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Italy’s policy of fiscal consolidation and growth-friendly structural reforms has substantially improved its economic prospects, but the adverse sentiment that the country has faced in the sovereign bond market over the past years has deep roots.
After peaking in the first half of 2008, international imbalances declined sharply during the global
crisis of 2008-09, in part reflecting cyclical factors such as large contractions in domestic demand on the back of bursting housing bubbles in a number of deficit countries, as well as large declines in cross-border capital flows, interest rates and commodity prices.
Restoring fiscal sustainability is a major challenge in Slovenia. Yet, the performance in terms of expenditure control is poor and public expenditure on social spending increased briskly during the crisis, significantly more than on average across the OECD.
This paper puts the original Reinhart-Rogoff dataset, made public by Herndon et al. (2013), to a formal econometric test to pin down debt thresholds endogenously. We show that the nonlinear relation from debt to growth is not very robust.
Intergovernmental fiscal frameworks usually reflect fundamental societal choices and history and are not foremost geared towards achieving economic policy objectives. Yet, like most institutional arrangements, fiscal relations affect the behaviour of firms, households and governments and thereby economic activity.
With gross government debt surpassing 200% of GDP, Japan’s fiscal situation is in uncharted territory. In addition to robust nominal GDP growth, correcting two decades of budget deficits requires a large and sustained fiscal consolidation based on a detailed and credible multi-year plan that includes measures to control spending and raise revenue.
The tax burden in Switzerland is low in international comparison, largely reflecting the substantial non-tax compulsory contributions towards the health and pension systems which are managed by private institutions. Taxation of personal income and labour earnings is relatively high, whereas the taxation of consumption is low.
Taxes and cash transfers reduce income inequality more in France than elsewhere in the OECD, because of the large size of the flows involved. But the system is complex overall. Its effectiveness could be enhanced in many ways, for example so as to achieve the same amount of redistribution at lower cost.
This book deals with two issues. The first concerns the various measurement of fiscal decentralization in general and their usefulness for policy analysis. The second and more specific issue concerns the taxonomy of intergovernmental grants and the limits of the current classifications.
The challenge for fiscal policy in Slovakia is to achieve fiscal consolidation in a way which supports
the fragile recovery and protects spending on areas which are important for re-embarking on a trajectory of
high trend growth and underpinning a catch-up in living standards.