This paper examines the macroeconomic effects of tax changes during fiscal consolidations. We
build a new narrative dataset of tax changes during fiscal consolidation years, containing detailed
information on the expected revenue impact, motivation, and announcement and
implementation dates of nearly 2,500 tax measures across 10 OECD countries. We analyze the
macroeconomic impact of tax changes, distinguishing between tax rate and tax base changes,
and further separating between changes in personal income, corporate income, and value added
tax. Our results suggest that base broadening during fiscal consolidations leads to smaller output
and employment declines compared to rate hikes, even when distinguishing between tax types.
This Selected Issues paper analyzes the major factors that may have contributed to the marked widening of the external current account imbalance in Greece since the mid-1990s, with the deficit reaching one of the highest levels (in relation to GDP) among advanced economies. The factors reviewed include developments in relative cost and other competitiveness indicators, business cycle asynchronization, and idiosyncratic supply shocks and immigration. Potential implications of euro area entry are discussed, in particular the impact of declining interest rates in the context of monetary union.