nep-pbe New Economics Papers
on Public Economics
Issue of 2014‒12‒08
24 papers chosen by
Keunjae Lee
Pusan National University

  1. Japan’s Corporate Income Tax: Facts, Issues and Reform Options By Ruud A. de Mooij; Ikuo Saito
  2. Corporate Tax Games with International Externalities from Public Infrastructure By Gerda Dewit; Kate Hynes; Dermot Leahy
  3. Public Preferences for Government Spending Priorities: Survey Evidence from Germany By Bernd Hayo; Florian Neumeier
  4. Shift in tax burden and its impact on economic growth in the European Union By Szarowska, Irena
  5. Positive Long Run Capital Taxation: Chamley-Judd Revisited By Ludwig Straub; Iván Werning
  6. Capital Income Taxation with Household and Firm Heterogeneity By Orhan Atesagaoglu; Eva Carceles-Poveda; Alexis Anagnostopoulos
  7. Were we really all in it together? The distributional effects of the UK Coalition government's tax-benefit policy changes By Paola De Agostini; John Hills; Holly Sutherland
  8. Tax Morale By Erzo F.P. Luttmer; Monica Singhal
  9. Taxation and incentives to innovate: a principal-agent approach By Diego d'Andria
  10. Carbon Tax and Revenue Recycling: Impacts on Households in British Columbia. By Marisa Beck, Nicholas Rivers, Randall Wigle, Hidemichi Yonezawa
  11. What do we know about the tax planning of German-based multinational firms? By Hebous, Shafik; Weichenrieder, Alfons J.
  12. Macroeconomic policy coordination between Japanese central and local governments By Funashima, Yoshito
  13. Tax News: Identifying Tax Expectations from Municipal Bonds with an Application to Household Consumption By Lorenz Kueng
  14. Should multinational companies request an advance pricing agreement (APA) - or shouldn't they? By Kortebusch, Pia
  15. Can Indonesia’s Fiscal Policy be Sustained, with Exploding Debt? By Tari Lestari
  16. Health Spending in Japan: Macro-Fiscal Implications and Reform Options By Masahiro Nozaki; Kenichiro Kashiwase; Ikuo Saito
  17. Inequality and trust: new evidence from panel data By Guglielmo Barone; Sauro Mocetti
  18. The Effects of Government Spending in a Small Open Economy within a Monetary Union By Clancy, Daragh; Cussen, Mary; Lydon, Reamonn
  19. Tax deferral and mutual fund inflows - evidence from a quasi-natural experiment By Cappelletti, Giuseppe; Guazzarotti, Giovanni; Tommasino, Pietro
  20. Working Paper 08-14 - Public support for R&D and the educational mix of R&D employees By André Spithoven, Belgian Science Policy Office and Ghent University; Michel Dumont; Peter Teirlinck, Belgian Science Policy Office and KU Leuven
  21. Political alignment and intergovernmental transfers in parliamentary systems: Evidence from Germany By Thushyanthan Baskaran; Zohal Hessami
  22. Gini decompositions and Gini elasticities: On measuring the importance of income sources and population subgroups for income inequality By Jurkatis, Simon; Strehl, Wolfgang
  23. Strengthening public financial management : exploring drivers and effects By Fritz, Verena; Sweet, Stephanie; Verhoeven, Marijn
  24. Political Ideology and Economic Growth: Evidence from the French Democracy By François Facchini; Mickaël Melki

  1. By: Ruud A. de Mooij; Ikuo Saito
    Abstract: This paper explores how corporate income tax reform can help Japan increase investment and boost potential growth. Using international and Japan-specific empirical estimates of corporate tax elasticities, investment is predicted to expand by around 0.4 percent for each point of rate reduction. International consensus estimates suggest further that between 10 and 30 percent of the static revenue loss could be recovered in the long run through dynamic scoring, although Japan’s offset may be closer to the lower bound. Compensating fiscal measures are necessary in light of Japan’s tight fiscal constraints. The scope for base broadening in the corporate income tax is found to be limited and some forms of base broadening will undo positive investment effects of a rate cut. Alternative revenue sources include higher consumption and property taxes. A gradual approach toward lowering tax rates mitigates windfall gains and reduces short-run revenue costs. An incremental allowance-for-corporate-equity system could boost investment with limited fiscal costs in the short run.
