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  • Efficiency; Optimal Taxation x
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Philip Daniel, Alan Krupnick, Ms. Thornton Matheson, Mr. Peter J. Mullins, Ian W.H. Parry, and Artur Swistak
This paper suggests that the environmental and commercial features of shale gas extraction do not warrant a significantly different fiscal regime than recommended for conventional gas. Fiscal policies may have a role in addressing some environmental risks (e.g., greenhouse gases, scarce water, local air pollution) though in some cases their net benefits may be modest. Simulation analyses suggest, moreover, that special fiscal regimes are generally less important than other factors in determining shale gas investments (hence there appears little need for them), yet they forego significant revenues.
Mr. David Coady, Valentina Flamini, and Louis Sears
Understanding who benefits from fuel price subsidies and the welfare impact of increasing fuel prices is key to designing, and gaining public support for, subsidy reform. This paper updates evidence for developing countries on the magnitude of the welfare impact of subsidy reform and its distribution across income groups, incorporating more recent studies and expanding the number of countries. These studies confirm that a very large share of benefits from price subsidies goes to high-income households, further reinforcing existing income inequalities. The results can also help to approximate the welfare impact of subsidy reform for countries where the data necessary for such an analysis is not available.
Mr. James L. Smith
This paper provides a conceptual overview of economists’ attempts to learn about the effects of taxes on extractive resources. The emphasis is on research methods and techniques, with no attempt to provide a comprehensive tabulation of previous empirical results or policy conclusions regarding preferred tax instruments or systems. We argue, in fact, that the nature of such conclusions largely depends on the researcher’s choice of modeling framework. Many alternative frameworks and approaches have been developed in the literature. Our goal is to describe the differences among them and to note their strengths and limitations.
Mr. Rabah Arezki, Mr. Herbert Lui, Mr. Marc G Quintyn, and Mr. Frederik G Toscani
The paper provides a detailed description of a novel dataset on education attainment in public administrations covering the period 1981-2011 for 178 countries. The dataset uses information extracted from CVs for over 130,000 mid to senior level officials from mainly central banks and ministries of economy and finance. Our main finding is that there is little heterogeneity across regions when considering a non quality-adjusted measure of education attainment in public administrations. Adjusting our measure for quality, using a country wide academic ranking, reveals important cross-regional heterogeneity differing from that of standard measures of education attainment for the general population. The dataset also allows us to uncover important patterns in public administrations' education attainment along gender and seniority across regions. We further use the dataset to explore a few applications which provide some evidence of (i) the importance of salary incentives in attracting highly educated staff and (ii) a positive association between education attainment in public administrations and government effectiveness (e.g. higher tax revenue mobilization, limiting corruption, better public finance management and private market support).
Mr. Matthias Vocke and Nienke Oomes
This paper provides an overview of diamond mining in sub-Saharan African countries, and explores the reasons for substantial differences in their tax rates and fiscal revenues from the sector, which mainly arise from differences in the incentives for smuggling. In a theoretical model, we show that optimal diamond tax rates increase with the degree of competition among diamond buyers, as well as with the corporate share of diamond production, which is confirmed by the data. We then discuss policies to increase revenue, including by enhancing mining productivity, stimulating the exploration of new areas, reducing barriers to entry, and attracting investment into value-adding downstream operations.