred TV channel for political information. This allows us to address ideological self-selection into channels with individual-channel fixed effects. In contrast to prior evidence in the literature, we do not find that an increase in the salience of immigration necessarily drives natives' attitudes in a specific direction. Instead, our results suggest that it increases the polarization of natives by pushing individuals with moderate beliefs toward the two extremes of the distribution of attitudes. We show that these results are robust to controlling for differences in the framing of immigration-related subjects across TV channels. Conversely to priming, framing is found to drive natives' attitudes in very specific directions.
    Keywords: Immigration,Media,Polarization
    Date: 2021–08
  12. By: David G. Blanchflower (Bruce V. Rauner ’78 Professor of Economics, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH 03755-3514. Adam Smith School of Business, University of Glasgow and NBER); Alex Bryson (Professor of Quantitative Social Science, UCL Social Research Institute, University College London, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL)
    Abstract: Unemployment is notoriously difficult to predict. In previous studies, once country fixed effects are added to panel estimates, few variables predict changes in unemployment rates. Using panel data for 29 European countries - Austria; Belgium; Bulgaria; Croatia; Cyprus; Czechia; Denmark; Estonia; Finland; France; Germany; Greece; Hungary; Ireland; Italy; Latvia; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Malta; Netherlands; Poland; Portugal; Romania; Slovakia; Slovenia; Spain; Sweden; Turkey and the UK - over 439 months between January 1985 and July 2021 in an unbalanced country*month panel of just over 10000 observations, we predict changes in the unemployment rate 12 months in advance based on individuals’ fears of unemployment, their perceptions of the economic situation and their own household financial situation. Fear of unemployment predicts subsequent changes in unemployment 12 months later in the presence of country fixed effects and lagged unemployment. Individuals’ perceptions of the economic situation in the country and their own household finances also predict unemployment 12 months later. Business sentiment (industry fear of unemployment) is also predictive of unemployment 12 months later. The findings underscore the importance of the “economics of walking about”. The implication is that these social survey data are informative in predicting economic downturns and should be used more extensively in forecasting. We also generate a 29 country-level annual panel on life satisfaction from 1985-2020 from the World Database of Happiness and show that the consumer level fear of unemployment variable lowers wellbeing over and above the negative impact of the unemployment rate itself. Qualitative survey metrics were able to predict the Great Recession and the economic slowdown in Europe just prior to the COVID pandemic.
    Keywords: unemployment, fear, sentiment, social attitudes, life satisfaction, recession, COVID
    JEL: J60 J64 J68
    Date: 2021–08–01
  13. By: Bechlioulis, Alexandros; Chletsos, Michael
    Abstract: The paper studies the relative effect between two groups, a treatment group of low-wage workers and a control group of high-wage workers, when a minimum wage reform is introduced. The empirical analysis uses a rich dataset from the Greek labor market over the period between 2010 and 2020. The study examines whether the employees’ responses and the potential effects of two different minimum wage reforms on unemployment were heterogenous. Our results are straightforward: among the two groups, the relative possibility of job loss is associated with an increase in the minimum wage, while the relative possibility of job search difficulty is strongly affected by a minimum wage cut. The former result is getting worse for employees who engaged in a minimum wage-intensive sector in the previous year and are now inactive. The latter result is reinforced for very young workers.
    Keywords: minimum wage; minimum wage reforms; job loss; job search difficulty; labor market
    JEL: C31 J08 J21 J23
    Date: 2021–08–10
  14. By: Uchida, Yuki; Ono, Tetsuo
    Abstract: The golden rule of public finance distinguishes public investment from consumption spending when borrowing, permitting the finance of public investment only. This study focuses on public investment in human capital and compares this rule with the balanced budget rule, which rules out debt finance, in an overlapping generations model. In the model, fiscal policy is endogenous, chosen each period by a short-lived government representing existing generations. We evaluate the government's choice and the resulting political distortions for a given fiscal rule from the long-lived planner's perspective. We find that a country with a larger preference for public consumption can minimize distortions by lowering the fraction of debt-financed public investment. We calibrate the model to a sample of OECD countries. On the one hand, we find that the golden rule of public finance in human capital is optimal and politically supported in Greece; on the other hand, the balanced budget rule (no borrowings for human capital investment) is optimal and politically supported in Germany and to a lesser extent in Japan and the United States.
    Keywords: Balanced Budget Rule; Golden Rule of Public Finance; Probabilistic Voting, Overlapping Generations
    JEL: D70 E62 H63
    Date: 2021–08–22
  15. By: Martin Cesnak (National Bank of Slovakia); Jan Klacso (National Bank of Slovakia); Roman Vasil (National Bank of Slovakia)
    Abstract: The National Bank of Slovakia has been actively implementing borrower-based measures since 2014. In this paper we provide a cost-benefit analysis of these measures. DSTI measures affected mainly the riskiest borrowers with at most secondary education and lower income. Exemptions from DTI limits are provided mainly to borrowers with a higher volume of loans and higher education. LTV limits affected mainly younger borrowers up to 35 years old. The impact of respective measures was affected by front-loading, by the gradual tightening of the limits and by other legislative changes. The highest impact is estimated in 2019, when the volume of newly granted loans was lowered by 17% due to the measures. The estimated impact on residential real estate prices is relatively mild. The current coronavirus pandemic is the first period when systemic risks could have materialized after the implementation of the measures. Due to the possible loan payment deferral the number of loans defaulted has remained relatively low, therefore LTV measures have not been able to limit credit losses. On the other hand, DSTI measures have helped to mitigate credit risk. Households affected the most by the pandemic were those with an already high debt burden even before the outbreak of the crisis. These households have used loan payment deferral to a larger extent.
    JEL: C58 D61 G21 G28
    Date: 2021–08
  16. By: Andreas Thiemann (European Commission - JRC)
    Abstract: This paper sheds light on the scarce empirical evidence on cryptocurrency users and use types. Based on the only available empirical estimate (shared by Chainalysis), this paper simulates the revenue potential from taxing Bitcoin capital gains in the EU. Total estimated Bitcoin capital gains in the EU amount to 12.7 billion EUR in 2020, including 3.6 billion EUR of realized gains. Applying national tax rules on capital gains from shares to those from Bitcoin yields a simulated tax revenue of about 850 million EUR in 2020. This paper is the first to empirically assess the tax revenue potential of capital gains from Bitcoin in the EU. While most of the empirical cryptocurrency literature is based on time-series data, this paper relies on dis-aggregated country-level data. The findings show that revenue from taxing cryptocurrencies is non-negligible and will be if the market of cryptocurrencies continues to grow.
    Keywords: Capital gains taxation, cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin.
    JEL: G19 G23 H24
    Date: 2021–08

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