    Keywords: Corporate income taxes;Japan;Tax reforms;Tax rates;Tax reductions;Investment;Fiscal stimulus;Corporate income tax; Japan; Tax distortions; Investment; Dynamic scoring.
    Date: 2014–08–04
  2. By: Gerda Dewit (Economics, National University of Ireland, Maynooth); Kate Hynes (Economics, National University of Ireland, Maynooth); Dermot Leahy (Economics, National University of Ireland, Maynooth)
    Abstract: We construct a model of corporate tax competition in which governments also use public infrastructural investment to attract foreign direct investment, thus enhancing their tax bases. In doing so, we allow for inter-regional infrastructural externalities. Depending on the externality, governments are shown to strategically over- or under-invest in infrastructure. We examine how tax cooperation influences investment in infrastructure and find that welfare may be lower under tax cooperation than under tax competition; this is, in fact, the case when infrastructure is sufficiently effctive in raising the tax base and generates a sufficiently large negative interregional externality
    Keywords: Tax competition, Tax cooperation, Public infrastructure investment, Externalities.
    JEL: F23 H40
    Date: 2014
  3. By: Bernd Hayo (University of Marburg); Florian Neumeier (University of Marburg)
    Abstract: Employing data from a representative survey conducted in Germany, this paper examines public preferences for the size and composition of government expenditure. We focus on public attitudes toward taxes, public debt incurrence, and public spending in six different policy areas. Our findings suggest, first, that the current scope of government is supported by a majority of the German population. Second, we find that individual preferences for the composition of government spending differ along various dimensions. Specifically, personal economic well-being, economic literacy, confidence in politicians, political ideology, and time preference are significantly related to individual attitudes toward public spending, taxes, and debt. The magnitude of the effects is particularly large for time preference, economic knowledge, and party preference. Third, public preferences for public spending priorities are only marginally affected when considering a public budget constraint.
    Keywords: Public spending, public preferences, public debt, taxes, survey, Germany.
    JEL: E62 H11 H50 H63
    Date: 2014
  4. By: Szarowska, Irena
    Abstract: This article deals with a tax burden in the European Union in as financial and economic crisis has impacted also on tax systems in the European Union. Governments´ tax measure aims to consolidate public finance and promote an economic growth. The article provides empirical evidence on a shift in a tax burden and its structure and analyzes the effects of shift in tax burden on economic growth in the EU. It is used the Eurostat definition to categorize tax burden by economic functions and implicit rates of consumption, labour and capital are investigated. The analysis is based on annual data of the EU member states in a period 1995-2010. Pairwise Granger Causality Test was used for examining relations between economic growth and tax burden by economic functions in short-term. Results confirm that there is two-way causality between change of implicit tax rate of consumption and GDP growth; and also GDP growth Granger-cause change of implicit tax rate of capital and implicit tax rate of labour through one-way causality. On average, labour taxes have decreased by 1.9 p.p., capital taxes have also decreased – by 2.1 p.p., but consumption taxes have mildly increased by 0.4 p.p. in the European Union in a period 1995-2010.
    Keywords: tax burden, tax shift, implicit tax rates, growth conductive system, economic functions, economic growth
    JEL: E62 H2 O11
    Date: 2013
  5. By: Ludwig Straub; Iván Werning
    Abstract: According to the Chamley-Judd result, capital should not be taxed in the long run. In this paper, we overturn this conclusion, showing that it does not follow from the very models used to derive them. For the model in Judd (1985), we prove that the long run tax on capital is positive and significant, whenever the intertemporal elasticity of substitution is below one. For higher elasticities, the tax converges to zero but may do so at a slow rate, after centuries of high capital taxation. The model in Chamley (1986) imposes an upper bound on capital taxation and we prove that the tax rate may end up at this bound indefinitely. When, instead, the bounds do not bind forever, the long run tax is indeed zero; however, when preferences are recursive but non-additive across time, the zero-capital-tax limit comes accompanied by zero private wealth (zero tax base) or by zero labor taxes (first best). Finally, we explain why the equivalence of a positive capital tax with ever rising consumption taxes does not provide a firm rationale against capital taxation.
