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Research Papers On Public Finance Definition

Urban Public Finance

Edward L. Glaeser

NBER Working Paper No.
Issued in July
NBER Program(s):Public Economics

America's local governments spend about one-eighth of our national income, one-fourth of total government spending, and employ over 14 million people. This paper surveys the large and growing economics literature on local governments and their finances. A primary difference between local and national government is the ease of labor mobility within countries, which disciplines local governments and means that heterogeneous service levels can be beneficial, but mobility also challenges local attempts at redistribution. The empirical literature on mobility responses to local government is distinguished, but remains a pressing area for future research. We have sophisticated models of local spending, tax policy and institutional design, but research is often far less developed on even basic questions of costs and benefits of core local public services.

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Published: Handbook of Public Economics Volume 5, , Pages – handbook of public economics, vol. 5

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1. Fiscal Policy and Growth in New Zealand and the OECD

 

This theme involves a number of projects/papers focused on measuring the impact of taxes and public expenditures on GDP using (i) macro data and allowing for heterogeneous fiscal-growth effects across countries and over time; and (ii) using firm-level micro data. This allows us to address questions such as: do fiscal-growth effects differ across the OCED? Do these effects feed through quickly and do they persist for long?

ProjectThe Impact of Taxes on Long-Run OECD Growth
DescriptionThis research builds on previous papers measuring the contribution of fiscal policy settings to long-run GDP growth rates. Current research is examining the robustness of fiscal-growth effects to alternative macro- and micro-based average and marginal tax rate measures and public expenditure ‘composition’ including the form of fiscal decentralization.
ResearchersNorman Gemmell, Richard Kneller, Ismael Sanz
Published PapersGemmell, N. and Au, J. () &#;Government Size, Fiscal Policy and the Level and Growth of Output: A Review of Recent Evidence&#;, Journal of the Asia Pacific Economy, 18, Apr, View the Presentation.
Gemmell, N., Kneller, R. and Sanz, I. (), &#;Fiscal decentralization and economic growth in OECD countries: matching spending with revenue decentralization&#;, Economic Inquiry, forthcoming, (published online, January ). View the Data.
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, Kneller, R. and Sanz, I. () ‘The Timing and Persistence of Fiscal Policy Impacts on Growth: Evidence from OECD countries’, Economic Journal, , F33–F
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DescriptionThis project explores how far higher rates of corporate taxation affect firm productivity convergence by reducing the after tax returns to productivity enhancing investments for small firms. It uses micro firm-level data for 11 European countries for and compares results with the German tax reform ‘natural experiment’ in
ResearchersNorman Gemmell, Richard Kneller, Ismael Sanz
Working PaperGemmell, N., Kneller R, McGowan, D., Sanz, I. and Sanz-Sanz, J. (forthcoming, ), Corporate Taxation and Productivity Catch-Up: Evidence from European Firms&#;.
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Measuring Average Marginal Income Tax Rates in New Zealand

DescriptionThis research has estimated effective marginal tax rates faced by individuals, and for various aggregates of taxpayers in New Zealand. Estimates are reported for a number of personal marginal income tax rate measures for New Zealand since , focusing mainly on the aggregate income-weighted average marginal tax rates (AMTRs) originally proposed by Barro and Sahasakul (, ). A paper describing the methodology, and a dataset containing around a century of Statistics New Zealand income distribution and tax data are available.
ResearchersDebasis Bandyopadhyay, Robert Barro, Jeremy Couchman, Norman Gemmell, Gordon Liao and Fiona McAlister
Working PaperBandyopadhyay, D., Barro, R., Couchman, J., Gemmell, N., Liao, G. and McAlister, G. &#;Average marginal income tax rates in New Zealand, &#;, Victoria University of Wellington, Working Papers in Public Finance,WP 01/.
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Fiscal Stimuli and Fiscal Sustinability. How Big is the Trade-Off?

