Found 457 article(s) in category 'Fiscal Policy'

Health and Taxes

Health and Taxes. David Cutler, October 25, 2016, Paper, “Viewing health care through the lens of a social issue prompts such questions as: What policies would best improve the population’s health? How can report cards be used to improve the quality of surgery? Where are there opportunities for additional disease prevention? The questions here are intricate and detailed. Some of the issues are clinical, and advice from physicians is actively sought and welcomed. For example, no one would develop a pay-for-performance system for surgeons without extensive involvement of the relevant surgical societies.Link

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E-governance, Accountability, and Leakage in Public Programs: Experimental Evidence from a Financial Management Reform in India

E-governance, Accountability, and Leakage in Public Programs: Experimental Evidence from a Financial Management Reform in India. Rohini Pande, October 16, 2016, Paper, “In collaboration with the Government of Bihar, India, we conducted a large-scale experiment to evaluate whether transparency in fiscal transfer systems can increase accountability and reduce corruption in the implementation of a workfare program. The reforms introduced electronic fund-flow, cut out administrative tiers, and switched the basis of transfer amounts from forecasts to documented expenditures. Treatment reduced leakages along three measures: expenditures and hours claimed dropped while an independent household survey found no impact on actual employment and wages received; a matching exercise reveals a reduction in fake households on payrolls; and local program officials’ self-reported median personal assets fell.Link

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Hysteresis and Fiscal Policy During the Global Crisis

Hysteresis and Fiscal Policy During the Global Crisis. Lawrence Summers, October 12, 2016, Paper, “Conventional wisdom on supply and demand suggests that demand shocks are cyclical or transitory, and that only technology shocks are responsible for trend changes. This column argues that cyclical events can have permanent effects on demand, and therefore GDP. It is time for policymakers to start considering the possibility of hysteresis seriously.Link

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Globalization, Inequality and Welfare

Globalization, Inequality and Welfare. Pol Antras, September 19, 2016, Paper, “This paper studies the welfare implications of trade opening in a world in which trade raises aggregate income but also increases income inequality, and in which redistribution needs to occur via a distortionary income tax-transfer system. We provide tools to characterize and quantify the effects of trade opening on the distribution of disposable income (after redistribution). We propose two adjustments to standard measures of the welfare gains from trade: a ‘welfarist’ correction inspired by the Atkinson (1970) index of inequality, and a ‘costly-redistribution’ correction capturing the efficiency costs associated with the behavioral responses of agents to trade-induced shifts across marginal tax rates.Link

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Africa’s Prospects for Enjoying a Demographic Dividend

Africa’s Prospects for Enjoying a Demographic Dividend. David Bloom, August 2016, “We assess Africa’s prospects for enjoying a demographic dividend. While fertility rates and dependency ratios in Africa remain high, they have started to decline. According to UN projections, they will fall further in the coming decades such that by the mid-21st century the ratio of the working-age to dependent population will be greater than in Asia, Europe, and Northern America. This projection suggests Africa has considerable potential to enjoy a demographic dividend. Whether and when it actually materializes, and also its magnitude, hinges on policies and institutions in key realms that include macroeconomic management, human capital, trade, governance, and labor and capital markets. Given strong complementarities among these areas, coordinated policies will likely be most effective in generating the momentum needed to pull Africa’s economies out of a development trap.Link

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Identity Politics and Organized Crime in Japan: The Effect of Special Subsidies for Burakumin Communities

Identity Politics and Organized Crime in Japan: The Effect of Special Subsidies for Burakumin Communities. J. Mark Ramseyer, August 23, 2016, Paper, “In 1969 the Japanese government launched a subsidy program (the SMA) targeted at the traditional outcastes known as the burakumin. The subsidies attracted the organized crime syndicates, who diverted funds for private gain. Newly enriched, they shifted large numbers of young burakumin men away from legal business and intensified the tendency many Japanese already had to equate the burakumin with the mob. Although the resulting community centers and public housing improved burakumin infrastructure, they also lowered the cost to the public of identifying burakumin neighborhoods. We explore the effects of the termination of the program in 2002 by integrating 30 years of modern municipality data with a 1936 census of burakumin.Link

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Trump’s Fiscal Follies

Trump’s Fiscal Follies. Jeffrey Frankel, August 16, 2016, Opinion, “This year’s presidential election campaign in the United States is certainly unique. Donald Trump has shaken up the way a campaign is run, how a nominee communicates with voters, and the Republican Party’s platform, with many of his positions deviating from GOP tradition. But, on tax policy, Trump has toed the party line – and that’s not a good thing.Link

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Harvard’s Martin Feldstein: Labor Market Remains Tight

Harvard’s Martin Feldstein: Labor Market Remains Tight. Martin Feldstein, August 4, 2016, Opinion, “Former Reagan Economic Advisor and current George F. Baker Professor of Economics at Harvard University Martin Feldstein weighed in on concerns about the deficit and the state of the U.S. economy and job market.” Link

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Understanding the Socioeconomic Gradient in Disability Insurance Receipt

Understanding the Socioeconomic Gradient in Disability Insurance Receipt. David Cutler, August 3, 2016, Paper, “There is a well-known socioeconomic gradient in disability insurance receipt. As Figure 1 shows, 9.0% of people aged 50-52 with a high school degree or less receive Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Insurance, compared to 4.3% of those with some college or more.  As people age, the gap between the more and less educated expands. Between the low 50s and the low 60s, SSDI/SSI receipt rises by 6.2 percentage points among the less educated, compared to only 2.4 percentage points among the better educated. The result is that one in six people with a high school degree or less is receiving SSDI/SSI by age 62, compared to one in fifteen people with some college education. Understanding why disability insurance receipt is so tilted to the less educated is key to evaluating the economic importance of disability insurance as well as forecasting future trends.Link

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Transnational Social Protection: Setting the Agenda

Transnational Social Protection: Setting the Agenda, Jocelyn Viterna, August 2016, Paper, “In todays’ world, more than 220 million people live in a country that is not their own.  Nevertheless, the provision of social welfare is primarily carried out by nations. How are people on the move protected and provided for in the contemporary global context? Have institutional sources of social welfare begun to cross borders to meet the needs of individuals who live transnational lives? This introductory paper proposes a transnational social protection (TSP) research agenda designed to map the kinds of protections that exist for people on the move, determine how these protections travel across borders, and analyze variations in access to these protections. The paper defines TSP; introduces the heuristic tool of a “resource environment” to map and analyze variations in TSP over time, through space, and across individuals; and provides empirical examples demonstrating the centrality of TSP for scholars of states, social welfare, development, and migration.Link

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