    JEL: H2 H63
    Date: 2014–08
  6. By: Orhan Atesagaoglu (SUNY-Stony Brook); Eva Carceles-Poveda (Stony Brook University); Alexis Anagnostopoulos (Stony Brook University)
    Abstract: The US tax code stipulates taxation of capital income at the firm level (corporate profits) and at the household level (dividends and capital gains). Even though all of those are capital income taxes, they have different effects both on incentives for household savings and firm investment and in terms of distribution. We argue that these effects can work both from the aggregate savings (household) side and from the aggregate investment (firms) side and provide a model that incorporates both aspects. The model features heterogeneous households and heterogeneous firms and is used to: 1. Evaluate the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act (JGTRRA) of 2003, which reduced and equalized tax rates on dividends and capital gains and 2. Analyze the optimal mix between the different types of capital income taxes. We find that the JGTRRA reduces investment and capital mainly due to a wealth effect. In particular, the dividend tax cut raises stock prices and, as a result, aggregate wealth held by stockholders. In order to be willing to hold additional wealth, stockholders require a higher return which pushes capital demand and investment down. Interestingly, capital is more efficiently allocated and, as a result, GDP actually rises slightly. On the second question, we search for a tax scheme that provides incentives for investment without the usual negative redistribution side effects.
    Date: 2014
  7. By: Paola De Agostini; John Hills; Holly Sutherland
    Keywords: deficit, reduction, cuts, fiscal, benefits, recession, crisis, coalition, tax, Social Policy in a Cold Climate, government, universal credit
    Date: 2014–11
  8. By: Erzo F.P. Luttmer; Monica Singhal
    Abstract: Standard economic models of tax compliance have focused on enforcement-driven compliance. Notably, tax administrators also tend to place a great deal of emphasis on the importance of improving "tax morale" by encouraging voluntary compliance, creating a culture of compliance, and changing social norms. Tax morale does indeed appear to be an important component of compliance decisions, and there is strong evidence that tax morale operates through a variety of underlying channels. There is less evidence - to date - that indicates we know how to leverage these channels to improve compliance and revenue collection in a consistently successful way.
    JEL: H26 O17
    Date: 2014–09
  9. By: Diego d'Andria (Friedrich Schiller University of Jena, DFG Research Training Group "The Economics of Innovative Change")
    Abstract: A principal-agent multitasking model is used to explore the effects of different tax schemes on innovation in a pure knowledge economy. Corporate taxes and labor income taxes can affect both the firm owner's and the employee's incentives to commit to innovative tasks, when the former compensates the latter (a manager, technical or R&D employee) by means of variable pay tied to measures of the company's success. Results point to a complementary role between "patent box" tax incentives and reductions in the tax rate levied on profit sharing schemes. This complementarity holds, albeit with different relative importance for the two tax incentives, also with non-deductible labor costs, with a stochastic innovation value coupled with a risk-averse agent, and with multiple principals competing for talented agents.
    Keywords: tax incentives for R&D, patent box, principal-agent models, multitasking models, profit sharing schemes, incentives to innovate
    JEL: H2 O31 J33
    Date: 2014–11–11
  10. By: Marisa Beck, Nicholas Rivers, Randall Wigle, Hidemichi Yonezawa (Wilfrid Laurier University)
    Abstract: This study investigates the distributional implications of the revenue-neutral carbon tax policy in British Columbia. We use a computable general equilibrium (CGE) model of the Canadian economy and disaggregate households into deciles by annual income using data from a large household expenditure survey. Using the model, we find that the existing BC carbon tax is highly progressive even prior to consideration of the revenue recycling scheme, such that the negative impact of the carbon tax on households with below-median income are smaller than that on households with above-median income. We show that our finding is a result of welfare effects of a carbon tax being determined primarily by the source of a households' income rather than by the destination of its expenditures. Finally, we show that the existing revenue recycling scheme is also progressive. Overall, the tax appears to be highly progressive.