DescriptionThe fiscal fall-out following the global financial crisis, especially in the US and the Eurozone, has prompted much debate over the size of fiscal stimulus effects on the economy and the potential conflicts with sustainable fiscal policy. Using simple simulation models, this research is examining the sensitivity of long-term fiscal sustainability measures to alternative assumptions regarding government debt dynamics and the size and nature of fiscal stimulus effects.
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Working PaperGemmell, N., (forthcoming, ), &#;Fiscal stimulus versus fiscal sustainability. How big is the trade-off&#;.

2. Personal Income Taxation: Behavioural, Revenue and Distributional Aspects

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Revenue and Behavioural Respones of New Zealand Personal Income Taxpayers

DescriptionThis project is examining a number of aspects of the behavioural responses of New Zealand personal income taxpayers. This includes deriving ETI expressions for multi-step income tax systems, simulating revenue-maximising ETIs, and using unit record data to estimate ETIs from New Zealand’s income tax reforms.
ResearchersSimon Carey, John Creedy, Norman Gemmell and Josh Teng
Published PaperCreedy, J. and Gemmell, N. () ‘Measuring revenue responses to tax rate changes in multi-rate income tax systems: behavioural and structural factors’, International Tax and Public Finance. (Published online October, ). Working Paper version available.
Working PapersCreedy, J. and Gemmell, N.,‘Revenue-Maximising Elasticities of Taxable Income in Multi-Rates Income Tax Structures’. Victoria University of Wellington, Working Papers in Public Finance, 05/
Carey, S., Creedy, J., Gemmell, N. and Teng, J. (). ‘Regression Estimates of the Elasticity of Taxable Income and the Choice of Instrument’. Victoria University of Wellington, Working Papers in Public Finance, 03/

 

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DescriptionThis research is examining the reliability of alternative measures of taxpayer compliance: the so-called ‘tax gap’. Having reviewed conventional methodologies, current research is concentrating on assessing new methods proposed by the International Monetary Fund and OECD and on how taxpayers’ behavioural responses can be suitably recognised..
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Gemmell, N and Hasseldine, J. () ‘The tax gap: a methodological review’. Advances in Taxation, 20, December, pp See slides presented at IRD Seminar, Feb
Gemmell, N. and Ratto, M. () ‘Behavioural responses to taxpayer audits: Evidence from random enquiries of UK self-assessed taxpayers’, National Tax Journal, 65,

 

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Tax and Social Spending Effects of Ageing

DescriptionThis project is part of the N.Z Treasury’s Long-Term Fiscal Statement research agenda in which Treasury examines fiscal sustainability over a year horizon from A particular focus is on the fiscal consequences of demographic ageing and this project is examining how far the ageing process in N.Z can be expected to influence the level and composition of tax revenues, choices over social welfare spending, and the distributional aspects of these changes.
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DescriptionFollowing work by Aziz and others modelling the effect of long-run demographic change on the redistributive properties of the tax system, this research explores two questions. How far does the current tax/transfer system redistribute income in New Zealand? And, what is the ‘net incidence’ of fiscal policy in New Zealand over the life cycle? Both questions are analysed using the latest N.Z. Household Expenditure Survey (HES) micro data.
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3. Corporate Taxation: Modelling Revenues and Behavioural Responses

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Corporate Tax Structures, Effective Tax Rates and Loss Use by New Zealand Firms

DescriptionBuilding on the researchers’ previous work on the effect of corporate tax asymmetries on effective tax rates (ETRs), this project is analysing N.Z. Inland Revenue firm-level data on profits, losses and (backward-looking) ETRs. The objective is a better understanding of firm- and industry-level and other determinants of cross-firm differences in ETRs. Future research will build models of firms’ loss-acquisition and loss-use as tax off-sets in determining their effective tax rates and costs of capital.
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Creedy, J. and Gemmell, N () ‘Corporate tax asymmetries: effective tax rates and profit shifting’. International Tax and Public Finance, 18,