WIFO Working Papers
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WIFO Working Papers, 2018, (564), 43 Seiten
While trust in the business sector is crucial for well-functioning markets, there is surprisingly little empirical work on
its sources. Available research recognises social trust as a major force explaining confidence in political institutions.
Regulation is frequently advocated to foster trust in companies as it is supposed to reduce scope for opportunistic behaviour.
Based on individual level data from World Values Survey, European Values Studies and economic regulation data from the Economic
Freedom of the World project the paper empirically investigates joint effects of social trust, intensity and quality of regulation
on public trust in major companies. Our findings suggest that it is not the intensity of economic regulation per se which
matters for trust in companies but that the impartiality with which rules are enforced is decisive, even when we control for
social trust. Trust in business can be facilitated by an implicit guarantee of governments to fair and impartial treatment.
Online seit: 18.05.2018 0:00
WIFO Working Papers, 2018, (563), 33 Seiten
This paper addresses three simple questions: how should the contribution of high-growth firms to job creation be measured?
how much does this contribution vary across countries? to what extent does the cross-country variation depend on variation
in the proportion of high-growth firms in the business population? The first is a methodological question which we answer
using a more highly articulated version of the standard job creation and destruction accounts. The other two are empirical
questions which we answer using a purpose-built data set assembled from national firm-level sources and covering nine countries,
spanning the ten three year periods from 2000-2003 to 2009-2012. The basic principle governing the development of the accounting
framework is the choice of appropriate comparators. Firstly, when measuring contributions to job creation, we should focus
on just job creating firms, otherwise we are summing over contributions from firms with positive, zero, and negative job creation
numbers. Secondly, because we know growth depends in part on size, the "natural" comparison for high-growth firms is with
job creation by similar-sized firms which simply did not grow as fast as high-growth firms. However, we also show how the
measurement framework can be further extended to include, for example, a consistent measure of the contribution of small job
creating firms. On the empirical side, we find that the high-growth firm share of job creation by large job creating firms
varies across countries by a factor of 2, from around one third to two thirds. A relatively small proportion of this cross-country
variation is accounted for by variations in the influence of high-growth firms on job creation. On average high-growth firms
generated between three or four times as many jobs as large non-high-growth job creating firms, but this ratio is relatively
similar across countries. The bulk of the cross-country variation in high-growth firm contribution to job creation is accounted
for by the relative abundance (or rarity) of high-growth firms. Moreover, we also show that the measurement of abundance depends
upon the choice of measurement framework: the "winner" of a cross-national high-growth firm "beauty contest" on one measure
will not necessarily be the winner on another.
Online seit: 17.05.2018 0:00
WIFO Working Papers, 2018, (562), 43 Seiten
The New View on fiscal policy (as coined by Furman 2016) represents a rethinking of the main-stream consensus on the optimal
macroeconomic policy mix. It focuses on a reassessment of the relative effectiveness of fiscal policy and its ability to stabilise
the economy when monetary policy reaches its limit. This paper aims to present in detail the main principles of the New View
as proposed by Furman (2016), to extend them, bring additional theoretical and empirical evidence, as well as concrete policy
implications for the architecture of the European Monetary Union. The New View builds upon five core principles: Firstly,
fiscal policy is a significant and efficient complement to monetary policy at the zero lower bound on theoretical grounds.
Secondly, we take a closer look at the empirical evidence on government spending multipliers in a recession, both in the DSGE
and in the VAR literature, and show it points to much higher multipliers than in normal times. Thirdly, we provide evidence
to why fiscal space is actually higher than normally perceived in a recession, because fiscal stimuli can pay for themselves
by enhancing current growth and potential output. We shortly discuss whether it is not better to have a sustained stimulus
rather than a short one and whether enhanced global spillover effects in an environment of insufficient aggregate demand further
enhance fiscal policy effectiveness. All of the above arguments point to the welfare enhancing effects of fiscal stimulus
during a zero lower bound episode and that an approach, led by the New View, would have delivered better macroeconomic outcomes
during the Eurozone crisis. We then discuss what such an approach could mean for a more resilient EMU architecture and for
stabilisation mechanisms in the Euro Area.
Online seit: 20.04.2018 0:00
WIFO Working Papers, 2018, (561), 26 Seiten
The increase of wealth inequality in many EU countries has spurred interest in wealth taxation. While taxes on wealth for
a long time have played only a marginal role in the public finance and taxation literature, more recently a variety of arguments
are brought forward in favour of (higher) wealth taxation. At the same time, tax competition has led to an almost complete
disappearance of recurrent net wealth taxes in Europe. By dealing with non- and under-reporting in the Household and Consumption
Survey (HFCS) data set provided by the European Central Bank, we are able to estimate the wealth distribution within 20 EU
countries and the revenue potential of a progressive EU-wide net wealth tax.