    Keywords: carbon taxes, distributional effects, British Columbia, computable general equilibrium analysis
    JEL: Q48 Q54 D63
    Date: 2014–09–07
  11. By: Hebous, Shafik; Weichenrieder, Alfons J.
    Abstract: Research results confirm the existence of various forms of international tax planning by multinational firms. Prominent examples for firms employing tax avoidance strategies are Amazon, Google and Starbucks. Increasing availability of administrative data for Europe has enabled researchers to study behavioural responses of European multinationals to taxation. The present paper summarizes what we can learn from these recent studies in general and about German multinationals in particular.
    Keywords: taxation,foreign direct investment,multinational firms
    Date: 2014
  12. By: Funashima, Yoshito
    Abstract: It is commonly believed that public investments play a central role in Japan's discretionary fiscal policies, but the majority is implemented by local governments. After distinguishing between public investment by the central government and that by local governments, this paper utilizes wavelet techniques to examine macroeconomic policy coordination between Japanese central and local governments. We demonstrate that local government investments fail to coordinate with central government investments during the lost two decades, and such a coordination failure is a one-time phenomenon in nearly a half-century. In this period, local government investments exhibit no countercyclical behavior to business cycles, which is contributory to the ineffectiveness of fiscal stimulus that is pointed out by our predecessors.
    Keywords: Public investment; Wavelet; Central government; Local government
    JEL: E32 E62
    Date: 2014–11–10
  13. By: Lorenz Kueng
    Abstract: Although theoretical models of household behavior often emphasize fiscal foresight, most empirical studies neglect the role of news, thereby potentially underestimating the total effect of tax changes. Using novel high-frequency bond data, I develop a model of the term structure of municipal yield spreads as a function of future top income tax rates and a risk premium. Testing the model using the presidential elections of 1992 and 2000 as two natural experiments shows that financial markets forecast future tax rates remarkably well in both the short and long run. Combining these market-based tax expectations with consumption data from the Consumer Expenditure Survey, I find that consumption of high-income households increases by close to 1% in response to news of a 1% increase in expected after-tax lifetime income, consistent with the basic rational-expectations life-cycle theory.
    JEL: E21 E62 G12 H31 H74
    Date: 2014–08
  14. By: Kortebusch, Pia
    Abstract: Advance Pricing Agreements (APAs) are commonly used by multinational groups to gain certainty about their transfer prices for tax purposes. I focus on a multinational company that invests in a foreign subsidiary in a low-tax country. Applying a binomial model for flexible investment planning, I analyze whether and under what circumstances the multinational company should consider requesting an APA. I show that APAs are worth considering when high double taxation may arise and when the tax rates in the involved countries differ sufficiently to outweigh the drawbacks associated with time and fee effects. Furthermore, I find that increasing double taxation and an increasing tax rate differential increase the relative attractiveness of an APA request. That said, multinational companies need to also control for opposing effects when considering an APA request.
    Keywords: Advance Pricing Agreements,Uncertainty,Investment Decisions
    JEL: H25 H21
    Date: 2014
  15. By: Tari Lestari (Directorate of State Finance and Monetary Analysis (BAPPENAS))
    Abstract: The debate over debt issues always becomes hot potatoes to be discussed. Recent data in debt position which accounted for 1.977,71 trillion IDR onDecember31st2012 has made a thousand eyes looking at The Central Government and questioning whether Indonesia should continue to rely on debt for development financing, and whether its debt level is dangerous for fiscal sustainability or not. This paper analyzes debt sustainability by using Natural Debt Limit (NDL) approach introduced by Mendoza-Oveido. In order to examine how the Indonesian government reacts to changes in its debt position, this paper estimates fiscal reaction functions using an econometric approach, namely Vector Error Correction Model (VECM). The result shows that: (i) natural debt limit for Indonesia is 32,3% over GDP; (ii) since 1992 the central government has run a sustainable fiscal policy, by reducing the primary deficit or increasing the surplus in response towards rising debt. Indonesia has a space to utilize more debt, but in a good manner (well-managed) especially aimed for productive and priority spending such as for infrastructure and education.
    Keywords: Crisis, Fiscal sustainability, Natural Debt Limit, Public Debt, Fiscal Reaction Function, Deficits
    JEL: H62 H63
    Date: 2014–11
  16. By: Masahiro Nozaki; Kenichiro Kashiwase; Ikuo Saito
    Abstract: Health spending has risen rapidly in Japan. We find two-thirds of the spending increase over 1990–2011 resulted from ageing, and the rest from excess cost growth. The spending level will rise further: ageing alone will raise it by 3½ percentage points of GDP over 2010–30, and excess cost growth at the rate observed over 1990–2011 will lead to an additional increase of 2–3 percentage points of GDP. This will require a sizable increase in government transfers. Japan can introduce micro- and macro-reforms to contain health spending, and financing options should be designed to enhance equity.
