Operationalizing Inclusive Growth: Per-Percentile Diagnostics to Inform Redistribution Policies, Working Paper No. 20/50

By Alexei P Kireyev & Andrei Leonidov

Inclusive growth, narrowly defined in this paper as growth that helps reduce inequality, is achieved if consumption of the poor increases faster than consumption of the rich. The paper presents a simple accounting framework for a per-percentile consumption diagnostics that could inform redistribution policies. The proposed framework is illustrated in application to Iraq and Tunisia.

Exploring Residual Profit Allocation, Working Paper No. 20/49

By Sebastian Beer, Ruud A. de Mooij, Shafik Hebous, Michael Keen & Li Liu

Schemes of residual profit allocation (RPA) tax multinationals by allocating their ‘routine’ profits to countries in which their activities take place and sharing their remaining ‘residual’ profit across countries on some formulaic basis. They have recently and rapidly come to prominence in policy discussions, yet almost nothing is known about their impact on revenue, investment and efficiency. This paper explores these issues, conceptually and empirically. It finds residual profits to be substantial, but concentrated in a relatively few MNEs, headquartered in few countries. The impact on tax revenue of reallocating excess profits under RPA, while adverse for investment hubs, appears beneficial for lower income countries even when the formula allocates by destination-based sales. The impact on investment incentives is ambiguous and specific both to countries and MNE groups; only if the rate of tax on routine profits is low does aggregate efficiency seem likely to increase.


Toward a Comprehensive Tax Reform for Italy, Working Paper No. 20/37

By Emile Cammeraat & Ernesto Crivelli

This paper evaluates elements of a comprehensive reform of the Italian tax system. Reform options are guided by the principles of reducing complexity, broadening the tax base, and lowering marginal tax rates, especially the tax burden on labor income. The revenue and distributional implications of personal income and property tax reforms are assessed with EUROMOD, while a microsimulation model is developed to evaluate VAT reform options. Simulations suggest that a substantial reduction in the tax burden on labor income can be obtained with a revenue-neutral base-broadening reform that streamlines tax expenditures and updates the property valuation system. In addition, a comprehensive reform would benefit low- and middle-income households the most, by lowering significantly their overall current tax liability, which results in increased progressivity of the tax system.


A Model-based Fiscal Taylor Rule and a Toolkit to Assess the Fiscal Stance, Working Paper No. 20/33

By Jean-Marc Fournier & Philipp Lieberknecht

This paper presents a model-based fiscal Taylor rule and a toolkit to assess the fiscal stance, defined as the change in the structural primary balance. This is built on the normative buffer-stock model of the government (Fournier, 2019) which includes key channels like hysteresis, cycle-dependent multipliers and a risk premium. A simple fiscal Taylor rule prescribes the fiscal stance as a function of past government debt, past output gap and the past structural primary balance. Applications suggest several advanced economies could have better managed their fiscal stance over the last 20 years. Simulations provide fiscal stance recommendations over the medium-term.


Taking Down the Wall: Transition and Inequality, Working Paper No. 20/32

By Serhan Cevik & Carolina Correa-Caro

This paper investigates the main determinants of income inequality in transition countries during the period 1990–2018. To this end, we address a major methodological challenge that lies at the core of the cross-country literature on income inequality: the potential endogeneity of income growth, which is largely ignored by most empirical studies. We adopt a two-pronged empirical strategy by (i) using trading partners’ weighted average real GDP as an instrumental variable (IV), and (ii) estimating the model via the two-stage least squares (2SLS) approach for static models and the Generalized Method of Moments (GMM) estimator for dynamic models. Our empirical findings are consistent with the Kuznets curve that illustrates a nonlinear relationship between income inequality and the level of economic development. We also find that the redistributive impact of fiscal policy is statistically insignificant and taxation and government spending appear to have the opposing effects on income inequality in transition economies.


How Big are Fiscal Multipliers in Latin America? Working Paper No. 20/17

By Jorge Restrepo

This paper uses the strategy and data of Blanchard and Perotti (BP) to identify fiscal shocks and estimate fiscal multipliers for the United States. With these results, it computes the cumulative multiplier of Ramey and Zubairy (2018), now common in the literature. It finds that, contrary to the peak and through multipliers reported by BP, the cumulative tax multiplier is much larger than the cumulative spending one. Hence, the conclusions depend on the definition of multiplier. This methodology is also used to estimate the effects of fiscal shocks on economic activity in eight Latin American countries. The results suggest that the fiscal multipliers vary significantly across countries, and in some cases multipliers are larger than previously estimated.


Effectiveness and Equity in Social Spending – The Case of Spain, Working Paper No. 20/16

By Svetlana Vtyurina

Spain is experiencing sustained economic and social disparities in several areas. Social spending policies have a heightened responsibility to respond but are challenged by high public debt and pressures from an aging society. This study takes stock of the level and effectiveness of public social expenditure from a cross-country and macroeconomic view, complementing recent targeted spending reviews. The results suggest that social protection spending should aim to improve redistribution through better targeting the most vulnerable while more effective education and active labor market policies should aim to create more equal opportunities and income prospects. In some areas more fiscal resources are needed. But social spending alone cannot reduce inequality, and efforts also should be directed toward making the labor market more inclusive.

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