- Expanding Access to Administrative Data: The Case of Tax Authorities in Finland and the UK
with Jarkko Harju, Kaisa Kotakorpi, Janne Tukiainen and Jouko Verho (VATT)
- Revise & resubmit at International Tax and Public Finance
- ↳ Paper
- ↳ Abstract: We discuss typical issues in getting access to and using high-quality administrative tax data and in cooperating with the tax authority, including running field experiments. We reflect on practical solutions to these issues, including aligning the different objectives and reducing information asymmetries between researchers and practitioners, based on our experiences of working with the tax authorities in Finland and the UK. We provide examples of how to improve the overall research environment focusing on two successful case studies: the HMRC Datalab in the UK and the remote access to data from Statistics Finland. We propose two key arguments to persuade policymakers elsewhere to follow similar practices: improved data security and equality of access across researchers.
- Evaluating the Macro-representativeness of a Firm-level Database: An Application for the Spanish Economy
with David Lopez-Rodriguez and Enrique Moral Benito (Bank of Spain)
- ↳ Paper
- ↳ Abstract: The availability of a firm-level database that represents the productive sector of an economy at the aggregate level is a necessary condition to undertake both reliable policy analysis and economic research in multiple areas. In this paper, we document the construction of a new representative firm-level dataset for Spain using detailed micro-level information provided by firms to the Spanish Commercial Registry and the Bank of Spain. A comparison with National Accounts figures serves to illustrate that the new micro-dataset is able to replicate the growth rates of output, employment and wage bill of the private sector. Using official statistics from the National Institute of Statistics (INE), we show that the resulting dataset covers more than 80% of firms registered in the census over the years 2000-2013 and, more importantly, the resulting dataset replicates the firm size distribution of the Spanish non-financial market economy. The same representativeness analysis is done for the manufacturing sector indicating that this sector is particularly well-represented in the dataset.
- Gearing Up for a More Efficient Tax System: An Assessment of Tax Efficiency, a Cost Benefit Analysis of Tax Expenditures, and An Exploration of Labor Informality and Its Tax Implications
with Gianluca Mele (World Bank)
- ↳ Report
- ↳ Abstract: We analyze the response of firms’ long-run investment to changes in the user cost of capital in the Dominican Republic, using the universe of corporate tax returns from 2006-2015. We find that firms in special economic zones (SEZ), which receive a variety of tax incentives, create significantly more jobs than outside the SEZs. However, these employment gains come at a very high fiscal cost. The fiscal cost of each additional job created by firms in SEZs is about five times larger than average income per worker in the rest of the economy, casting serious doubt on the cost-effectiveness of SEZ tax expenditures.