Mr. Santiago Acosta Ormaechea, Samuel Pienknagura, and Carlo Pizzinelli
This study provides an overview of tax structures in LAC before the COVID-19 pandemic, compares it to OECD countries, and provides recommendations for growth-friendly and inclusive tax policy reforms. LAC countries collect significantly lower tax revenue relative to OECD countries and have tax structures that rely excessively on corporate-income taxes (CIT) while personal-income taxes (PIT) remain largely underutilized. LAC countries could strengthen their PIT to mobilize revenue and improve progressivity by addressing critical design flaws. Possible adverse growth effects could be mitigated by providing incentives to labor force participation and formalization (e.g., through earned-income tax credits). The ongoing global corporate income tax reforms present a great opportunity to reassess thoroughly the CIT in LAC. Specifically, reforms would need to focus on aligning CIT statutory rates with those of other regions—when assessed to be relatively high—to attract investment and alleviate profit shifting, and on broadening the corporate tax base. Value-added taxes (VAT) could be improved by tackling exemptions and reduced rates. Furthermore, while estimates of additional revenue from levying the VAT on the digital economy appear modest, taxing this sector as others in the economy is critical to avoid further tax base erosion.
Mrs. Swarnali A Hannan, Ms. Keiko Honjo, and Mr. Mehdi Raissi
Mexico’s fiscal response to the pandemic has been modest compared to its peers, reflecting the authorities’ desire to not issue new debt for spending. This approach, however, risks a more severe recession and a weaker economic recovery, with further costs in the future. Balancing the need for stronger near-term fiscal support for the people and the recovery against medium-term discipline, this paper lays out an alternative strategy. We show that credibly announcing a pro-growth and inclusive medium-term fiscal reform upfront—including increased tax capacity, higher public investment and strengthened social safety nets—would open space for larger short-term support and close medium-term fiscal gaps. Model simulations suggest that this package would boost output, limit lasting economic damage from the pandemic, and put debt trajectory on a declining path in the medium term as tax reforms pay off and risk premia decline.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department and International Monetary Fund. Legal Dept.
This Technical Assistance Report paper on Chile advices on the planned integration of the superintendency for banking supervision, Superintendencia de Bancos y Instituciones Financieras (SBIF), into the Comisión para el Mercado Financiero (CMF). While the approved Bills contain important enhancements to the governance and regulatory framework, several legal aspects would benefit from further clarification. These include aspects related to the mandate, objectives, powers, and governance of the CMF. This report discusses the mission’s main observations and recommendations regarding the integration of the SBIF into the CMF. The report also provides an overview of the existing supervisory architecture and discusses the legal mandate, objectives, and powers of the new CMF, followed by a discussion on the governance arrangements that existed prior to the integration and of the main changes brought in the Law recently approved. It also discusses a possible blueprint for the organizational structure of the new CMF aimed at realizing the desired synergies in the supervision function and strengthening conglomerate supervision.
This paper uses the strategy and data of Blanchard and Perotti (BP) to identify fiscal shocks and estimate fiscal multipliers for the United States. With these results, it computes the cumulative multiplier of Ramey and Zubairy (2018), now common in the literature. It finds that, contrary to the peak and through multipliers reported by BP, the cumulative tax multiplier is much larger than the cumulative spending one. Hence, the conclusions depend on the definition of multiplier. This methodology is also used to estimate the effects of fiscal shocks on economic activity in eight Latin American countries. The results suggest that the fiscal multipliers vary significantly across countries, and in some cases multipliers are larger than previously estimated.
This paper assesses the quality of the CBC’s communication policy by looking at the predictability and effectiveness of monetary policy communications by the Central Bank of Chile (CBC). To do so, we construct indeces of monetary policy surprises for the three major communication channels of the CBC: the release of policy meetings’ statements, minutes, and monetary policy reports (IPoM). We assess monetary policy predictability and efficacy by looking at the size and time-evolution of monetary policy surprises associated with meeting statements and the impact of the above communication channels on asset markets. We find that, in general, the CBC’s has been effective in its forward guidance through its statements and IPoM. Policy actions are quite predictable, especially post the global financia crisis. The response of equity prices and the exchange rate to monetary policy surprises have the right sign but are not robust. We also find an asymmetric response of equity prices to minutes suggesting that market participants extract information on the status of the economy especially when minutes have a loosening effect. Finally, to look at the macroeconomic impact we find that a 100 bps monetary policy tightening shock implies a decline in economic activity (IMACEC) of about 2 pp. after one year, while the response of inflation is more muted.
This paper presents a new database of fiscal consolidations for 14 Latin American and Caribbean economies during 1989-2016. We focus on discretionary changes in taxes and government spending primarily motivated by a desire to reduce the budget deficit and long-term fiscal health and not by a response to prospective economic conditions. To identify the motivation and budgetary impact of the fiscal policy changes, we examine contemporaneous policy documents, including Budgets, central bank reports, and IMF and OECD reports. The resulting series can be used to estimate the macroeconomic effects of fiscal consolidation for these economies
Income inequality in Latin America has declined during the last decade, in contrast to the experience in many other emerging and developed regions. However, Latin America remains the most unequal region in the world. This study documents the declining trend in income inequality in Latin America and proposes various reasons behind this important development. Using a panel econometric analysis for a large group of emerging and developing countries, we find that the Kuznets curve holds. Notwithstanding the limitations in the dataset and of cross-country regression analysis more generally, our results suggest that almost two-thirds of the recent decline in income inequality in Latin America is explained by policies and strong GDP growth, with policies alone explaining more than half of this total decline. Higher education spending is the most important driver, followed by stronger foreign direct investment and higher tax revenues. Results suggest that policies and to some extent positive growth dynamics could play an important role in lowering inequality further.
Vincent Belinga, Ms. Dora Benedek, Ruud A. de Mooij, and Mr. John Norregaard
By how much will faster economic growth boost government revenue? This paper estimates short- and long-run tax buoyancy in OECD countries between 1965 and 2012. We find that, for aggregate tax revenues, short-run tax buoyancy does not significantly differ from one in the majority of countries; yet, it has increased since the late 1980s so that tax systems have generally become better automatic stabilizers. Long-run buoyancy exceeds one in about half of the OECD countries, implying that GDP growth has helped improve structural fiscal deficit ratios. Corporate taxes are by far the most buoyant, while excises and property taxes are the least buoyant. For personal income taxes and social contributions, short- and long-run buoyancies have declined since the late 1980s and have, on average, become lower than one.