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  • Author: Karolina Zubel
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: : In this issue of showCASE our economist discusses the role of cities and regions in climate negotiations, which since COP21 in 2015 has indeed been growing. Will the incoming COP25 in Madrid (2–13 December) further strengthen cities and regions in fight against climate change? As the author argues, for the upcoming COP presidency, lying a strong foundation for climate action and subnational parties’ engagement in post2020 reality could become the biggest success.
  • Topic: Environment
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Adam Śmietanka, Alejandro Esteller Moré, Grzegorz Poniatowski, José María Durán-Cabré, Mikhail Bonch-Osmolovsky
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: This Report has been prepared for the European Commission, DG TAXUD under contract TAXUD/2017/DE/329, “Study and Reports on the VAT Gap in the EU-28 Member States” and serves as a follow-up to the six reports published between 2013 and 2018. This Study contains new estimates of the Value Added Tax (VAT) Gap for 2017, as well as updated estimates for 2013-2016. As a novelty in this series of reports, so called “fast VAT Gap estimates” are also presented the year immediately preceding the analysis, namely for 2018. In addition, the study reports the results of the econometric analysis of VAT Gap determinants initiated and initially reported in the 2018 Report (Poniatowski et al., 2018). It also scrutinises the Policy Gap in 2017 as well as the contribution that reduced rates and exemptions made to the theoretical VAT revenue losses. In 2017, growth in the European Union (EU) continued to accelerate with a combined real GDP growth of 2.5 percent, providing a sound environment for an increase in VAT collections. As a result, VAT revenue increased in all Member States (MS). An increase in the base was the main, but not the only, source for growth. Increase in compliance contributed to an approximate 1.1% increase in VAT revenue. In nominal terms, in 2017, the VAT Gap in EU-28 MS fell to EUR 137.5 billion, down from EUR 145.4 billion. In relative terms, the VAT Gap share of the VAT total tax liability (VTTL) dropped to 11.2 percent in 2017 and is the lowest value in the analysed period of 2013-2017. Fast estimates for 2018 indicate that the downward trend will continue and that VAT Gap will likely fall below EUR 130 billion in 2018. Of the EU-28, the VAT Gap as percentage of the VTTL decreased in 25 countries and increased in three. The biggest declines in the VAT Gap occurred in Malta, Poland, and Cyprus. The smallest Gaps were observed in Cyprus (0.6 percent), Luxembourg (0.7 percent), and Sweden (1.5 percent). The largest Gaps were registered in Romania (35.5 percent), Greece (33.6 percent), and Lithuania (25.3 percent). Overall, half of EU-28 MS recorded a Gap above 10.1 percent (see Figure 2.2 and Table 2.1). The Policy Gaps and its components remained stable. The average Policy Gap level was 44.5 percent, out of which 9.6 percentage points are due to the application of various reduced and super-reduced rates instead of standard rates (the Rate Gap). The countries with the most flat levels of rates in the EU, according to the Rate Gap, are Denmark (0.8 percent) and Estonia (3 percent). On the other side of spectrum are Cyprus (29.6 percent), Malta (16.5 percent), and Poland (14.6 percent). The Exemption Gap, or the average share of Ideal Revenue lost due to various exemptions, is, on average, 35 percent in the EU, whereas the Actionable Policy Gap – a combination of the Rate Gap and the Actionable Exemption Gap – is, on average, 13 percent of the Notional Ideal Revenue. The econometric analysis repeated after the 2017 Study confirmed the earlier results. We observe that the dispersion of tax rates and unemployment rate have a positive impact on the VAT Gap. Regarding the variables in hands of the administration, on the extended times series compared to the previous year, our results suggest that the nature of the expenditure of the administration, in particular IT expenditure, is more important that the amount of the overall resources.
  • Topic: Economy, Economic growth, Tax Systems, Fiscal Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, European Union
  • Author: Grzegorz Poniatowski, Izabela Styczynska, Karolina Beaumont, Karolina Zubel
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: EuroPACE is an innovative tool designed to make home renovation simple, affordable and reliable for all Europeans by combining affordable financing with people-centric technical assistance. EuroPACE offers 100% up-front financing that can be repaid over a long term of up to 25 years. The innovation lies in the collection and repayment mechanism – financing is attached to the property and is repaid regularly with charges linked to a property. Homeowners are offered logistical and technical support throughout the process and access to trained and qualified con-tractors. Thus, EuroPACE overcomes the main barriers to home renovation – lack of financing, technical knowledge and complexity of the works. The concept of EuroPACE is inspired by the success of a financing model called Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE), launched in California in 2008. In the United States (US), the PACE market reached over USD 6 billion in funded projects, including the retrofit of over 220,000 homes, which resulted in more than 50,000 new local jobs and the creation of hundreds new companies.EuroPACE combines the best practices from the US PACE market with project partners’ substantial experience in improving energy efficiency in European buildings. EuroPACE is a three-year project that intends to assess market readiness, deploy a pilot programme in Spain and scale across Europe to four leader cities. A two-phase research (firstly – legal & fiscal readiness, and secondly – market demand) has been carried to assess the overall readiness for adaptation of this model across the European Union (EU). This document is the second phase of the EuroPACE readiness assessment developed to identify European countries most suited for EuroPACE implementation. It complements the legal and fiscal assessment by focusing on the “demand dimension” by analysing local needs for energy efficiency (EE) and renewable energy sources (RES) in residential building renovation of seven selected countries. Based on the results of legal and fiscal analysis of the EU28 MS, in October 2018 the Steering Committee Group of the EuroPACE Horizon2020 (H2020) project chose seven countries: Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, Poland, Portugal, and Romania, for the second phase of evaluation. These countries were selected based on the scoring outlined in D2.1 and two additional considerations developed by the Steering Committee Group. First, a diverse geo-graphical distribution of the countries was an important element for the selection of these seven countries. Secondly, the knowledge and expertise of the Steering Committee Group about the national potential market opportunity was taken into consideration during the selection process. While in Austria a similar mechanism has already been tested but was unsuccessful, the country still has been chosen for further analysis. In Belgium, despite being a federal state, there is a strong local and regional interest in new financial mechanisms designed to upscale residential retrofits across the country. In the Netherlands, asset-based financial instruments are currently being discussed at the national level, which opens a window of opportunity for EuroPACE to be tested in the country. As for Italy, although the property-taxation system is far from stable, potential synergies with successful programmes like Ecobonus or Sismabonus should be explored. In Poland, nearly 70% of the 6-million residential buildings need significant energy efficiency overhaul; these buildings contribute to some of the worst air quality across the EU leading to approximately 47 thousand premature deaths annually. Portugal, given its Mediterranean climate, proves a great potential not only for EE, but also prosumer RES development, given that current incentives are far from sufficient. Romania has been chosen mainly because of its highest home-ownership rate across the EU and the most institutionalised property-related taxation, possibly setting a stable base for EuroPACE being collected alongside existing charges.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, Fiscal Policy, Innovation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, Belgium, Romania, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Austria, European Union
  • Author: Izabela Styczynska, Karolina Zubel
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: EuroPACE is an innovative financial mechanism inspired by an American building improvement initiative called Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE). The innovative character of the EuroPACE mechanism is that financing through EuroPACE is linked to the taxes paid on a property. In other words, the financing lent by a private investor is repaid through property taxes and other charges related to the buildings. EuroPACE is therefore in line with the EC’s objectives of (1) putting EE first, (2) contributing to the EU’s global leadership, and (3) empowering consumers to enable MS to reach their energy and climate targets for 2030. Last but not least, EuroPACE could contribute to the democratisation of the energy supply by offering cash-flow positive, decentralised EE solutions. The EuroPACE mechanism engages several stakeholders in the process: local government, investors, equipment installers, and homeowners. To establish the EuroPACE programme, several conditions must be satisfied, each of which are relevant for different stakeholder at different stages of the implementation. For the purpose of this report, we divided these criteria into two categories: key criteria, which make the implementation possible, and complementary criteria, which make the implementation easier. For the time being, it is a pure hypothesis to be tested with potential EuroPACE implementation. One ought to remember that residential on-tax financing is a concept in its infancy in the EU. Therefore, the methodology to evaluate the readiness of a country to implement on-tax financing is complex and consists of six stages:Identification of fiscal and regulatory conditions; Data collection; Weighting; Grading; Country SWOT analysis; Qualitative assessment.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Economy, Tax Systems, Innovation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, European Union
  • Author: Marek Dabrowski
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: Twenty years of euro history confirms the euro’s stability and position as the second global currency. It also enjoys the support of majority of the euro area population and is seen as a good thing for the European Union. The European Central Bank has been successful in keeping inflation at a low level. However, the European debt and financial crisis in the 2010s created a need for deep institutional reform and this task remains unfinished.