    Keywords: Health care spending;Japan;Aging;Fiscal policy;Public health;Fiscal reforms;Japan, health spending, long-term care, fiscal policy
    Date: 2014–08–04
  17. By: Guglielmo Barone (Bank of Italy, Regional Economic Research Division, Bologna Branch, The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis, Italy); Sauro Mocetti (Bank of Italy, Regional Economic Research Division, Bologna Branch)
    Abstract: The relationship between inequality and trust has attracted the interest of many scholars who have found a negative relationship between the two variables. However, the causal link from inequality to trust is far from being identified and the existing empirical evidence admittedly remains weak, as the omitted variable bias, reverse causation and/or measurement error might be at work. In this paper, we reconsider the country-level evidence to address this issue. First, we exploit the panel dimension of the data, thus controlling for any country unobservable time-invariant variables. Second, we provide instrumental variable estimates using the predicted exposure to technological change as an exogenous driver of inequality. According to our findings, income inequality significantly and negatively affects generalised trust. However, this result only holds for developed countries. We also explore new insights on the effects of different dimensions of inequality, exploiting measures of both static inequality – such as the Gini index and top income shares – and dynamic inequality – proxied by intergenerational income mobility.
    Date: 2014–11
  18. By: Clancy, Daragh (Central Bank of Ireland); Cussen, Mary (Central Bank of Ireland); Lydon, Reamonn (Central Bank of Ireland)
    Abstract: This paper analyses how developments in the housing market affect consumer spending. Using aggregate data, we show that housing wealth exerts a positive influence on consumption. Whilst informative, the aggregate results not allow us to identify housing wealth effects separately from credit effects, income expectations and complementarity effects. Survey data is therefore used to assess whether behaviour at the household level can further explain consumption trends at the aggregate level. We observe a strong correlation between house price levels and consumption for young, middle- and older-aged cohorts. The strong house price effects for younger cohorts in particular, who are predominantly renters, suggests that house prices are also a proxy for changes in in permanent income. However, our analysis also suggests that significant housing wealth effects are present, particularly when it comes to spending on durable goods. Our research highlights not only the benefits of combining household and aggregate level data for understanding consumption, but also the importance of decomposing consumption into its constituent parts for understanding housing wealth effects in particular.
    Keywords: consumption, wealth effects, credit conditions, income expectations, business cycle, durable goods.
    JEL: D12 E21
    Date: 2014–09
  19. By: Cappelletti, Giuseppe; Guazzarotti, Giovanni; Tommasino, Pietro
    Abstract: We propose a new method to identify the impact of a change in the tax burden on mutual fund inflows, exploiting a switch from an accrual-based to a realisation-based tax regime. We use quasi-experimental data from Italy where, starting from July 2011, the tax regime for domestic mutual funds was changed from an accruals basis to a realisation basis, while the taxation of foreign funds remained on a realisation basis. We find that the reform has had a positive effect on net inflows of Italian funds (the treated group) with respect to foreign funds (the control group). The effect is both economically and statistically significant. Moreover, we find no evidence that the increase in the demand for Italian funds came at the expense of foreign funds. JEL Classification: G20, G2, H2
    Keywords: capital income taxation, mutual funds
    Date: 2014–04
  20. By: André Spithoven, Belgian Science Policy Office and Ghent University; Michel Dumont; Peter Teirlinck, Belgian Science Policy Office and KU Leuven
    Abstract: In this paper we assess the impact of public support for R&D activities on the educational mix of R&D employees in private companies in Belgium, covering the period 2001-2009. Data on federal tax incentives in support of R&D activities are matched with R&D survey data to investigate changes in the share of R&D employees with a specific degree: PhDs; higher education (second stage and first stage respectively); and other qualifications. Estimations show that public support significantlyraises the share of researchers holding a PhD. There are indications that PhDs substitute for R&D employees with a lower degree. We also show that controlling for the changes in the educational mix of R&D personnel lowers the estimates of the impact of public support on the average wages of researchers.
