Institute for Research in Economic and Fiscal issues

IREF Europe - Institute for Research in Economic and Fiscal issues

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Am 6. Juni in London: IREF Workshop
In Kooperation mit der St. Mary’s University

Workshop: 6. Juni 2016 in Kooperation mit der St. Mary’s University

Organisatoren: Philip Booth und Enrico Colombatto



Programm (main campus):

10:00 —10:30
Francesco Ramella: Capture Mechanisms in the Transport Sector

10:30 —10:45
Discussion

10:45 – 11:15
Lucy Minford: Tax, Regulation and Growth: A Case Study of the UK

11:15 – 11:30
Discussion

11:30 – 11:45
Coffee break

11:45 – 12:15
Sergio Beraldo: Welfare Economics for Superhumans. The legitimacy of public choice when preferences are incoherent.

12:15 – 12:30
Discussion

12:30 – 13.30
Lunch Break

13:30 – 14:00
Alexander Fink: Income taxation and the timing of marriage

14:00 – 14:15
Discussion

14:15 – 14:45
Giovanni Ramello: Bankruptcy Delay and Firms’ Dynamics
(co-authored with Alessandro Melcarne)

14:45 – 15:00
Discussion

15:00 – 15:15
Coffee break

15:15 – 15:45
Gordon Kerr: Stress Test Show UK Banks Have Been Subsidized But Remain Unreformed (co-authored with Kevin Dowd)

15:45 – 16:00
Discussion

Abstracts der präsentierten Papiere

Francesco Ramella:
Capture Mechanisms in the Transport Sector

The paper aims at shedding a light on how the "capture" mechanisms defined by the public choice theory operates in the transport sector. The paper presents in its first part a definition of the concept of "capture" (prevailing of private/concentrated interests on public/dispersed ones), of public objectives and private or egoistic interests for politicians, bureaucrats, regulated companies and contractors. Then the relationships between subjects and actors are described in depth alongside with capture instruments and the role of "hidden agendas". Some relevant examples in the transport sector are given for illustration and remedies in order to pursue the public interest are analyzed.



Lucy Minford:
Tax, Regulation and Growth: A Case Study of the UK

This paper investigates the causal relationship between government policy and UK output and productivity growth in 1970-2009. In an open economy DSGE model of the UK, productivity growth is determined by the tax and regulatory environment in which firms operate. Identification is assured for the DSGE model; therefore the direction of causality is unambiguously from policy to productivity. The model is estimated and tested by Indirect Inference, a simulation-based method with good power against general misspecification. The results offer robust empirical evidence that temporary changes in policies underpinning the business environment can have long-lasting effects on economic growth.



Sergio Beraldo, Università di Napoli “Federico II” (Italy):
Welfare Economics for Superhumans. The legitimacy of public choice when preferences are incoherent.

The ordinary approach to normative analysis treats each individual’s preferences as given and accepts the idea that these preferences constitute the standard by which an individual’s welfare must be assessed . An attempt to solve the problem of reconciling behavioural with normative economics is grounded in the idea that reconstructing individuals’ true preferences is necessary and possible. In particular, the normative standard might be obtained by reconstructing what the individual would have chosen had he/she been perfectly informed, endowed with absolute self-control and unlimited cognitive abilities. Within this perspective, assessing well-being would simply be assessing preference satisfaction of superhumans.
In this paper I argue that any attempt to find out individuals’ latent (purified) preferences and to use them as a standard of normative analysis leads to a superimposition of artificial preferences over actual preferences. This violates individuals’ autonomy and – more importantly - undermines the legitimacy of public choices.



Alexander Fink:
Income taxation and the timing of marriage

By modifying the incentive structure, taxes affect human behavior. I investigate how the German income tax code influences the timing of civil marriages. The German income tax code contains provisions from which married couples stand to benefit relative to unmarried couples. If their individual incomes differ, legally married couples may benefit from filing their income taxes jointly due to a progressive income tax. The gain from joint taxation for married couples accrues in every year. Couples also enjoy it in the year in which they marry, independent of the month of the marriage. I use data from the German Socio-Economic Panel to the hypothesis that couples with larger gains from joint taxation are more likely to marry late in the current year instead of early in the subsequent year. The results provide strong support for the hypothesis that pecuniary gains from joint taxation incentivize couples to prepone their marriages to the current year.



Alessandro Melcarne and Giovanni Ramello (G. Ramello presenting), DiGSPES, Università del Piemonte Orientale (Italy):

Bankruptcy Delay and Firms’ Dynamics.

In this paper we explore the impact of bankruptcy procedure’s length on ?rms’ dynamics, using Italy as a case study. Relying on a previous literature dealing with the concept of entrepreneur “friendly” bankruptcy, we stress the idea that bankruptcy institutions, although connected to a painful event for ?rms, might still yield bene?cial consequences on a societal level. In particular we ?nd evidence that quicker judicial resolutions of liquidation bankruptcies have an impact on ?rms’ entry and exit rates in Italy, by reducing the indirect costs that a bankrupt ?rm must undergo and allowing assets to be allocated in a more e?cient way. Such e?ect seems to be related with ?rms’ organizational structure and size, suggesting that limited liability companies and sole-proprietorship enterprises are not a?ected by similar concerns as partnerships among entrepreneurs



Gordon Kerr:
Stress Test Show UK Banks Have Been Subsidized But Remain Unreformed (co-authored with Kevin Dowd)


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