  • Topic: Monetary Policy, European Union, Economy, Economic growth, Fiscal Policy, Currency
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, European Union
  • Author: Andrzej Halesiak, Ernest Pytlarczyk, Mariusz Wieckowski, Stefan Kawalec
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: In a properly functioning economy, finance has important role to play in making main sectors of the economy – production, trade, services – to thrive. One of the most important – and often unappreciated – channels by which finance affects the processes taking place in the real sector is the selection of investment projects. It is banks and financial intermediaries that to a great degree decide which projects are carried out in the economy at a given moment, and which are not. If financial institutions are excessively conservative (which today is often an effect of the tight regulatory environment), they will prefer low-risk projects with high levels of collateral (e.g. mortgage loans). A financial system oriented this way will rarely be a source of problems, but at the same time not inclined to finance innovative projects with high potential to benefit the economy. Thus for any economy, a very important question is whether its regulatory framework smartly balances both of these aspects: financial system safety and the need to take on risk. When analyzing the functioning of the financial system, it’s worth noting the gradual blurring of certain traditional boundaries. While decades ago households were the main source of savings in the economy, and the borrowers were enterprises and the public sector, today both households and companies are on both sides, as suppliers and receivers of capital. The boundary between the functioning of banks and capital markets is also increasingly blurred. Today banks operate broadly through the capital market, both as acquirers of securities and as issuers. One area that has been developing dynamically in recent years is the flow of financial resources bypassing traditional intermediaries: direct lending through the peer-to-peer (P2P - direct financing of a project by business partners) and crowdfunding platforms (fundraising by collecting money online).
  • Topic: Demographics, GDP, Financial Markets, Economy, Banks, Investment, Trade
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland
  • Author: Adam Adamczyk, Leszek Morawski, Jarek Neneman
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: For many years, we have been hearing about the need for innovation and entrepreneurship. Successive Polish government declare their support for entrepreneurs and expand the catalog of privileges, mainly related to taxes and mandatory contributions. Not infrequently, in these discussions the self-employed are equated with entrepreneurs. In this work, we will seek an answer to the questions: Who, then, are the self-employed? Are they really entrepreneurs? Should we support their activities? And finally the fundamental question: What does the economy get from the self-employed? In this work we point out that the differences in rates of self-employment between countries may result from differences in taxation on the labor provided by self-employed and salaried workers. In the main part of the work, taking advantage of the potential of the EUROMOD tax-benefit microsimulation model, we show that in Europe there is no single model of taxation of work conducted as one’s own business. In the majority of the tax-contribution systems we examined, the profitability of employment or self-employment changes along with changes in income. In light of the regressivity of the burdens on the self-employed, as a rule it begins to be profitable only above a certain income level. In the first part of the work we define the self-employed as those who run a business, and later we distinguish within this group entrepreneurs, meaning those who take on risk and create innovations. Discussing the advantages and disadvantages of self-employment from the point of view of the self employed and the employer, we point out that the benefits – including systemic (tax and contribution) benefits, outweigh the disadvantages. We also discuss in more detail the imposition of income tax on the self-employed. In the second part we present changes in the value of self-employment over the last 25 years. Here we use data from the World Bank and certain data points from the European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC). They allow us to observe how the relationship between the self-employed and the economy is changing: The significance of services provided for other businesses is growing. Additionally, we can see that the significance of self-employment is falling. In Poland the level of (non-agricultural) self-employment is low. The dynamics of the rate of self employment indicate that the influence of legal regulations on the scale of self-employment is secondary. It seems that in this case, technological and demographic factors are much more significant.
  • Topic: Demographics, Labor Issues, Employment, Business , Social Policy, Tax Systems, Fiscal Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland
  • Author: George Selgin
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: "Depending on how one interprets the question that forms the topic of my talk, one can argue that the answer is obvious, or one can argue just the opposite. In one sense of course, it’s obvious that non-state money is possible. That’s the sense in which we ask only whether some kinds of non-state money are possible. And of course, the answer is yes. The vast majority of payments today, in Poland as elsewhere, are made with privately produced forms of money – that is, with bank deposits of various kinds – transferable by cheque or using debit cards. And there is nothing surprising about that. But of course, my assigned question can also be understood in a different and more interesting way. The interesting question is not whether some kinds of non-state- supplied money are possible. It is a different question, or rather two different questions. One of these is whether non-state circulating monies, or currencies, are possible. Can we rely on the private sector to supply hand-to-hand circulating means of payment? The other even more fundamental question is whether we can have a complete monetary system in which all forms of money supplied privately, and the state plays no substantial regulatory role. In fact, I intend to argue that non-state supplied currencies are also possible, and that completely private monetary systems, in which the state plays no important part, are possible as well. Indeed, I will argue, not only that these things are possible, but that history offers examples of them. That is, they are not just hypothetically possible. I plan to spend much of my time talking to you about these historical examples of privately produced currencies and private or mostly private monetary systems. I wish not merely to make it clear that private currencies and mostly private monetary systems really have existed in the past, but to point out to you that these private currencies and monetary systems have often been entirely or at least highly successful. We might even envy them today, given the performance of our own relatively heavily regulated monetary systems." - Prof. George Selgin writes in the introduction.
