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  • Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements x
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Maksym Ivanyna and Andrea Salerno
The government’s ability to deliver inclusive growth crucially depends on the quality of governance. This paper reviews the linkages between governance and inclusive growth, and key policies to improve governance. The policies include (1) structural reform, automation, improving rules and procedures (including for fiscal and monetary policies) to limit the discretion and hence the space for policy errors; (2) human resource policies, capacity building, effective anti-corruption frameworks to incentivize public officials to make decisions in the best public interest; and (3) transparency, accountability, and inclusive political institutions to inform and monitor policymaking.
Rasmané Ouedraogo, Rene Tapsoba, Moussé Sow, and Ali Compaoré
Does the reliance on diversified tax structure enhance resilience to fiscal risks? This paper gives an answer to this question by proposing a new cross-country tax revenue diversification index (RDI). The RDI builds on the Theil index, and unlike the few existing tax diversification indices, which are constructed only at the state level for the US, is computed at the national level, covering a broad panel of 127 countries over the period 2000-15. We find suggestive evidence that tax revenue diversification reduces tax revenue volatility, thus bringing to the data long-held views about the prominence of tax revenue diversification for fiscal resilience strengthening. While exploring the drivers of the RDI, we find that tax revenue diversification is not just a reflection of economic diversification, but also an outcome of macroeconomic, political and institutional factors. Interestingly, a non-monotone relationship is also at play between the RDI and economic development, with countries’ portfolio of tax sources getting more diversified as their economy develops, until a tipping point, where richer countries start finding it harder to diversify further their tax revenue sources.
Mr. Matthieu Bellon, Jillie Chang, Ms. Era Dabla-Norris, Salma Khalid, Frederico Lima, Enrique Rojas, and Pilar Villena
This paper examines the impact of e-invoicing on firm tax compliance and performance using administrative tax data and quasi-experimental variation in the rollout of VAT electronic invoicing in Peru. We find that e-invoicing increases reported firm sales, purchases and value-added by over 5 percent in the first year after adoption. The impact is concentrated among smaller firms and sectors with higher rates of non-compliance, suggesting that e-invoicing enhances compliance by lowering compliance costs and strengthening deterrence. The reform’s positive effects on tax collection are hindered by shortcomings in the VAT refund mechanism in Peru, suggesting that digital tools such as e-invoicing should be complemented by other reforms to improve revenue mobilization.
Feng Wei and Jean-François Wen
Presumptive income taxes in the form of a tax on turnover for SMEs are pervasive as a way to reduce the costs of compliance and administration. We analyze a model where entrepreneurs allocate labor to the formal and informal sectors. Formal sector income is subjected either to a corporate income tax or a tax on turnover, depending on whether their turnover exceeds a threshold. We characterize the private sector equilibrium for any given configuration of tax policy parameters (corporate income tax rate, turnover tax rate, and threshold). Given private behavior, social welfare is optimized. We interpret the first-order conditions for welfare maximization to identify the key margins and then simulate a calibrated version of the model.
Dong Frank Wu and Mr. Friedrich Schneider
This paper is the first attempt to directly explore the long-run nonlinear relationship between the shadow economy and level of development. Using a dataset of 158 countries over the period from 1996 to 2015, our results reveal a robust U-shaped relationship between the shadow economy size and GDP per capita. Our results imply that the shadow economy tends to increase when economic development surpasses a given threshold or at least does not disappear. Our findings suggest that special attention should be given to the country’s level of development when designing policies to tackle issues related to the shadow economy.
International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
A technical assistance (TA) mission was undertaken by the Real Sector Statistics Advisor in the Caribbean Regional Technical Assistance Centre (CARTAC) to St. Lucia during September 17–28, 2018, to provide advice to the Central Statistics Office (CSO) on compiling supply and use tables (SUT) for 2016. The 2006 base year for the GDP estimates is outdated and does not reflect the current structure of the economy. In addition, there is scope to improve the input data and methodology used in producing the GDP estimates and to implement the relevant System of National Accounts 2008 (2008 SNA) recommendations.
Mr. Yasser Abdih and Leandro Medina
This study estimates the size of the informal economy, and the relative contribution of each underlying factor, for the Caucasus and Central Asia countries in 2008. Using a Multiple Indicator-Multiple Cause model, we find that a burdensome tax system, rigid labor market, low institutional quality, and excessive regulation in financial and products markets are determinant factors in explaining the size of the informal economy, which ranges from 26 percent of GDP in Kyrgyz Republic to around 35 percent of GDP in Armenia. Furthermore, the results show that higher levels of informality increase the levels of self employment and the percentage of currency held outside the banking system.
Sheetal K. Chand and Mr. Karl Ove Moene
This paper examines the issue of controlling fiscal corruption by providing incentives to fiscal officers. First, a case study of a successful attack on corruption is presented that shows the importance of attending to the conditions of service of fiscal officers. Second, a model is developed drawing on the conclusions of the case study that shows their consistency with optimization behavior. It confirms that simply providing bonuses is not enough. Corruption at higher levels of management has to be contained so as to allow bonuses to become more effective, and thereby to initiate a virtuous circle.