    JEL: H32 O32 O38
    Date: 2014–10–30
  21. By: Thushyanthan Baskaran (Department of Economics, University of Göttingen, Germany); Zohal Hessami (Department of Economics, University of Konstanz, Germany)
    Abstract: We study partisan favoritism in the allocation of intergovernmental transfers. Our dataset combines local council election data with fiscal data on grant allocations in the German state of Hesse. Our identification strategy is a regression discontinuity design that relies on a perturbation procedure to classify close elections. We find that left-wing state governments favored aligned municipalities while right-wing state governments favored unaligned ones. One plausible explanation for this difference in the behavior of left- and right-wing governments is that only few local councils had absolute right-wing majorities during the tenure of the right-wing state governments. Therefore, right-wing state governments had to use transfers to “buy off” unaligned municipalities, while left-wing state governments could use transfers to enhance their electoral prospects.
    Keywords: Intergovernmental transfers, political alignment, partisan behavior, state and local governments
    JEL: D72 H72 H77
    Date: 2014–09–02
  22. By: Jurkatis, Simon; Strehl, Wolfgang
    Abstract: This paper points to flaws in Gini decompositions by income sources and population subgroups and to common pitfalls in the interpretation of decomposition results, focusing on methods within the framework of Rao (1969). We argue that within this framework Gini elasticities may provide the only meaningful way to examine the relevance of income sources or population subgroups for total income inequality. Moreover, we show that existing methods are unsuitable to decompose the trend in the Gini coefficient and provide a coherent method to decompose the Gini trend by income sources. We add to the recent trend of multi-decompositions by deriving Gini elasticities from a simultaneous decomposition by income sources and population subgroups.
    Keywords: income inequality,Gini decomposition,Gini elasticity,income sources,population subgroups,multi-decomposition
    JEL: C43 D31 D33 D63 O15
    Date: 2014
  23. By: Fritz, Verena; Sweet, Stephanie; Verhoeven, Marijn
    Abstract: This paper explores two relationships, first between country characteristics and the quality of public financial management ('drivers'), and second between the quality of public financial management systems and expected outcomes ('effects'). On the influence of country characteristics, the paper investigates economic factors (income level, growth, and resource dependency), population size, levels and sources of revenue, and three macro-political characteristics -- political stability, regime type, and the presence of programmatic parties. These characteristics jointly explain about 40 percent of the variation in the quality of public financial management across countries. Furthermore, first-difference analysis suggests that countries with lower initial public financial management quality improve at a higher rate over time. This implies that structural factors set the scene for the likelihood of better or worse performance, but also that there is substantial variation among countries sharing certain characteristics and reform opportunities exist even in unfavorable environments. Methodologically, a key limitation is that the direction of causality cannot be fully addressed with the types of data available. On the effects of the performance of public financial management, the paper finds evidence that stronger performance results in better budget credibility, but not in lower deficits. Furthermore, there is no clear evidence regarding operational efficiency. The observed disconnect could be caused by missing complementary state capacities, measurement problems, or other issues, which need to be explored further. Overall, the findings are consistent with the assumption that stakeholder incentives and constellations matter and that reform approaches combining good technical calibration and political economy considerations are likely to influence success in strengthening public financial management.
    Keywords: Public Sector Expenditure Policy,Economic Theory&Research,Debt Markets,Country Strategy&Performance,Public Sector Economics
    Date: 2014–11–01
  24. By: François Facchini (Université Paris-Sud - Faculté Jean Monnet, CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Paris I - Panthéon-Sorbonne); Mickaël Melki (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Paris I - Panthéon-Sorbonne)
    Abstract: We provide a test of the impact of voters' political ideology on economic growth and of the role of preferences for government size as a transmission channel. We focus on France from the beginning of its stable democratic experience in 1871. A move of voters' ideology to the right increases economic growth over total observation period. However, the growth effect of ideology is mediated by voters' preferences for government size only during the post-World War II period. For reverse causality concerns, we use the political ideology of other historical democracies as an instrument variable for France's ideology.
    Keywords: Political ideology; economic growth; public spending
    Date: 2013–11

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