  • Topic: Monetary Policy, Economic growth, Banks, Trade, Cryptocurrencies
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland
  • Author: Adam Śmietanka, Alejandro Esteller Moré, Grzegorz Poniatowski, José María Durán-Cabré, Mikhail Bonch-Osmolovsky
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: In this Report, the Authors present the new Value Added Tax (VAT) Gap estimates for 2016, as well as updated estimates for 2012-2016. In addition to the analysis of the Compliance Gap, this Report examines the Policy Gap in 2016 as well as the contribution that reduced rates and exemptions made to the theoretical VAT revenue losses. Moreover, the Report contains an econometric analysis of VAT Gap determinants, which is a novelty introduced from this year’s Study. In 2016, most European Union (EU) Member States (MS) saw positive tailwinds with a combined real GDP growth of 2.0 percent. As a result of a growing base and increasing VAT compliance, VAT revenue increased in all MS with three exceptions. Most pronounced is the case of Romania, where VAT revenue decreased in response to reduction of the standard rate by four percentage points. In nominal terms, in 2016, the VAT Gap in EU-28 MS fell below EUR 150 billion and amounted to EUR 147.1 billion. In relative terms, the VAT Gap share of the VAT total tax liability (VTTL) dropped to 12.3 percent from 13.2 percent in 2015, and is the lowest value in the analysed period of 2012-2016. Denoted at the share of GDP, the VAT Gap in 2016 amounted to 0.99% compared to 1.05% in 2015. Of the EU-28, the VAT Gap share decreased in 22 countries and increased in six—namely, Romania, Finland, the UK, Ireland, Estonia, and France. The biggest declines in the VAT Gap—of over five percentage points—occurred in Bulgaria, Latvia, Cyprus, and the Netherlands. The smallest Gaps were observed in Luxembourg (0.85 percent), Sweden (1.08 percent), and Croatia (1.15 percent). The largest Gaps were registered in Romania (35.88 percent), Greece (29.22 percent), and Italy (25.90 percent). Overall, half of EU-28 MS recorded a Gap below 9.9 percent. The Policy Gaps and its components remained stable. The average Policy Gap level was 44.8 percent, out of which 9.95 percentage points are due to the application of various reduced and super-reduced rates (the Rate Gap). Countries with the most flat levels of rates in the EU, according to the Rate Gap, are Denmark (0.93 percent) and Estonia (2.97 percent). The Exemption Gap, or the average share of Ideal Revenue lost due to various exemptions, is, on average, 35 percent in the EU, whereas the Actionable Policy Gap—a combination of the Rate Gap and the Actionable Exemption Gap—is, on average, 16.5 percent of the Notional Ideal Revenue. The econometric analysis can be considered a successful first attempt at inferring the impact of various determinants. Firstly, it can be observed that the productive structure of the economy exerts an impact on the VAT Gap. The share of retailers has the strongest impact on the VAT Gap; however, telecommunications, industry, and art also have a positive impact. Secondly, liquidity constraints and the productive structure of the economy also play a role in determining VAT compliance. The most interesting results have to do with the impact of the variables under the direct control of the tax administration. We show that the impact of the size of the tax administration and the VAT Gap is concave. On the contrary, in the case of IT expenditure, the impact is convex, albeit small, until productivity vanishes when IT expenditure is about 9.8 percent of the total expenditure of the tax administration.
  • Topic: Financial Crimes, Tax Systems, Fiscal Policy, VAT
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, European Union
  • Author: Lukasz Janikowski, Marek Dabrowski
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: Virtual currencies are a contemporary form of private money. Thanks to their technological properties, their global transaction networks are relatively safe, transparent, and fast. This gives them good prospects for further development. However, they remain unlikely to challenge the dominant position of sovereign currencies and central banks, especially those in major currency areas. As with other innovations, virtual currencies pose a challenge to financial regulators, in particular because of their anonymity and trans-border character.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Monetary Policy, Economic growth, Currency, Trade
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, European Union
  • Author: Marek Dabrowski
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: In the last decade, advanced economies, including the euro area, experienced deflationary pressures caused by the global financial crisis of 2007-2009 and the anti-crisis policies that followed—in particular, the new financial regulations (which led to a deep decline in the money multiplier). However, there are numerous signs in both the real and financial spheres that these pressures are disappearing. The largest advanced economies are growing up to their potential, unemployment is systematically decreasing, the financial sector is more eager to lend, and its clients—to borrow. Rapidly growing asset prices signal the possibility of similar developments in other segments of the economy. In this new macroeconomic environment, central banks should cease unconventional monetary policies and prepare themselves to head off potential inflationary pressures.
  • Topic: Economics, Monetary Policy, Economic growth, Inflation, Macroeconomics, Unemployment
  • Political Geography: Europe, Global Focus, European Union
  • Author: Grzegorz Poniatowski
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: The objective of this paper is to derive the characteristics of an effective fiscal governance framework, focusing on the incentives that ensure a commitment to the fiscal rules. We study this problem with the use of econometric tools, complementing this analysis with formal modelling through the lens of a dynamic principal-agent framework. Our study shows that both economic and institutional factors play an important role in incentivising countries’ fiscal efforts. Fiscal balances are affected not only by the economic cycle, but, among others, by the level of public debt and the world economic situation. We find that the existence of numerical fiscal rules, their strong legal entrenchment, surveillance mechanisms, and credible sanctions binding the hands of governments have a significant impact on curbing deficits. The relationship between the Commission and European Union (EU) Member States (MS), where the EU authorities act as a collective principal that designs contracts for MS, has elements in common with the assumptions of the principal-agent framework. These are: asymmetry of information, moral hazard, different objectives, and the ability to reward or punish the principal. We use a dynamic principal-agent model and show that to ensure good fiscal performance, indirect benefits should be envisaged for higher levels of fiscal effort. In order to account for the structural differences of exerting effort by different MS, it is efficient to adjust fiscal effort to the level of indebtedness. To ensure a commitment to the rules, MS with difficulties conducting prudent fiscal policies should be required to exert less effort than the MS with more modest levels of debt. The FIRSTRUN project is a European Union funded multinational research project that investigates the need for fiscal policy coordination in the EU.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, Regional Cooperation, European Union, Fiscal Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe, European Union
  • Author: Grzegorz Poniatowski, Krzysztof Głowacki
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: This report, The Significance of the Tobacco Product Manufacturing to Poland’s Economy, presents the results of the first comprehensive analysis of the impact of tobacco product manufacturing on the Polish economy. The comprehensiveness of the study results from the subject range, covering the sector’s entire value chain: from tobacco cultivation, through processing of raw tobacco and manufacturing of tobacco products, to the distribution and sale of ready products. The report includes an in-depth analysis of current conditions, discusses the challenges facing the sector and attempts to estimate the development of the branches of the economy related to manufacturing of tobacco products in the future. The main purpose of this research was to analyze the economic significance of manufacturing of tobacco products. The economic effect of consumption of tobacco products was only a peripheral element of the research. Conducting such complex research was made possible by advanced methodology. The analytical work was built on three pillars: analysis of existing data, expert interviews and a computable general equilibrium (CGE) model expanded to include production and consumption of tobacco products.
  • Topic: Economics, Commodities, Fiscal Policy, Manufacturing, Tobacco
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland
  • Author: Alicja Domagała, Christoph Sowada, Krzysztof Kuszewski, Marzena Tambor, Stanisława Golinowska
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: The health protection system is the object of constant pressures and difficulties in mitigating them, and even more so eliminating or at least reducing them. Changes are undertaken under the influence of a one-sided political assessment, the interests of various groups of participants or the protests of successive groups of medical staff. There is no professional and fully documented diagnosis of the system, made by independent experts, which could serve as the basis for a comprehensive health protection reform plan, rather than individual, incidental changes that disrupt the system’s already very fragile balance. A well thought-out reform, properly distributed over time, so that at no point does it cause negative health effects. A reform agreed among stake-holders and adopted with understanding of the need for changes, so that it is supported by society. A reform for which there will be funds, institutions and engaged professionals – leaders in health protection. A reform that won’t be criticized or changed when the government changes. Such a reform is waiting to be presented and debated. We begin this process by pointing out and presenting the system’s main problems. At the top of the list of issues that must be taken up urgently we place the problem of insufficient resources, but associated with other activities that are essential to achieve higher effectiveness in accomplishing health goals. There is no single miraculous way of balancing and fixing the functioning of the health protection system. This requires both greater financing, qualitatively and quantitatively appropriate staffing, and good institutions. Financial resources are a necessary condition but not a sufficient one – if there is no staff or appropriate institutions, and these are shaped over years. In this publication we present four subjects, corresponding to that list of the main issues that must be addressed urgently. We begin with the problem of good governance, meaning achieving a decisive improvement in institutional solutions in health protection. Next we take up the problem of the need for growth in financial outlays, with judicious public and individual responsibility. We strongly accent the need for development in Poland of medical and support staff, presenting the problems of neglect and the deep shortage of professionals, which is currently paralyzing the health service. The final text, though no less important in the group of priority problems in health protection, concerns public health and demands that it be properly valued by treating care for the health of the population as an investment in human capital with a measurable and significant rate of return.
