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Suzanne Linehan

30 November 2009
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1114
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Abstract
In recent years, government revenues in many EU countries experienced significant and erratic changes, which, a priori, could not be fully explained by macroeconomic developments or by discretionary fiscal policy measures. We investigate this issue by estimating “unexplained” changes in tax and social contribution revenues, based on proxies for tax revenue bases and elasticities commonly used for forecasting or cyclically adjusting government revenues and taking into account estimates of the impact of legislation changes. This is done for a selection of EU countries, including the “big five” euro area countries (Germany, Spain, France, Italy and the Netherlands) together with Ireland, Latvia and Portugal. We also undertake the same exercise using alternative tax base proxies, either taken from forecasting models or on the basis of our knowledge of the tax system in each country. The results show that, in the aggregate, revenue windfalls and shortfalls have exhibited a broadly cyclical pattern, driven mainly by developments in profit-related taxes and, to a somewhat lesser extent, VAT. Other, more structural factors also play a role, such as declining consumption of fuel and tobacco, as well as factors specific to individual countries, such as developments in property markets. The estimated revenue windfalls and shortfalls can explain a substantial proportion of changes in the euro area cyclically adjusted budget balance over the period 1999-2007. Since these unexplained revenue changes have exhibited a largely cyclical character and might therefore be viewed as partly temporary, this highlights the importance of a careful interpretation of fiscal indicators adjusted for the economic cycle. Except in a small number of cases, the results do not change significantly when alternative tax base proxies are used, suggesting that the potential for improving existing indicators by a better matching of taxes to their bases is likely to be limited.
JEL Code
H20 : Public Economics→Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue→General
H68 : Public Economics→National Budget, Deficit, and Debt→Forecasts of Budgets, Deficits, and Debt
E62 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Fiscal Policy
30 September 2011
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 128
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Abstract
The distributive trades sector, which is primarily accounted for by wholesale and retail trade, is not only economically important in its own right, but also relevant to monetary policy. Ultimately, it is retailers who set the actual prices of most consumer goods. They are the main interface between producers of consumer goods and consumers, with around half of private consumption accounted for by retail trade. The
JEL Code
E58 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Central Banks and Their Policies
F41 : International Economics→Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance→Open Economy Macroeconomics
31 October 2012
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 138
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Abstract
Between the start of the economic and financial crisis in 2008, and early 2010, almost four million jobs were lost in the euro area. Employment began to rise again in the first half of 2011, but declined once more at the end of that year and remains at around three million workers below the pre-crisis level. However, in comparison with the severity of the fall in GDP, employment adjustment has been relatively muted at the aggregate euro area level, mostly due to significant labour hoarding in several euro area countries. While the crisis has, so far, had a more limited or shorter-lived impact in some euro area countries, in others dramatic changes in employment and unemployment rates have been observed and, indeed, more recent data tend to show the effects of a re-intensification of the crisis. The main objectives of this report are: (a) to understand the notable heterogeneity in the adjustment observed across euro area labour markets, ascertaining the role of the various shocks, labour market institutions and policy responses in shaping countries
JEL Code
E42 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Monetary Systems, Standards, Regimes, Government and the Monetary System, Payment Systems
F15 : International Economics→Trade→Economic Integration
F33 : International Economics→International Finance→International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions
F41 : International Economics→Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance→Open Economy Macroeconomics