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Tax/benefit Systems and Growth Potential of the EU

  • Alho, Kari E. O.
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    The EU has ambitious goals in terms of economic performance. The goals are to be reached in combination with social cohesion and sustainable development in terms of environment. The key economic policy instruments to be used by the EU member states are comprised of taxes and benefits. The economic and political framework for carrying out measures in this field is currently delineated, both encouraged and constrained, by factors such as ageing, globalisation and more intense international system competition in tax and social policies. The aim of the project Tax/benefit systems and potential growth of the EU - TAXBEN (SCS8-CT-2004-502639), as outlined in SSP Priority 8 Topic 3.1. Task 4, has been to carry out an in-depth analysis of tax/benefit policies in five broad themes, where these policies play a crucial role in terms of the key EU goals : Employment; Corporate taxes under tax competition; Productivity growth and convergence; Macroeconomic policies under a single monetary policy; and Environment and climate change. The project was carried out by seven European economic policy research institutes within the ENEPRI (European Network of Economic Policy Research Institutes) network. The project team has used many novel approaches, especially in building new tools that rely on the approach of general equilibrium models so that both the direct and indirect effects of taxation can be analysed. Also new applications of existing large-scale multi-country models were carried out to evaluate the impact of tax policies. In addition, recourse was taken to econometric estimation of the relationships between key economic target variables, on the one hand, and tax/benefit and other fiscal policies and other labour market indicators, on the other, using large international data sets. A number of theoretical approaches on economic policies under the single currency were carried out, too. The analysis covered the EU-15 countries, the New Member States, in some cases other OECD countries as well, and some research efforts made had a global approach to policy making. Altogether, the project’s output was 24 working papers in the five Work packages, and five seminars held, in addition to the Final Conference. The project delivered, on the one hand, a large number of research insights on actual behaviour related to tax/benefit systems and, on the other hand, reached conclusions which should be taken into account while considering policy-making in, and reforms related to, tax/benefit policies in the EU. The project’s web site at www.taxben.org provides detailed information on the whole output and events arranged within the project. Contact person is Kari E.O. Alho : Kari.Alho@etla.fi, scientific co-ordinator of TAXBEN.

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    Paper provided by The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy in its series Discussion Papers with number 1122.

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    Length: 89 pages
    Date of creation: 2008
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:rif:dpaper:1122
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    1. Ruud de Mooij & S. Ederveen, 2001. "Taxation and foreign direct investment; a synthesis of empirical research," CPB Discussion Paper 3, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    2. Postel-Vinay & Robin, 2002. "Equilibrium wage dispersion with worker and employer heterogeneity," Working Papers 155908, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, France.
    3. Roberto Perotti, 2004. "Estimating the effects of fiscal policy in OECD countries," Working Papers 276, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    4. Alho, Kari, 2002. "The Equilibrium Rate of Unemployment and Policies to Lower It: The Case of Finland," Discussion Papers 839, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
    5. Blanchard, Olivier & Wolfers, Justin, 2000. "The Role of Shocks and Institutions in the Rise of European Unemployment: The Aggregate Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(462), pages C1-33, March.
    6. Perotti, Roberto, 2005. "Estimating the Effects of Fiscal Policy in OECD Countries," CEPR Discussion Papers 4842, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Olivier Blanchard & Roberto Perotti, 2002. "An Empirical Characterization Of The Dynamic Effects Of Changes In Government Spending And Taxes On Output," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1329-1368, November.
    8. Belot, M.V.K. & van Ours, J.C., 2000. "Does the Recent Success of some OECD Countries in Lowering their Unemployment Rates lie in the Clever Design of their Labour Market Reforms?," Discussion Paper 2000-40, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    9. Kaitila, Ville, 2006. "Productivity, Hours Worked, and Tax/Benefit Systems in Europe and Beyond," Discussion Papers 1015, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
    10. Roel M. W. J. Beetsma & Xavier Debrun, 2004. "Reconciling Stability and Growth: Smart Pacts and Structural Reforms," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 51(3), pages 431-456, November.
    11. G. Carone & A. Salom�ki, 2001. "Reforms in tax-benefit systems in order to increase emplyoment incentives in the EU," European Economy - Economic Papers 160, Directorate General Economic and Monetary Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
    12. Arjan Lejour & Paul Veenendaal & Gerard Verweij & Nico van Leeuwen, 2006. "Worldscan; a model for international economic policy analysis," CPB Document 111, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
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