  • Topic: Demographics, Health, Labor Issues, Governance, Health Care Policy, Social Policy, Public Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland
  • Author: Balazs Romhanyi, Lukasz Janikowski
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: Unsustainability and procyclicality of fiscal policy are problems that many developed countries face. The public debt crisis revealed that fiscal rules are a useful but insufficient instrument for mitigating them. A large and growing group of economists are calling for the creation of ‘fiscal policy councils’ – independent collegial bodies made up of experts whose role is to act as independent reviewers of government policy and advise the government and parliament on fiscal policy. Such councils currently exist in at least 40 countries. Poland is the only EU country that does not have a fiscal policy council. The aim of this paper is to address the issue of whether a fiscal policy council is needed in Poland and what kind of additional contribution such a council might make to the public debate on fiscal policy.
  • Topic: Debt, Government, Governance, Economy, Fiscal Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, European Union
  • Author: Amity Shlaes
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: In recent years, the consensus regarding the American past has slipped leftward, and then leftward again. No longer is American history a story of opportunity, or of military or domestic triumph. America’s has become, rather, a story of wrongs, racial and social. Today, any historical figure who failed at any time to support abolition, or, worse, took the Confederate side in the Civil War, must be expunged from history. Wrongs must be righted, and equality of result enforced. The equality campaign spills over into a less obvious field, one that might otherwise provide a useful check upon the non-empirical claims of the humanities: economics. In a discipline that once showcased the power of markets, an axiom is taking hold: equal incomes lead to general prosperity, and point toward utopia. Teachers, book club presidents, and especially professors withhold any evidence to the contrary. Universities lead the shift, and the population follows. Today, millennials, those born between 1982 and 2000, outnumber baby boomers by the millions, and polls suggest that they support redistribution specifically, and government action generally, more than their predecessors. A 2014 Reason/Rupe poll found 48 percent of millennials agreeing that government should “do more” to solve problems, whereas 37 percent said that government was doing “too many things.” A full 58 percent of the youngest of millennials, those 18-24 when surveyed, held a “positive” view of socialism, in dramatic contrast with their parents: only 23 percent of those aged 55 to 64 viewed socialism positively.
  • Topic: Government, Markets, History, Economy, Economic growth, Tax Systems, Free Trade, Welfare
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Anders Åslund
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: Over time, the necessary economic reforms have become so obvious that they have become politically possible in most places. The great problem has become the establishment of real property rights. By and large, Central and Eastern Europe have managed to accomplish that not least thanks to support from the European Union. In the former Soviet Union, however, only Georgia succeeded in that endeavor. The big question today is whether Ukraine will manage to do so, or whether it will be caught in a low-economic-growth trap. The three main elements that are needed are independent courts, autonomous prosecutors, and a law-abiding law enforcement, while no old secret police structures should be allowed to sabotage them.
  • Topic: Corruption, Democratization, Economics, Reform, Elections
  • Political Geography: Europe, Ukraine, Eastern Europe
  • Author: Grzegorz Poniatowski, Mikhail Bonch-Osmolovsky, Misha V. Belkindas
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: CASE prepared a new study for the European Commission on the VAT Gap in the European Union in 2015. The figures offer an important snapshot of the problems of collecting VAT in the EU and what needs to be done to improve revenues and fight tax fraud. During 2015, the overall VAT that should have been collected in EU Member States grew by about 4.2 %, while collected VAT revenues rose by 5.8 %. As a result, the overall VAT Gap in the EU Member States decreased by about €8.7 billion in absolute terms, down to €151.5 billion. As a percentage, the overall VAT Gap decreased by 2.1 % to 12.7 %. In 2015, the highest VAT Gap was recorded in Romania with a figure of 37.18 %. In absolute terms, the highest VAT Gap of €35 billion was in Italy. Overall, the VAT Gap decreased in most Member States, with the largest improvements noted in Malta, Romania and Spain. The VAT Gap measured in this study includes for the first time revenues emerging from new VAT rules for cross-border sales of e-services which came into force on 1 January 2015, following a Commission proposal. CASE's team was led by Grzegorz Poniatowski, Director of Fiscal Policy Studies, and composed of Mikhail Bonch-Osmolovskiy and Misha Belkindas.
  • Topic: European Union, Tax Systems, Fiscal Policy, VAT
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, European Union
  • Author: Iakov Frizis, Krzysztof Głowacki, Katarzyna Mirecka
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: Tax administration has been improving in Poland in recent years. The country moved from a ranking of 128 to a ranking of 47 in the Paying Taxes indicator of the World Bank’s Doing Business report between its 2012 and 2017 editions. However, compliance with taxes still requires 271 man hours, compared to the European Union (EU) & European Free Trade Association (EFTA) average of 173 man-hours and to the top Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) performer Estonia’s 81 man-hours. Polish tax legislation has been described as complex by some observers and not overly complex by other observers, while many emphasise that it is improving at a good pace. The paper summarizes knowledge on tax gaps in Poland with respect to PIT, CIT, VAT, and excise. An introduction to the Polish tax system is given, trends in tax collectability and estimates of the tax gaps are discussed, and methods of combating tax evasion and avoidance are reviewed. The paper has been written as part of the project “Mutual Learning for Reducing Tax Gaps in V4 Countries and Ukraine” co-financed by the Visegrad Fund in the years 2016-2017.
  • Topic: Financial Crimes, Tax Systems, Free Trade, Fiscal Policy, VAT
  • Political Geography: Europe, Ukraine, Poland, European Union
  • Author: Iakov Frizis, Krzysztof Głowacki
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: ax gaps, or the differences between tax amounts that are due by the taxpayers and the amounts that are actually collected by the state, remain a challenge for many European Union (EU) Member States, including for the V4 countries. Tax gaps also present a formidable challenge for Ukraine, which is currently reforming many aspects of its financial and legal systems. To help increase awareness about tax compliance and exchange knowledge on the state-of-the-art methods used to combat tax gaps, the project Mutual Learning for Reducing Tax Gaps in V4 Countries and Ukraine has been implemented. The paper is a summary of the exchange of knowledge and experience that took place in the course of the project co-financed by the Visegrad Fund in the years 2016–2017.
  • Topic: Economics, Tax Systems, Fiscal Policy, VAT
  • Political Geography: Europe, Ukraine, Poland, European Union
  • Author: Stanisława Golinowska, Agnieszka Sowa-Kofta
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: With the population ageing the development of sustainable long-term care institutions is of great importance in many European countries. In Poland, currently dominant, traditional and family based care will become insufficient with increasing cohorts of older people. Presented paper discusses recent developments in long-term care policy in the country. Long-term care institutions are separated in the two sectors, with little field for cooperation and coordination of activities. Over the past years policy addressing ageing related problems was developed, focusing on the active ageing instruments. Dependency prevention and active ageing are among goals of national policies formulated separately in the health and social sector. Information policy and monitoring long-term care services’ provision remains insufficient. Coordination of activities mainly takes place at the local level. Local governments and non-governmental organizations, often cooperating with representatives of older people, are active in providing services to older people in community and often incorporating innovative solutions in care.