Online seit: 15.04.2018 0:00
WIFO Working Papers, 2018, (560), 30 Seiten
We develop a multivariate dynamic factor model that exploits euro area country-specific information on output and inflation
for estimating an area-wide measure of the output gap. In the proposed multi-country framework we moreover allow for flexible
stochastic volatility specifications for both the error variances and the innovations to the latent quantities in order to
deal with potential changes in the commonalities of business cycle movements. By tracing the relative importance of the common
euro area output gap component as a means to explaining movements in both output and inflation over time, the paper provides
valuable insights in the evolution of the degree of synchronicity of the country-specific business cycles. In an out-of-sample
forecasting exercise, the paper shows that the proposed approach performs well as compared to other well-known benchmark specifications.
Online seit: 13.03.2018 0:00
WIFO Working Papers, 2018, (559), 26 Seiten
The aim of this paper is to map legal aspects that should be taken into account in designing a carbon tax. The survey of the
legal literature concludes that many different aspects have to be taken into account in designing a carbon tax, both with
respect to the kind of legal instruments to be used and the actual design of the tax. It is analysed how these legal concepts
relate to economic theory. This overview of legal considerations may help in creating a sustainable, effective and efficient
regulatory system for reducing emissions, as carbon taxes can play a crucial role for achieving long-term emission reductions.
Online seit: 01.03.2018 0:00
WIFO Working Papers, 2018, (558), 61 Seiten
We assess distributive, macroeconomic, and CO2 emission impacts of CO2 tax schemes in Austria by applying the macroeconomic
input-output model DYNK[AUT]. The tax schemes analysed focus primarily on CO2 emissions not covered by the European Emission
Trading System (ETS), applying different CO2 tax rates as well as tax compensation schemes. We perform comparative scenario
analysis for our model's base year (i.e., short-term impacts). Our model simulations indicate that – without tax compensation
– impacts on households can be regressive if measured as tax burden relative to income, and are found to be rather proportional
if measured as tax burden relative to expenditure or as changes in total expenditure and income. Lower income households benefit
more from tax compensations (lump sum payments), i.e., CO2 taxes with compensation measures for households lead to progressive
tax burden impacts. Energy-related CO2 emissions decrease quite substantially in non-ETS sectors, although households react
inelastic. Value added in most non-ETS industry and service sectors declines only slightly without tax compensation and commodity
import shares are hardly affected. Decreasing employers' social contribution (i.e., lowering labour costs) mitigates negative
impacts in most non-ETS industry and service sectors. GDP decreases very moderately without tax recycling, depending on the
tax rate. Employment effects are similar but smaller. Tax recycling leads to negligible GDP impacts and increases employment.
Our simulations thus suggest that CO2 taxes could be a crucial and socially acceptable element within a comprehensive set
of policy instruments in order to contribute to achieving greenhouse-gas emission targets for non-ETS sectors in Austria.
Online seit: 01.03.2018 0:00
WIFO Working Papers, 2018, (557), 22 Seiten
This paper examines the implementation issues and barriers for introducing a carbon tax at EU member state level. Important
success determinants are related to the political economy of introducing taxes (negotiations with stakeholders, concessions,
changes in proposed legislation, compromises, etc.) which translate i.a. into competitiveness issues, and fairness/equity/distribution
issues. For these the design of the carbon tax exemptions, and safeguards to prevent progressivity and the use of the tax
proceeds are important. The analysis will focus on the "frontrunner" countries in the EU which have been very successful in
terms of the introduction of carbon taxes (Sweden, Denmark and Finland). The countries employed different implementation strategies
but underscore the importance of successful issue, timing, linking and to foster political support by safeguarding competitiveness
and by addressing income distributions.
Online seit: 01.03.2018 0:00
WIFO Working Papers, 2018, (556), 17 Seiten
The excitement about concluding the Paris Agreement is giving way to the sobering realisation that a lot more needs to be
done to attain its climate policy objective. More and more EU member countries embrace carbon taxes but the national measures
differ strongly. In an integrated European market this challenges the level playing field of competing industries and the
transboundary nature of regulating a global pollutant and calls for a solution on EU level (or higher). Past attempts to regulate
carbon emissions at EU level by fiscal measures have, however, been markedly unsuccessful. This paper therefore examines introduction
issues and barriers of a CO2 tax at EU level and offers policy suggestions to move forward.
Online seit: 01.03.2018 0:00
WIFO Working Papers, 2018, (555), 20 Seiten
This paper provides an overview of energy and (implicit) CO2 taxation in the EU member countries. Against the background of
the EU energy taxation directives, energy and implicit CO2 tax rates in the EU countries are discussed, focussing on taxation
in the transport sector as a major non-ETS emitter. Empirical evidence on the impact of energy and carbon taxes on energy
use and emissions is presented and the economic and distributional effects of energy and carbon taxes are then discussed.
Research on energy price elasticities suggests that energy and carbon taxation can make a significant contribution towards
achieving emission reductions, particularly in the transport sector where greenhouse gas emissions continue to be on the rise
in the EU. Evidence on the economic impacts of energy and carbon taxes furthermore shows that a double divided can be achieved.
With respect to the distributional impacts of carbon and energy taxes evidence is, however, mixed. While empirical studies
generally negate regressive effects for taxes on transport fuels, energy and carbon taxes on heating fuels tend to be found
Online seit: 01.03.2018 0:00