IWH Medium-Term Projection The IWH medium-term projection shows: If Germany wants to stick to both its current debt...
The Nasty Gap 30 years after unification: Why East Germany is still 20% poorer than the...
Reports of the European Forecasting Network (EFN)
Reports of the European Forecasting Network (EFN) The European Forecasting...
The Effect of Foreign Institutional Ownership on Corporate Tax Avoidance: International Evidence
Journal of International Accounting, Auditing and Taxation,
We find that foreign institutional investors (FIIs) reduce their investee firms’ tax avoidance. We provide evidence that the effect is driven by the institutional distance between FIIs’ home countries/regions and host countries/regions. Specifically, we find that the effect is driven by the influence of FIIs from countries/regions with high-quality institutions (i.e., common law, high government effectiveness, and high regulatory quality) on investee firms located in countries/regions with low-quality institutions. Furthermore, we show that the effect is concentrated on FIIs with little experience in the investee countries/regions or FIIs with stronger monitoring incentives. Finally, we find that FIIs are more likely to vote against management if the firm has a higher level of tax avoidance.
25.01.2021 • 2/2021
High public deficits not only due to the pandemic – Medium-term options for fiscal policy
According to the IWH’s medium-term projection, Germany's gross domestic product will grow more slowly between 2020 and 2025 than before, not only because of the pandemic crisis, but also because the work force will decline. The resulting structural public deficits are, if the legal framework remains unchanged, likely to be higher than the debt brake allows. Consolidation measures, especially if they relate to government revenues, entail economic losses in the short term. “There is much to be said, also from a theoretical point of view, for not abolishing the debt brake, but for relaxing it to some extent,” says Oliver Holtemöller, head of the Department of Macroeconomics and vice president at Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
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19.04.2018 • 7/2018
Joint Economic Forecast Spring 2018: Germany’s Economic Experts Raise Forecast Slightly
Berlin, 19 April – Germany’s leading economic experts raised their forecasts for 2018 and 2019 slightly in their Spring Joint Economic Forecast released on Thursday in Berlin. They now expect economic growth of 2.2 percent for this year and 2.0 percent for 2019, versus 2.0 percent and 1.8 percent respectively in their autumn forecast. “The German economy is still booming, but the air is getting thinner as unused capacities are shrinking“, notes Timo Wollmershaeuser, ifo Head of Economic Forecasting. Commenting on the new German government’s economic policy, he adds: “It is precisely when the government’s coffers are full that fiscal policy should reflect the implications of its actions for overall economic stability and the sustainability of public finances. The extension of statutory pension benefits outlined in the coalition agreement runs counter to the idea of sustainability.”
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Does Social Capital Matter in Corporate Decisions? Evidence from Corporate Tax Avoidance
Journal of Accounting Research,
We investigate whether the levels of social capital in U.S. counties, as captured by strength of civic norms and density of social networks in the counties, are systematically related to tax avoidance activities of corporations with headquarters located in the counties. We find strong negative associations between social capital and corporate tax avoidance, as captured by effective tax rates and book-tax differences. These results are incremental to the effects of local religiosity and firm culture toward socially irresponsible activities. They are robust to using organ donation as an alternative social capital proxy and fixed effect regressions. They extend to aggressive tax avoidance practices. Additionally, we provide corroborating evidence using firms with headquarters relocation that changes the exposure to social capital. We conclude that social capital surrounding corporate headquarters provides environmental influences constraining corporate tax avoidance.
Measuring Income Tax Evasion Using Bank Credit: Evidence from Greece
Quarterly Journal of Economics,
We document that in semiformal economies, banks lend to tax-evading individuals based on the bank’s assessment of the individual’s true income. This observation leads to a novel approach to estimate tax evasion. We use microdata on household credit from a Greek bank and replicate the bank underwriting model to infer the banks estimate of individuals’ true income. We estimate that 43–45% of self-employed income goes unreported and thus untaxed. For 2009, this implies €28.2 billion of unreported income, implying forgone tax revenues of over €11 billion or 30% of the deficit. Our method innovation allows for estimating the industry distribution of tax evasion in settings where uncovering the incidence of hidden cash transactions is difficult using other methods. Primary tax-evading industries are professional services—medicine, law, engineering, education, and media. We conclude with evidence that contemplates the importance of institutions, paper trail, and political willpower for the persistence of tax evasion.
Structural Change during Transition: Is Russia Becoming a Service Economy?
Volkswirtschaftliche Diskussionsbeiträge der Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaftlichen Fakultät, Universität Potsdam, Nr. 80,
This paper analyses the structural change in Russia during the transition from the planned to a market economy. With regard to the famous three sector hypothesis, broad economic sectors were formed as required by this theory. The computation of their shares at GNP at market prices using Input-Output tables, and the adjustment of results from distortions, generated as side effects of tax avoidance practices, shows results that clearly reject claims that Russia would be on the road to a post-industrial service economy. Instead, at least until 2001, a tendency of “primarisation“ could be observed, that presents Russia closer to less-developed countries.