  • Topic: Demographics, Health, Social Policy, Labor Policies, Public Policy, Aging
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, European Union
  • Author: Marek Dabrowski
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: The recent wave of financial innovation, particularly innovation related to the application of information and communication technologies, poses a serious challenge to the financial industry’s business model in both its banking and non-banking components. It has already revolutionised financial services and, most likely, will continue to do so in the future. If not responded to adequately and timely by regulators, it may create new risks to financial stability, as occurred before the global financial crisis of 2007-2009. However, financial innovation will not seriously affect the process of monetary policymaking and is unlikely to undermine the ability of central banks to perform their price stability mission.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Environment, Monetary Policy, Financial Crisis, Economic growth, Innovation, Trade
  • Political Geography: Europe, Global Focus, European Union
  • Author: Katarzyna Mirecka, Izabela Styczynska
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: The paper aims to assess the impact of selected elements of social harmonization on labor market performance in the European Union among two groups of workers—the total working population and the elderly. The aim is to examine whether upward changes in labor taxes affect employment, unemployment, and inactivity rates in the European Union. The descriptive empirical evidence shows that the level of labor taxation varies significantly across European countries and the introduced changes might affect national markets differently. The Arellano-Bond dynamic panel data regression shows that an increase in the tax wedge, as an element of a social harmonization process, has a very weak impact on labor market performance in the European Union. The impact is statistically significant and negative only for the elderly (i.e. the population aged 50+). Empirical analysis suggests that upward social convergence might negatively affect the employment of the most disfavored groups in the labor market, such as the elderly. It suggests that social harmonization focused on reducing the tax wedge would have favorable effects on labor market performance, especially among the most disadvantaged groups. This report was prepared within a research project entitled “SocialBoost – effective measures of social harmonization as a boost for employability in times of demographic changes”, which received funding under the Nordic Council of Ministers’ Programme for NGOs in the Baltic Sea Region.
  • Topic: Demographics, Labor Issues, Social Policy, Tax Systems, Social Security
  • Political Geography: Europe, European Union
  • Author: Karolina Beaumont, Matthias Kullas, Matthias Dauner, Izabela Styczynska, Paul Lirette
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: This report provides an analysis of the issues related to female brain drain between Poland and Germany in the years 1989-2015: female and male migration patterns during specific time periods, the challenges of female migration, the emigration of highly-skilled individuals in Poland and Germany, as well as the issues regarding brain drain from a gender perspective. Global female migration is a topic frequently studied in academic literature; however, the topic of female brain drain is one that has long been ignored by academic research. This gap in research on female brain drain is closely related to a significant lack of relevant quantitative data, and, consequently, has led to gaps in policymaking. The aim of this report is to gather all available information on female brain drain and its impact on labour markets, gender equality, female migration, and human capital, while noting the gaps in data and policymaking. A further objective of this report is to highlight the issues that are important for policymaking, as well as to propose adequate polic recommendations. The report aims to provide a current and comprehensive analysis of female brain drain in Poland and in Germany – two neighbouring countries, with complex histories of population migration – as well as an analysis of the economic and societal consequences of this phenomenon for both countries. The publication was prepared within the project “Brain drain/brain gain: Polish-German challenges and perspectives - Focus on the gender aspects of labour migration from 1989” with financial support from the Polish-German Foundation for Science and The Foundation for Polish-German Cooperation.
  • Topic: Demographics, Education, Gender Issues, Migration, Labor Issues, Brain Drain, Women, Inequality, Social Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, Germany, European Union
  • Author: Sierž Naŭrodski
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: The policy brief by Sierž Naŭrodski presents a review of potential effects of parametric pension reform in Belarus starting in 2017 for the population aged 50 and more in terms of unemployment, alcohol consumption, and poverty. It concludes that, despite the fact that raising the retirement age is overdue in Belarus to address demographic challenges, it may have a negative impact on the quality of life of people close to retirement age as well as a poorer GDP effect within current conditions on the labor market in Belarus. The paper presents a set of public policy improvement directions in Belarus, which could help mitigating vulnerability of the group 50+ during the pension reform.
  • Topic: Demographics, Labor Issues, Social Policy, Labor Policies, Public Policy, Aging
  • Political Geography: Europe, Belarus
  • Author: Karolina Beaumont, Katarzyna Mirecka, Izabela Styczynska
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: Aspects of labor mobility and discrepancies in social benefits schemes in Member States became an urgent matter to address. Revision of the Posting of Workers Directive, the European Pillar of Social Rights and the European Mobility Package were aimed at introducing more harmonization within the EU countries. However, the EU propositions faced a strong resistance from some groups of stakeholders and Member States. Moreover, the debate has been evolving quickly given recent events such as the economic and migration crises and Brexit. CASE held a forum with various Polish stakeholders, where CASE experts gathered views on the future of social situation in the EU. They are all summarized in this Policy Brief. Main policy recommendations emphasize that proposed legislation is important for Poland, however it still needs more debate, since under current form certain policies might be harmful for many EU Member States. This policy brief was prepared within a research project entitled “SocialBoost – effective measures of social harmonization as a boost for employability in times of demographic changes”, which received funding under the Nordic Council of Ministers’ Programme for NGOs in the Baltic Sea Region.
  • Topic: Demographics, Labor Issues, Social Policy, Mobility
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, European Union
  • Author: Agata Górny, Paweł Kaczmarczyk, Joanna Tyrowicz
  • Publication Date: 11-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: In the ongoing public debate on economic migration to Poland, emotional statements, or those without any basis in data, often have the upper hand. But in order to speak rationally about Poland as a destination country for immigrants, it is necessary to fully understand the conditions – and in particular the weaknesses – of the Polish labor market. It’s also worth becoming aware of the scale of the processes being discussed. In the 149th mBank-CASE Seminar Proceedings, Joanna Tyrowicz analyzes whether immigration could be a significant labor market driver in Poland. Paweł Kaczmarczyk and Agata Górny discuss the structural consequences of the inflow of Ukrainian workers to the Polish labor market.
  • Topic: Markets, Migration, Labor Issues, Immigration, Economy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, European Union
  • Author: Stanisław Gomułka, Jarosław Neneman, Michał Myck
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: What are the challenges facing Poland’s economy and tax system over the next 20 years? What does the optimal tax system mean? Do we have high taxes in Poland? The goal of the publication is to initiate a discussion on the subject of a tax system for Poland, presenting a framework within which the current system should be analyzed and conclusions drawn about what changes are needed over the longer term. Professor Stanisław Gomułka, chief economist of the Business Centre Club, analyzes the challenges facing Poland’s economy and tax system over the next 20 years. Jarosław Neneman, an assistant professor at Łazarski University, presents the basic parameters for a planned academic research project on how to use the Polish tax system effectively. Michał Myck, director and board member of CenEA (the Center for Economic Analysis) describes the optimal characteristics of a tax system according to theory and the results of scholarly research, which of course also relates to the Polish tax system.
  • Topic: Economics, Finance, Tax Systems, Fiscal Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, European Union
  • Author: Anders Åslund
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: The Russian economy is caught in stagnation, but thanks to a skillful macroeconomic policy, the economy has stabilized. The current economic model is dualistic. On the one hand, the so-called systemic liberals are in charge of macroeconomic policy, which they pursue eminently. On the other, President Vladimir Putin allows state corporations, cronies, and law enforcement agencies to dominate the corporate economy, enriching themselves with little consideration of legality. Anders Aslund's paper discusses the state of the Russian economy and the prospects for reform and growth.
