ABSTRACT: Did individuals’ experiences with the harms of the COVID-19 pandemic influence their attitudes towards safety-net programs? To assess this question, we combine rich information about county-level impacts and individual-level perceptions of the early pandemic, repeated measurements of attitudes towards safety-net expansion, and pre-pandemic measurements of related political attitudes. Individuals facing higher county-level impact or greater perceived risks are more likely to support long-term expansions to unemployment insurance and government-provided healthcare when surveyed in June 2020. These differences persist across time, with experiences in the early months of the pandemic remaining strongly predictive of attitudes towards safety-net expansion in early 2021.
ABSTRACT: We study, theoretically and empirically, the link between voters' support for public education and pensions. We show that the (inter-generational) redistributive component of the retirement system creates a link between current spending on education and future pensions. Specifically, investments in education increase the young's productivity and, hence, future tax proceeds that will finance the current workers' pension. Consequently, the support for publicly financed education grows together with the generosity and degree of redistribution of the retirement system. The empirical analysis uses repeated cross-country surveys to confirm the model predictions.
Durán-Cabré, J.M., Esteller-Moré, A. and L. Salvadori (2020): "CYCLICAL TAX ENFORCEMENT", Economic Inquiry, 58 (4), 1874-1893.
ABSTRACT: We wonder whether tax enforcement varies along the economic cycle and aim at answering that question from a positive perspective by means of survey data for the Spanish case (1994-2015). According to a fiscal capacity argument, tax enforcement might be stronger in times of crisis (counter-cyclical), but if the tax administration prioritizes taxpayers’ welfare over public revenue, enforcement might be slacker (pro-cyclical). We find tax enforcement is not immune to the state of the economy. In particular, it presents a prevailing counter-cyclical trend, but in presence of a severe economic crisis it turns out to be pro-cyclical.
ABSTRACT: This paper analyses the impact of terrorism on tax enforcement effectiveness by focusing on the case of the Basque Country and Navarre. The reduced-form model shows that terrorism negatively affects tax enforcement set by the regional administration and, consequently, the way it is perceived by residents in this area. These results are tested by using Spanish surveys and other data sources, finding evidence of the negative impact of terrorism on tax enforcement as it is perceived by residents in the Basque Country and Navarre. In particular, this effect is stronger for entrepreneurs and liberal professionals. Instead, no significant impact for individuals resident in the rest of Spain is found.
ABSTRACT: The tax gap can be defined as the difference between the total amount of taxes collected by tax authorities and the total tax revenues that should be collected according to the tax code and under perfect tax compliance. The estimation of the tax gap offers very useful information about the relative size and nature of non-compliance, as well as its evolution over time. In this paper we point out that the tax gap is a valuable instrument not only to define the enforcement strategies of the tax administration but also to enhance the accountability of this public authority. Nonetheless, the methodology employed to estimate the tax gap and consequently the interpretation of the results of this assessment are subject to limitations that are discussed in the paper. Moreover, we present the methodology to estimate the tax gap in Catalonia for the three most important taxes related to wealth (wealth tax, inheritance and gift tax and transfer tax) administered by the Spanish regions and, finally, we provide the results from the estimations obtained employing microdata (Spanish working paper version here).
ABSTRACT: The literature on horizontal tax interdependence pays limited attention to interactions in administrative policies, although they can play a large role in determining the amount of tax revenues collected. We investigate the incentives for sub-central tax authority cooperation in a decentralized context, with the aim of identifying the determinants of that cooperation. Our results are congruent with standard theory; in particular, the existence of reciprocity is essential for sharing tax information, but there is sluggishness in this process, which is partly the result of the short-sighted behaviour of tax authorities influenced by budget constraints. Hence, this is good news for the functioning of a decentralized tax administration, as in the medium-long run the gains to be made from sharing tax information are achieved.
ABSTRACT: Tax auditing parameters have been largely overlooked by the literature as policy-making instruments of any relevance; however, enforcement strategies are critical elements of the tax burden. In this paper we show that, in a federal framework, tax auditing policies can serve as additional tools for regional interaction. We examine the presence of this interaction by adopting a spatial econometric approach. We employ a spatial panel autoregressive model and obtain results that are congruent with standard theory, corroborating the presence of horizontal competition between regions in their tax auditing policies. We also find that once regional governments acquire legal power, the opaque competition in enforcement policies appears to switch in part to a more transparent competition in statutory tax parameters.