Ms. Li Liu, Mr. Ben Lockwood, Miguel Almunia, and Eddy H.F. Tam
Using administrative tax records for UK businesses, we document both bunching in annual turnover below the VAT registration threshold and persistent voluntary registration by almost half of the firms below the threshold. We develop a conceptual framework that can simultaneously explain these two apparently conflicting facts. The framework also predicts that higher intermediate input shares, lower product-market competition and a lower share of business to consumer (B2C) sales lead to voluntary registration. The predictions are exactly the opposite for bunching. We test the theory using linked VAT and corporation tax records from 2004-2014, finding empirical support for these predictions.
On behalf of the Finnish authorities would like to convey their gratitude for the comprehensive and candid discussions during the Article IV consultation and the FSAP mission. The authorities find the analysis in the reports of great value and useful for assessing progress of key reforms adopted in the government's ambitious program for reviving economic growth and stabilizing public finances, and for maintaining a well-functioning and stable financial system. The authorities' views have been accurately documented and they broadly concur with staffs analysis and policy recommendations.
This paper investigates the asymmetries in trade spillovers from sector-specific technology shocks in China to selected euro area countries. We use a Ricardian-gravity trade model to estimate sectoral competitiveness in individual euro area countries. Simulations on the impact of productivity shocks in Chinese textiles and machinery suggest that the required adjustment in wages, prices, and factor re-allocation is widely heterogenous across euro area countries on accounts of their different specialization patterns. This raises the question of the distribution of gains and losses from external trade shocks.
This paper attempts to explain the recent rise and differentiation of sovereign spreads across the countries of the eurozone. Following the onset of the subprime crisis in July 2007, spreads rose but mainly on account of common global factors. The rescue of Bear Stearns in March 2008 marked a turning point. Countries thereafter were increasingly differentiated. Sovereign spreads of a eurozone country tended to rise when the prospects of its domestic financial sector worsened. It appears, therefore, that the rescue of Bear Stearns created a link between financial sector vulnerabilities and a larger contingent liability on public finances. Following the failure of Lehman Brothers, spreads also rose faster for countries with higher ratios of public debt-to-GDP. These transitional dynamics appear to have concluded with the nationalization of Anglo Irish: sovereign spreads throughout the eurozone jumped, with the jump emphasizing the differentiation by financial sector vulnerability and public debt levels. The results imply that, to varying degrees, countries may have moved to a new regime of weak economic outlook, financial sector fragilities, and strains on public finances.
The Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID) which comes to life on November 1, 2007, represents a major step toward the creation of a single, more competitive, cross-border securities market in Europe. Together with other components of the European Commission's Financial Services Action Plan, MiFID has the potential to significantly transform the provision of financial services and the functioning of capital markets in Europe. This paper assesses the directive and the dynamics it creates from a broad perspective, focusing on those aspects that carry relatively higher transformation potential, and on the appropriate supervisory arrangements for European securities markets once MiFID is operational.
This technical note analyzes the competition in the banking sector in Denmark. It reveals that Denmark has a fairly competitive and efficient banking sector. Measured by various indicators, efficiency of banking intermediation has been improving in recent years. The banking sector has become concentrated, and profitability of banks is relatively high and growing. The Danish Bankers Association and the Danish Consumers Association, in collaboration with the Danish Financial Supervisory Authority, should continue efforts to promote the transparency of pricing and quality of different products and services offered by banks.