  • Topic: Corruption, Economics, Reform, Capitalism, Economic growth, Putin, Cronyism, Macroeconomics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Eastern Europe
  • Author: Kamil Olczykowski, Piotr Laskowski, Tomasz Kassel, Tomasz Michalik
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: The VAT gap, both on the European Union scale and that of particular member states (though not all of them) appeals to the imagination and awakens many extreme emotions. For it is difficult to accept that the level is so significant, and – what is more – in recent years it has narrowed quite insignificantly despite attempts to limit it. In the popular understanding, this gap is quite often identified exclusively with the consequences of fraud, but it has many more component elements, many of which have nothing to do with abuse. Still, this doesn’t change the face that it is precisely fraud and abuse that constitute a particularly significant element of the VAT gap.
  • Topic: Financial Crimes, Tax Systems, Fiscal Policy, VAT
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, European Union
  • Author: Xavier Cuadras-Morató
  • Publication Date: 05-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: Catalonia is one of the richest regions in Spain. Until the outbreak of the international financial and economic crisis in 2008, it enjoyed a phenomenal economic boom – which then turned into a very severe depression, from which the region began to exit only in 2014. Consolidating the recovery and making the economy more competitive and resilient, and less volatile, are some of the key challenges of economic policy in Catalonia. Also, to improve the region’s social cohesion, policymakers should make sure that economic prosperity is more widely shared, and transform it into an effective tool for social progress.
  • Topic: Demographics, Labor Issues, Economic growth, Social Policy, Global Financial Crisis, Economic Policy, Trade, Recovery
  • Political Geography: Europe, Spain, Catalonia, European Union
  • Author: Aleksander Łaszek
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: Poland’s structural deficit is one of the largest in the EU. While other Member States are taking action to reduce their deficits, the Polish government has not only introduced costly projects, but has also announced additional projects that will further aggravate the state of Polish public finances. The aim of maintaining the nominal deficit under 3% of GDP, as declared by the government, is insufficient because it does not leave a margin of safety in case of an economic slowdown. In the meantime, the turbulent global economy and the structural challenges the Polish economy is facing make the scenario of an economic slowdown increasingly plausible. Dr. Aleksander Łaszek evaluates the government’s current policy through the lens of the challenges that stand a head of Polish economy, and its resilience to shocks, in the new mBank-CASE Seminar Proceedings "Economic policy, the international environment and the state of Poland’s public finances: Scenarios".
  • Topic: Debt, Government, Finance, Economic growth, Trade, Deficit
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, European Union
  • Author: Grzegorz Poniatowski, Mikhail Bonch-Osmolovsky, Misha V. Belkindas
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: The analysis serves as the Final Report for the DG TAXUD Project 2015/CC/131, “Study and Reports on the VAT Gap in the EU-28 Member States”, which is a follow up to the reports published in 2013, 2014, and 2015. In this report, estimates of the VAT Gap and the Policy Gap for the year 2014 are presented, as well as revised estimates for the years 2010–2013 “due to the transmission” of Eurostat national accounts from the ESA95 to the ESA10. This update covers Croatia, which was not included in the previous updates. While it was hoped that the update would also cover Cyprus, it has not been possible due to incomplete national accounts data. The VAT Gap is a measure of VAT compliance and enforcement that provides an estimate of revenue loss due to fraud and evasion, tax avoidance, bankruptcies, financial insolvencies, as well as miscalculations. It is defined as the difference between the amount of VAT collected and the VAT Total Tax Liability (VTTL), which is expressed in the report in bothabsolute and relative terms. The VTTL is the theoretical tax liability according to tax law, and is estimated using a “top-down” approach.
  • Topic: Economic growth, Tax Systems, Macroeconomics, Fiscal Policy, Innovation, VAT, Trade
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, Croatia, European Union
  • Author: Elena Jarocinska, Anna Ruzik-Sierdzińska
  • Publication Date: 05-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: This paper analyses the distributional effects of the Polish old-age pension reform introduced in 1999. Following a benchmark Mincer earnings equation, and using a newly developed microsimulation model we project future pension benefits for males born in years 1969–1979. We find that inequality of predicted first pension benefits measured by the Gini coefficient increases from 0.119 to 0.165 for cohorts of men retiring between 2036 and 2046. The observed increased inequality of pension benefits is due to the decreasing share of initial capital that is based on a more generous DB formula in the total accumulated pension capital. At the same time, inequality in replacements rates decreases due to a stronger link between contributions paid through the entire working life and pension benefits.
  • Topic: Demographics, Economics, Labor Issues, Inequality, Social Policy, Public Policy, Innovation, Aging
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, European Union
  • Author: Marek Dabrowski
  • Publication Date: 02-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: The European Central Bank (ECB) recently became engaged in macro-prudential policies and the micro-prudential supervision of the largest Euro area banks. These new tasks should help complete financial integration, and make the Euro area more resilient to financial instability risks. However, the multiplicity of mandates and instruments involves a risk of their inconsistency which could compromise the ECB’s core price-stability mandate as well as its independence. The experience of central banks during the recent global financial crisis confirms that such risks are not purely hypothetical.
  • Topic: Monetary Policy, Economic growth, Banks, Macroeconomics, Innovation, Trade, European Central Bank
  • Political Geography: Europe, European Union
  • Author: Aleksander Łaszek, Andrzej Rzońca, Andrzej Halesiak
  • Publication Date: 11-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: Growth in the European Union since the outbreak of the global financial crisis is slower (1) than before the crisis, (2) than the trend would indicate, (3) than forecast and (4) than in the United States. The factors driving its weakness lie more on the supply side than the demand side. The loss of potential output after the crisis was exacerbated by inequalities from before the crisis; fiscal stimulus from 2007-2009, increasing public expenditure despite the lack of fiscal space; excessive liquidity support for banks; and inflexibility of the market for goods at the moment the crisis broke out. The problems with growth may deepen and become permanent if social support for anti-market parties continues to grow. Extremist parties are supported by divergence among the countries of the “old” EU and the slowdown of convergence in the new member states, as well as tendencies related to inequality, in particular the reduction of households’ mobility between income groups. The 144th mBank - CASE Seminar Proceedings consist of the main paper "On Economic Growth in Europe, or, The Uncertain Growth Prospects of Western Countries" by Andrzej Rzońca and Aleksander Łaszek and the commentary "Economic Growth in Western Europe: The Investment Perspective" by Andrzej Halesiak.
  • Topic: Economic growth, Investment, Economic Policy, Macroeconomics, Trade
  • Political Geography: Europe, Western Europe, European Union
  • Author: Gábor Oblath
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: The publication "Economic policy and macroeconomic developments in Hungary, 2010–2015" discusses the factors responsible for Hungary’s growth performance. In the 143rd mBank - CASE Seminar Proceedings Gábor Oblath argues that that the factors essentially responsible for Hungary’s growth performance over the last five or six years were mainly exogenous to Hungarian government policy. The acceleration of economic growth observed in 2014 was due to, in particular, exceptionally large transfers from EU funds, which have nothing to do with the government’s so called “unorthodox” economic policy. By contrast, the decline in the quality of the institutional environment of the economy is a direct consequence of both the spirit and the methods of the economic policy pursued.
