Dominika Langenmayr, 13 November 2015

Voluntary disclosure programmes offer tax evaders the opportunity to come clean with reduced penalties. This column uses data from the US and Germany to examine the merits of such programmes. They are found to increase tax evasion, but also to significantly lower administrative costs, leading to a net increase in tax revenues.

Ansgar Rannenberg, Christian Schoder, Jan Strasky, 11 November 2015

From 2011 to 2013, fiscal policy in the Eurozone turned progressively more restrictive. This column argues that output cost of fiscal consolidation strongly depends on presence and strength of credit constraints. With credit constraints both in the household and the firm sector, fiscal consolidation would be largely responsible for the weak growth performance during 2011-2013. Postponing the fiscal consolidation to a period of unconstrained monetary policy would have avoided most of these losses.

Peter Egger, Georg Wamser, 07 October 2015

Controlled foreign company rules are implemented by countries to prevent adverse profit-shifting activities by multinationals. This column suggests there are unintended consequences of such rules for real investment activity. Using the case of German legislation, the authors find that fixed assets at foreign subsidiaries decline by about €7 million per subsidiary in response to controlled foreign company treatment.

Bernard Caillaud, Gabrielle Demange, 06 October 2015

The standard economic argument in favour of a uniform carbon price is efficiency – all agents face the same marginal cost of pollution. Such a price can be achieved either by an emissions trading (cap-and-trade) system or by imposing a tax. This column argues that whether a uniform policy or a mixture of both is optimal depends on a few factors, and most importantly on the nature of stochastic shocks affecting the economy.

Paolo Surico, Riccardo Trezzi, 22 August 2015

Not much is known about the impact of housing tax hikes on consumer spending for different groups of society. This column shows that in Italy, households with mortgage debt responded to a property tax increase with a decrease in their expenditures, mostly of net vehicles purchases. The short-run direct cost (in the form of forgone consumer spending) of the tax change was small relative to the amount of extra taxes raised, but the overall negative consequences for the car industry were significant.

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