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International Monetary Fund. Fiscal Affairs Dept.
In response to a request from Mr. Ignacio Briones Rojas, Minister of Finance of Chile, a remote mission was conducted by a joint team of staff from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the secretariat of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) during April – October 2020. The mission’s main purpose was to assist the Minister of Finance with technical support to review Chile’s tax expenditure methodology and its corrective excise taxes. The present report reflects the findings of the mission. This report was written jointly by the IMF and the OECD, with the IMF team leading the work assessing tax expenditures in the corporate income tax (CIT) and the analysis of excises, and the OECD team leading the work assessing tax expenditures in the personal income tax (PIT) and value added tax (VAT). A presentation of the main findings was given to the Minister of Finance on October 6, 2020. The report incorporates comments provided by the Ministry and the Chilean Revenue Administration.
Mr. Gabriel Quiros-Romero and Mr. Marshall B Reinsdorf
Calls for a more people-focused approach to statistics on economic performance, and concerns about inequality, environmental impacts, and effects of digitalization have put welfare at the top of the measurement agenda. This paper argues that economic welfare is a narrower concept than well-being. The new focus implies a need to prioritize filling data gaps involving the economic welfare indicators of the System of National Accounts 2008 (SNA) and improving their quality, including the quality of the consumption price indexes. Development of distributional indicators of income, consumption, and wealth should also be a priority. Definitions and assumptions can have big effects on these indicators and should be documented. Concerns have also arisen over potentially overlooked welfare growth from the emergence of the digital economy. However, the concern that free online platforms are missing from nominal GDP is incorrect. Also, many of the welfare effects of digitalization require complementary indicators, either because they are conceptually outside the boundary of GDP or impossible to quantify without making uncertain assumptions.
Ms. Elena Loukoianova, Yu Ching Wong, and Ioana Hussiada
This paper discusses the evolution of the household debt in Australia and finds that while higher-income and higher-wealth households tend to have higher debt, lower-income households may become more vulnerable to rising debt service over time. Then, the paper analyzes the impact of a monetary policy shock on households’ current consumption and durable expenditures depending on the level of household debt. The results corroborate other work that households’ response to monetary policy shocks depends on their debt and income levels. In particular, households with higher debt tend to reduce their current consumption and durable expenditures more than other households in response to a contractionary monetary policy shocks. However, households with low debt may not respond to monetary policy shocks, as they hold more interest-earning assets.
Ms. Grace B Li, James McAndrews, and Zhu Wang
It takes many years for more efficient electronic payments to be widely used, and the fees that merchants (consumers) pay for using those services are increasing (decreasing) over time. We address these puzzles by studying payments system evolution with a dynamic model in a twosided market setting. We calibrate the model to the U.S. payment card data, and conduct welfare and policy analysis. Our analysis shows that the market power of electronic payment networks plays important roles in explaining the slow adoption and asymmetric price changes, and the welfare impact of regulations may vary significantly through the endogenous R&D channel.
Ms. Lusine Lusinyan
The paper uses a supply-side framework based on a production function approach to assess the role of structural reforms in boosting long-term GDP growth in Argentina. The impact of product, labor, trade, and tax reforms on each supply-side channel—capital accumulation, labor utilization, and total factor productivity, proxied with an efficiency estimate—is assessed separately and then combined to derive the total impact on growth. The largest effect of structural reforms, involving regulatory changes that promote competition and facilitate flexible forms of employment, comes through the productivity/efficiency channel. Pro-competition regulation also improves labor utilization, while lower entry barriers and trade tariffs are important for capital accumulation. Structural reforms could have substantial effects on Argentina’s long-term GDP growth; for example, an ambitious reform effort to improve business regulatory environment would add 1–1½ percent to average annual growth of GDP.