  • Topic: Government, Economic growth, Economic Policy, Macroeconomics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Hungary, European Union
  • Author: Grzegorz Poniatowski, Jarek Neneman, Tomasz Michalik
  • Publication Date: 07-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: Since 2009, despite constant growth in the tax base and only slight variations in effective rates, the trend in VAT revenue in Poland has been reversed, and inflows have become less stable. The ongoing decline in VAT collection and the increase in the uncertainty related to the main component of budget revenues is a very important problem, which in the light of growing budget spending may threaten the stability of public finances. In the new mBank - CASE Seminar Proceedings three experts: Grzegorz Poniatowski, dr. Jarosław Neneman and Tomasz Michalik examine the structure and the causes of the VAT gap as well as the legal context and possible methods of improving VAT compliance at national and European level.
  • Topic: Budget, Economic growth, Tax Systems, Fiscal Policy, VAT
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, European Union
  • Author: Barbara Nowakowska, Piotr Noceń, Michał Surowski, Michał Popiołek
  • Publication Date: 02-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: In the publication, Barabara Nowakowska and Piotr Noceń discuss 'Poland’s Private Equity Market: Current Conditions and Development Prospects', and Michał Surowski and Michał Popiołek describe 'Private Equity From a Bank’s Perspective'.
  • Topic: Development, Markets, Financial Markets, Economic growth, Banks, Innovation, Trade
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, European Union
  • Author: Ivan Mikloš
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: "If I were to say just one thing about Ukraine, I think I would have to stress it is the most underperforming country of all the countries I know. Ukraine has had, and indeed still does have, a lot of potential. In the beginning of 1990s, in 1992 to be precise, Deutsche Bank prepared an analysis of the chances for the former Soviet Union states to be reformed and developed successfully, and according to this analysis, Ukraine had the best chance among them all to be successful. We know that in reality the opposite happened, and Ukraine is in a very difficult situation now. The main reason for this situation is that when at the beginning of 1990s communist countries collapsed, the old system in Ukraine was not replaced by a new one, one of functioning market economy. It was eroded, but not exactly replaced the way it happened for example in Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and the Baltic states. The country was captured by oligarchs, and a very strange, dysfunctional, and corrupted system was created instead."
  • Topic: Development, Economies, Finance, Economic growth, Trade, Post-Socialist Economies
  • Political Geography: Europe, Central Asia, Ukraine, Caucasus, Eastern Europe, Poland
  • Author: Bryane Michael, Christopher Hartwell, Vladimir Korovkin
  • Publication Date: 11-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: How should convenience store operators like Thailand’s CP-ALL construct its value chains? What does economic theory teach us about an under – modelled area of management theory (namely value chains)? In this paper, Bryane Michael, Christopher Hartwell and Vladimir Korovkin use a seemingly unrelated economic model analysing Vietnam to tell something about the conglomerates running convenience stores licenses like CP-ALL. They find that convenience stores may not want to raise capital from Thai banks and the Bangkok stock market when labour productivity exceeds capital’s. They also find that inefficiencies inherent in Thai markets may significantly reduce the optimal size of a convenience store operator like CP ALL. These operators may also (counter-intuitively) need to give up a significant share of their profits to “value service providers” when the cost of capital falls. As such, counter to the usual World Bank nostrums, improvements in Bangkok’s stock market and banks may actually hurt firms like CP ALL.
  • Topic: Development, Economic growth, Innovation, Trade
  • Political Geography: Asia, Thailand
  • Author: Luca Barbone, Mikhail Bonch-Osmolovsky, Grzegorz Poniatowski
  • Publication Date: 10-2015
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: This report provides estimates of the VAT Gap for 26 EU Member States for 2013, as well as revised estimates for the period 2009-2012. It is a follow-up to the report “Study to quantify and analyse the VAT Gap in the EU-27 Member Statess, published in September 2013 (hereafter: 2013 Report), and to the report “2012 Update Report to the Study to Quantify and Analyse the VAT Gap in the EU-27 Member States” , published in October 2014 (hereafter: 2014 Report). As in previous reports, it was not possible to include estimates for Croatia and Cyprus, due to as-yet-incomplete national account statistics for the two countries. The VAT Gap is an indicator of the effectiveness of VAT enforcement and compliance measures, as it provides an estimate of revenue loss due to fraud and evasion, tax avoidance, bankruptcies, financial insolvencies as well as miscalculations. As the VAT Gap in this study is based on a top-down approach, it does not readily lend itself to be deconstructed according to industrial sectors or other criteria (territorial, professional), and can be best used as a diagnostic tool in the context of its evolution over time. As discussed in previous reports, the VAT Gap is defined as the difference between the amount of VAT actually collected and the VAT Total Tax Liability (VTTL), in absolute or percentage terms. The VTTL is an estimated amount of VAT that is theoretically collectable based on the VAT legislation and ancillary regulations. This report calculates, for each country the VTTL on the basis of national accounts, by mapping information on standard, reduced rates and exemptions onto data available on final and intermediate consumption, as well as gross fixed capital formation, from national accounts and use tables. Thus, the quality of the VAT Gap estimates depends on the accuracy and completeness of national accounts data and use tables. The year 2013 saw a continuing overall unfavourable economic environment, as the GDP of the European Union was nearly stagnant. This contributed to a slowdown of nominal final consumption and of other economic aggregates that form the basis of the Value Added Tax. Six countries applied changes to standard or reduced rates in 2013, marking a relatively stable policy environment. During 2013, the overall VAT Total Tax Liability (VTTL) for the EU-26 Member States grew by about 1.2 percent, while collected VAT revenues rose by 1.1 percent. As a result, the overall VAT Gap in the EU-26 saw an increase in absolute values of about Euro 2.8 billion, to reach Euro 168 billion. As a percentage, the overall VAT Gap stayed constant at 15.2 percent. The median VAT Gap rose by 1.6 percentage point, to reach 13.9 percent. In 2013, Member States’ estimated VAT Gaps ranged from the low of 4 percent in Finland, the Netherlands and Sweden, to the high of 41 percent in Romania. Overall, 15 Member States decreased their VAT Gap, with the largest improvements noted in Latvia, Malta and Slovakia. 11 Member States saw an increase in the VAT Gap, generally of small magnitudes, with the largest deteriorations in Estonia and Italy. This report also provides new and expanded evidence on the Policy Gap for the EU-26. The Policy Gap is an indicator of the additional VAT revenue that a Member State could theoretically collect if it applied standard rate to all consumption of goods and services supplied for consideration. We provide here estimates of the Policy Gap adjusted to take into account items that could not easily be taxed even in an “ideal” system (imputed rents, public goods, financial services). The results moderate views of the relative importance of reduced rates and exemptions in reducing the revenue potential of VAT, and suggest that better enforcement remains a key component of any strategy of improvement of the VAT system. The results of this report and the underlying data were presented to Member States in advance of publication and discussed on several occasions with the representatives of Member States. Deviating approaches and views of Member States are noted in the relevant country section in Chapter 3. The authors are grateful for the constructive cooperation and helpful input of Member States.
