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Fiscal Reforms during Fiscal Consolidation: The Case of Italy

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  • Giampaolo Arachi
  • Valeria Bucci
  • Ernesto Longobardi
  • Paolo M. Panteghini
  • Maria Laura Parisi
  • Simone Pellegrino
  • Alberto Zanardi

Abstract

We discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the fiscal consolidation package adopted by Italy in 2011. Estimated at 3.3% of GDP, the tax measures were introduced to reduce public deficits without weakening the prospects of economic recovery or producing adverse redistributive outcomes. The tax reform mainly increases consumption and property taxes and gives relief for firms that recapitalize or hire young workers and women. To some extent, these measures are consistent with scholarly suggestions to foster short- and long-term economic growth by shifting the tax burden from capital and labor income towards consumption and property. Using microsimulation models, we evaluate the distributional and growth effects of the tax package. The indirect and property tax reforms are highly regressive, while the reform as a whole makes limited resources available for growth-enhancing policies, through a reduction in the effective corporate tax burden. We propose a revenue-neutral alternative reform that allows channeling more fiscal resources towards corporate tax relief, while at the same time producing less regressive distributional effects.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen in its journal FinanzArchiv.

Volume (Year): 68 (2012)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 445-465

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Handle: RePEc:mhr:finarc:urn:sici:0015-2218(201212)68:4_445:frdfct_2.0.tx_2-l

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Keywords: tax reform; fiscal consolidation; microsimulation; Italy;

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  1. Mervyn A. King & Don Fullerton, 1984. "The Taxation of Income from Capital: A Comparative Study of the United States, the United Kingdom, Sweden, and Germany," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number king84-1.
  2. Massimo Bordignon & Silvia Giannini & Paolo Panteghini, 2001. "Reforming Business Taxation: Lessons from Italy?," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 191-210, March.
  3. Doris Prammer, 2011. "Quality of taxation and the crisis: Tax shifts from a growth perspective," Taxation Papers 29, Directorate General Taxation and Customs Union, European Commission.
  4. Paolo M. Panteghini, 2001. "Dual income taxation : the choice of the imputed rate of return," Finnish Economic Papers, Finnish Economic Association, vol. 14(1), pages 5-13, Spring.
  5. Edyta Mazurek & Simone Pellegrino & Achille Vernizzi, 2010. "The Decomposition of the Redistributive Effect and the Issue of Close Equals Identification," Working papers 16, Former Department of Economics and Public Finance "G. Prato", University of Torino.
  6. Calmfors, Lars, 1993. "Lessons from the macroeconomic experience of Sweden," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 25-72, March.
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