This Selected Issues paper on the Republic of Poland constructs a financial conditions index for Poland to explore the link between financial conditions and real economic activity. Measures to contain the fiscal deficit in the aftermath of the global financial crisis led to a reduction in the headline deficit from 7.9 percent of GDP in 2010 to 3.9 percent in 2012. The authorities plan to implement a permanent fiscal rule. This would complement existing public debt limits, which have proven useful but insufficient in the past. Regarding mechanism design, the authorities have expressed their preference for a simple expenditure rule, on grounds of transparency, predictability, and ease of implementation across budgetary units.
Mr. Santiago Acosta Ormaechea and Atsuyoshi Morozumi
Does the design of a tax matter for growth? Assembling a novel dataset for 30 OECD countries
over the 1970-2016 period, this paper examines whether the value added tax (VAT) may have
different effects on long-run growth depending on whether it is raised through the standard rate
or through C-efficiency (a measure of the departure of the VAT from a perfectly enforced tax
levied at a single rate on all consumption). Our key findings are twofold. First, for a given total
tax revenue, a rise in the VAT, financed by a fall in income taxes, promotes growth only when
the VAT is raised through C-efficiency. Second, for a given VAT revenue, a rise in Cefficiency,
offset by a fall in the standard rate, also promotes growth. The implication is thus
that in OECD countries broadening the VAT base through fewer reduced rates and exemptions
is more conducive to higher long-run growth than a rise in the standard rate.
Ms. Era Dabla-Norris, Florian Misch, Mr. Duncan Cleary, and Munawer Khwaja
Tax compliance costs tend to be disproportionately higher for small and young businesses. This paper examines how the quality of tax administration affects firm performance for a large sample of firms in emerging market and developing economies. We construct a novel, internationally comparable, and multidimensional index of tax administration quality (the TAQI) using information from the Tax Administration Diagnostic Assessment Tool. We show that better tax administration attenuates the productivity gap of small and young firms relative to larger and older firms, a result that is robust to controlling for other aspects of tax policy and of economic governance, alternative definitions of small and young firms, and measures of the quality of tax administration. From a policy perspective, we provide evidence that countries can reap growth and productivity dividends from improvements in tax administration that lower compliance costs faced by firms.