In an article in the last issue of Finance and Development Adolf J.H. Enthoven showed how accountancy has through its history continuously responded to new needs. In this article he indicates how he believes it should now respond to the requirements of the developing countries.
Inflation threatens to become a permanent fact in many economies. One result is that distortions arise in personal income tax systems. The author considers the desirability of schemes for automatically adjusting taxation to inflation.
Inflation affects individuals and income classes in many ways—as consumers, taxpayers, wage earners, savers, asset holders, lenders, borrowers, and so forth. Because of this multiplicity of influences, it is difficult, and perhaps impossible, to assess the total economic impact of inflation. For this reason, empirical studies have limited themselves to analyzing the impact of inflation on individuals or income classes in their roles as consumers, savers, or wage earners. This partial approach does not answer the question of whether the total impact of inflation is or is not beneficial to individuals in particular income classes, but it does provide interesting information that can be useful for policy purposes. This paper will follow this partial approach and analyze the impact of inflation on individuals in connection with the tax treatment of interest paid or received in the United States.
The calculation of an economic rate of return has become a standard feature of project evaluation. Yet, as traditionally defined, the rate of return does not focus adequately on the scarcity of investable resources faced by developing countries, nor on their need to alleviate extreme poverty. A new approach in project analysis has therefore been developed which provides a framework designed to assist systematic decision making in this area.
The sensitivity (i.e., elasticity and built-in flexibility) of the U. S. individual income tax to changes in national income is of great interest to researchers and policymakers. However, the direct measurement of this sensitivity—that is, the measurement obtained from time-series observations of the relevant variables—has always been difficult, and even at times impossible, because changes in the legal structure of the tax have been too frequent to provide enough observations that relate to the same legal structure to allow statistically significant coefficients to be determined. This was particularly true in the United States before 1954, when the rates were changed frequently; it has also been true since 1963, when important changes occurred in rates, personal exemptions, deductions, and other features. In contrast, during the period between 1954 and 1963, hardly any significant statutory changes occurred in the tax.
This paper elaborates the introduction of surveillance that gave the IMF broader responsibilities with respect to oversight of its members’ policies than existed under the par value system. The IMF’s purview has been broadened under the new system but, by the same token, its members are no longer obliged to seek its concurrence in changes in exchange rates. The continuing volatility of exchange rates, and their prolonged divergence from levels that appear to be sustainable over time, have been matters of growing concern.
During the past two or three years, the center of attention on the underground economy has gradually moved from the pages of newspapers into the pages of scholarly reviews. Reflecting this scholarly interest, several books have been published1 and conferences have been organized. The reason for studying the underground economy is self-evident because of the possible influence on economic policies of the distortion of official estimates of such macroeconomic variables as the national accounts, the employment rate, and the rate of inflation if the underground economy is large.2