nep-pub New Economics Papers
on Public Finance
Issue of 2009‒01‒24
three papers chosen by
Kwang Soo Cheong
Johns Hopkins University

  1. Tax Challenges Facing Developing Countries By Richard Bird
  2. Public sector efficiency according to COFOG classification in the European Union By Donath , Liliana; Milos, Marius
  3. Income Security and Stability During Retirement in Canada By Sébastien LaRochelle-Côté; John Myles; Garnett Picot

  1. By: Richard Bird (University of Toronto)
    Abstract: Taxes matter. We all know we need them to pay for public services. But most of us complain about them -- exercise our "voice" -- and often try to dodge them -- to "exit" -- when we can. Those who design and implement tax systems, like those who try to escape them, for the most part consider themselves to be eminently ‘practical’ people responding to the world around them as they see it. As John Maynard Keynes (1936, 384-85) once said, however, “practical men, who believe themselves to be quite free from any intellectual influences, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist…..soon or late, it is ideas, not vested interests, which are dangerous for good or evil.” While true to some extent, at least when it comes to taxes this dictum both unduly flatters economists and puts too little weight on interests and other factors. Tax policy everywhere is shaped not only by ideas and vested interests but also by changing economic conditions, administrative constraints and technological possibilities, and, especially, the political institutions within which these factors are at play.
    Keywords: value-added tax, tax system, exit, voices
    Date: 2008–03–01
  2. By: Donath , Liliana; Milos, Marius
    Abstract: The budgetary constraints governments have to deal with on a daily bases require a new approach in public spending as well as the revision of public goods definition. Consequently the key words are efficiency and effectiveness, in order to comply with the new management approach requirements. Assessing the efficiency and performance of public expenses is a key item for analyzing the quality of public expenses because it connects the entries as public resources and their yield (efficiency) or the entries to the results obtained (performance)
    Keywords: public spending; performance; efficiency; effectiveness
    JEL: H50
    Date: 2008–12–01
  3. By: Sébastien LaRochelle-Côté; John Myles; Garnett Picot
    Abstract: Post-war policies and subsequent debates had two policy targets: reducing old-age poverty and enhancing income security for the “average worker” after retirement. While we know a lot about the first issue, the second has received less attention as a result of data limitations. We take advantage of unique longitudinal data based on Canadian tax files (the LAD) to examine income replacement rates of older Canadians relative to their economic status when they were in their mid-fifties. In 2005, the replacement income of retired individuals in their mid-seventies who were in the middle of the income distribution at age 55 (in the early 1980s) was between 70 and 80 percent of their previous incomes some 20 years earlier This figure is at the high end of the range (65 to 75 percent) that experts generally consider “adequate” for middle-income retirees to maintain their pre-retirement living standards. However, we also show that there is considerable variation in replacement rates. By age 75, about a quarter of middle-income persons had retirement incomes of less than 60 percent of the income they were receiving in their mid-fifties, a result of differential access to private pension income. We also ask whether income replacement rates have been rising or falling among more recent cohorts of retirees but find little change. Finally, we report results about the stability of incomes in the retirement years. We conclude that year to year instability in family income declines for both high and low income earners as they age, largely because of the stabilizing effect of public pension income sources.
    Keywords: retirement, income security
    JEL: J14 J26 D60 D63 H19 H55 I30
    Date: 2008–12

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