Found 461 article(s) in category 'Fiscal Policy'

Trump Can’t Repeal the Laws of Economics

Trump Can’t Repeal the Laws of Economics. Lawrence Summers, November 14, 2016, Opinion, “Following a brief market plunge, the president-elect’s speech last Tuesday night was more conciliatory than many expected and emphasized his commitment to infrastructure investment. Investors have, on balance, concluded that the combination of a shift to very expansionary fiscal policy and major reductions in regulation in sectors ranging from energy to finance to drug pricing will raise demand and reflate the U.S. economy.Link

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Multilevel Geographies of Poverty in India

Multilevel Geographies of Poverty in India. S V Subramanian, November 2016, Paper, “Since the economic reforms in India in 1991, there has been a proliferation of studies examining trends of economic development and poverty across the country. To date, studies have used single-level analyses with aggregated data either at the state level or, less commonly, at the region and district levels. This is the first comprehensive and empirical quantification of the relative importance of multiple geographic levels in shaping poverty distribution in India. We used multilevel logistic models to partition variation in poverty by levels of states, regions, districts, villages, and households. We also mapped the residuals at the state, region and district levels to visualize the geography of poverty. We used data on 35 states, 88 regions, 623 districts, 25,390 villages and 202,250 households from the National Sample Survey in years 2009-10 and 2011-12.” Link

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Is it the “How” or the “When” that Matters in Fiscal Adjustments?

Is it the “How” or the “When” that Matters in Fiscal Adjustments? Alberto Alesina, October 2016, Paper, “Using data from 16 OECD countries from 1981 to 2014, we find that the composition of fiscal adjustments is much more important than the state of the cycle in determining their effects on output. Fiscal adjustments based upon spending cuts are much less costly than those based upon tax increases, regardless of whether the adjustment starts in a recession or not.Link

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Intergenerational Mobility and Preferences for Redistribution

Intergenerational Mobility and Preferences for Redistribution. Alberto Alesina, October 26, 2016, Paper, “Using newly collected cross-country survey and experimental data, we investigate how beliefs about intergenerational mobility affect individuals’ preferences for redistribution. We start by documenting the anatomy of views on mobility, fairness, the government, and redistribution across five countries: France, Italy, Sweden, the U.S., and the U.K. We show that Americans are more optimistic than Europeans about intergenerational mobility, and are generally too optimistic relative to reality, especially about the chances of making it from the very bottom to the very top quintile.Link

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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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