EconPol Working Paper Series

Cover of EconPol Working Paper 41

Taxation of Digital Platforms

Marko Köthenbürger (EconPol Europe, ETH Zurich)

Tech giants such as Google and Facebook generate significant amounts of advertising income, which is mainly reported in low-tax countries. This has created a policy discussion of how to re-align the location of value creation and taxation, says author Marko Köthenbürger (EconPol Europe, ETH Zurich). The success of the business model of these digital platforms relies on the existence of indirect network effects, which are the prime reason why platforms exist and generate advertising income. To account for these effects, conventional tax policy needs to be adjusted. This includes an adjusted concept of nexus that should rely on the location of users, which generate the relevant indirect network effects. The recent EU proposal of a digital service tax goes in this direction and constitutes a policy option for other countries.

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Cover of EconPol Working Paper 40

Sovereign Debt Crisis in Portugal and Spain

António Afonso (EconPol Europe; ISEG – School of Economics and Management, Universidade de Lisboa; REM – Research in Economics and Mathematics, UECE), Nuno Verdial (ISEG – School of Economics and Management, Universidade de Lisboa)

In this working paper, António Afonso (EconPol Europe; ISEG – School of Economics and Management, Universidade de Lisboa; REM – Research in Economics and Mathematics, UECE) and Nuno Verdial (ISEG – School of Economics and Management, Universidade de Lisboa) analyze the events of the 2007/2008 financial crisis and European sovereign debt crisis with a focus on Portugal and Spain. They find that that the pricing of sovereign risk changed with the crisis and the “whatever it takes” speech of Mario Draghi. Specifically, market pricing of the Eurozone credit risk, liquidity risk and the risk appetite increased after the crisis and relaxed afterwards. However, there is no evidence of specific pricing regime changes after the speech in the case of Portugal and Spain. 

 

 

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Cover of EconPol Working Paper 39

Fiscal Consolidation and Automatic Stabilization: New Results

Mathias Dolls (EconPol Europe, ifo Institute, CESifo), Clemens Fuest (EconPol Europe, University of Munich, CESifo, ifo Institute), Andreas Peichl (EconPol Europe, University of Munich, CESifo, ifo Institute), Christian Wittneben (EconPol Europe, ifo Institute)

The share of income shocks absorbed by the tax and transfer system in the Eurozone declined from 48 percent in 2008 to 24 percent in 2011. For some of the countries most affected by the crisis, the stabilization effect was even negative in some years of the crisis, implying that the tax and transfer system amplified income shocks. In this EconPol working paper, Mathias Dolls (EconPol Europe, ifo Institute, CESifo), Clemens Fuest (EconPol Europe, University of Munich, CESifo, ifo Institute), Andreas Peichl (EconPol Europe, University of Munich, CESifo, ifo Institute) and Christian Wittneben (EconPol Europe, ifo Institute) analyze how the combined effect of automatic stabilizers and discretionary changes in tax-benefit systems affected the cushioning of income shocks. They propose a new summary measure of the combined effect of automatic stabilizers and discretionary policy changes based on micro data and counter-factual simulation. 

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Cover of EconPol Working Paper 38

Monetary Policy, Rational Confidence and Neo-Fisherian Depressions

Lucio Gobbi (EconPol Europe, University of Trento), Ronny Mazzocchi (European Parliament), Roberto Tamborini (EconPol Europe, University of Trento)

The "Neo-Fisherian" claim has been questioned on the ground that the Fisher equation cannot be used mechanically to peg the long-run inflation expectations. In this working paper, authors Lucio Gobbi (EconPol Europe, University of Trento), Ronny Mazzocchi (European Parliament) and Roberto Tamborini (EconPol Europe, University of Trento) study a New Keynesian economy where agents' inflation expectations are based on their correct understanding of the data generations process, and on their probabilistic confidence in the central bank's ability to keep inflation on target. They find that the Neo-Fisherian claim is a theoretical possibility depending on the interplay of a set of parameters and very low levels of agents' confidence. 

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Cover of Working Paper 37

Euro Area Reform Preferences of Central and Eastern European Economic Experts

Sebastian Blesse (EconPol Europe, ZEW Mannheim), Annika Havlik (EconPol Europe, ZEW Mannheim and University of Mannheim), Friedrich Heinemann (EconPol Europe, ZEW Mannheim and University of Heidelberg)

A variety of reforms have been implemented to improve the institutional set-up of the euro area over the last decade. Nevertheless, the political and academic reform debate remains intense and the future of the euro area is unclear. One striking feature of the ongoing debate is that it is characterized prominently by contributions from larger euro countries from Western Europe. This study was conducted to balance the dominance of Western European politicians and academics in the euro area reform debate. It explored the positions of 1800 economic experts from Central and Eastern European member states on a range of European Monetary Union reform topics, which were compared to benchmarks of surveyed experts in France, Germany and Italy. The results provide the first database to map expert communities in all CEE EU member states relative to the three reference countries.

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