  • Topic: Economic growth, Macroeconomics, Fiscal Policy, Innovation, VAT, Trade
  • Political Geography: Europe, European Union
  • Author: Maya Grigolia, Lasha Labadze, Pavol Minarik, Alena Zemplinerova, Marek Vokoun
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: This report has been prepared in the framework of the project “Transfer of know-how to small and mid-size businesses” of the International Visegrad Fund (IVF) and USAID. It summarizes the conditions of the SME sector (small and medium size enterprises) in Georgia, identifies the main problems in their development and provides recommendations for further interventions based on the Czech experience, existing literature and a survey implemented among SME stakeholders. Georgia generally receives favorable evaluations of its business environment. It ranks high in indices of economic freedom and is among the top countries with respect to ease of starting and doing business. On the other hand, the SME sector suffers from several problems. The most serious obstacle to SME development seems to be in the area of finance; access to finance is difficult for SMEs and the cost of credit is high. Human capital and innovations are among the weak points of Georgian SMEs as well. The different shortcomings of the environment and markets call for different interventions. The paper is roadmap of concrete activities – it contains a set of recommendations to support SMEs development drawn on three different sources: first, the theoretical foundations of entrepreneurship policy, second, the Czech experience and know-how in the SME sector, and finally, the ideas of local experts and stakeholders generated during interviews and workshops. Activities and recommendations have been divided into “generic,” which relate to a particular determinant of business environment and have an impact across industries and sectors such as access to financing, education, developing skills training, R&D, innovation, export strategy, start-ups, and those which are “sector-specific,” such as banking, health and agriculture. Political stability, the main problem in Georgia, is beyond the scope of possible interventions.
  • Topic: Development, Reform, Business , Economic growth, Institutions, Innovation, Trade
  • Political Geography: Central Asia, Caucasus, Eastern Europe, Georgia
  • Author: Monika Blaszkiewicz
  • Publication Date: 07-2015
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: The design of the euro area Quantitative Easing (QE) programme raises the question of whether insufficient liquidity in the bond markets will reduce the impact of the programme and lead to market volatility. While estimates suggests that scarcity of around €102 billion may arise over the life of the programme, to date the QE programme has met its monthly targets and bond market volatility has been managed. Questions also arise in respect of the fact that risk is not fully shared on up to €738.4 billion to be purchased over the life of the programme. Partial risk sharing raises the spectre of defaulting central banks exiting the euro system, and existing members being unwilling to bear associated costs, and thus the future of the euro area. However, estimations suggest that, at present, all national central banks should be able to bare losses stemming from sovereign debt purchases under the current round of QE. This report was prepared within a research project entitled Sovereign bond purchases and risk sharing arrangements: Implications for euro-area monetary policy, which received funding from the European Parliament.
  • Topic: Finance, Economic growth, Banks, Trade, European Central Bank
  • Political Geography: Europe, European Union
  • Author: Anders Åslund
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: This paper discusses why Greece has done so poorly in comparison with all other European Union countries since the onslaught of the global financial crisis in 2008. To show what was wrong with its fiscal adjustment, this paper compares Greece with the other European Union country that was hit be the most severe fiscal crisis, namely Latvia. The conclusion is that front-loaded fiscal adjustment works much better. Greek economic policy has been a popular topic among opinion writers, notably Nobel Prize winner and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, who claimed that Greece suffered from austerity. Because of his prominence in the international public debate, I shall scrutinize his arguments on the Greek crisis. The paper also examines what policy the International Monetary Fund has pursued with regard to Greece, and how its views have been influenced by the debate and Greek economic developments. Finally, the paper assesses what lessons can be drawn from the contrasting experiences of Latvia and Greece. The conclusion is that a fiscal adjustment should be sufficient to resolve the crisis to restore confidence and that it should be as front-loaded as is practically and politically possible.
  • Topic: Financial Crisis, Finance, Economic growth, Macroeconomics, Fiscal Policy, Trade
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eastern Europe, Greece, Latvia
  • Author: Andres Võrk, Anna Ruzik-Sierdzińska, Elena Jarocinska, Niku Määttänen, Robert Gál, Theo Nijman
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: Life expectancies are rapidly increasing and uncertain in all countries in Europe. To keep pension systems affordable, policy reforms are to be implemented which will encourage individuals to work longer. In this paper we analyze the impact of working and living longer on pension incomes in five European countries and assess the impact of these policy reforms on the financial well-being of the elderly. The paper shows the diversity of the policy measures taken in these countries. Furthermore, we analyze the financial incentives for working longer and postponing claiming pension benefits and we assess the attractiveness of these options. Lastly, we study how increases in life expectancies and survival probabilities affect pension incomes.
  • Topic: Demographics, Labor Issues, Social Policy, Labor Policies, Public Policy, Innovation, Aging
  • Political Geography: Europe, Finland, Poland, Estonia, Hungary, Netherlands, European Union
  • Author: Gabor Hunya, Lidis Garbovan, Magdolna Sass, Oliver Kovacs
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: The report focuses on the potential of the development of small and mid-size businesses in Moldova. It provides an economic overview of the country, and then analyzes various best practices and lessons learned from the development of SMEs in the Visegrad countries, especially Hungary. The report provides a description of economic developments, main trade figures, relevant labor developments, migration and the role of remittances and defines the bottlenecks for SME development in the country. The authors built their analysis on available literature and statistics as well as their own survey and interview series. The study highlights six case studies relevant for SME development selected for deeper investigation such as simplified tax schemes, online tax reporting, entrepreneurship education, agriculture and producers’ organizations, the wine industry and issues of measurement of the SME sector. Finally the report draws up potential intervention schemes for Moldovan stakeholders and provides further recommendations for longer term initiatives and actions taken for the support of economic and SME development.
  • Topic: Development, Globalization, Business , Economic growth, Macroeconomics, Innovation, Trade
  • Political Geography: Europe, Ukraine, Caucasus, Moldova, Eastern Europe, Georgia
  • Author: Vladimir Dubrovskiy
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: The publication was issued within the project ‘Transfer of Know-How for Small and Mid-size Businesses in Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine’ which aims to assist SMEs in those countries by providing support to stakeholders in their efforts to develop analytical and policy advocacy capabilities and by opening new channels of communication between SMEs and NGOs in the Visegrad Four countries (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia) and the rest of the European Union. The objective of the study is to deliver the complete findings and outcomes of the project aimed at Ukraine. This White Paper serves as an authoritative document with action plans, budgets, and a tangible way for the beneficiary country stakeholders to move forward with the agenda of small and medium-sized business development. It presents an overview of the collected background information and contains basic data on the countries, including some key macroeconomic comparisons as well as rankings in major competitiveness reports (e.g. Doing Business report by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development), identifies the project stakeholders and provides an overview of the situation of small and medium-sized enterprises in Ukraine. It also includes the findings of two surveys implemented by the Slovak-Ukrainian team. Based on the findings, the “Discussion and Recommendations” section presents various perspectives on the problems of SMEs in Ukraine using the experience of the accession process of Slovakia, specific examples of key initiatives that led to the resolution of the problems, as well as case studies from various industries. It stresses the involvement of all parties including the EU, local governments, civil society, business associations, and the SMEs themselves. The key outcome of the paper is a road map – a very specific plan of actions including schedules, budgets, and other details within the scope of this project that will help the beneficiary country to cope with problems regarding the agenda of small and middle business development using the expertise and experience of institutions and stakeholders accumulated throughout the Slovak EU accession process. It includes a wide range of activities including a discussion of the project results with various Ukrainian stakeholders, workshops aimed at increasing knowledge about EU markets, legislation and standards, as well as strategic and institutional moves.
  • Topic: Development, Business , Economic growth, Macroeconomics, Innovation, Trade
  • Political Geography: Europe, Ukraine, Caucasus, Moldova, Eastern Europe, Georgia
  • Author: Agnieszka Gontarek, Piotr Kowalski, Tomasz Gałka
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: The development of the Polish corporate bonds market resulted from changes on the supply side. When the Lehman Brothers went bankrupt, Polish entrepreneurs realized that financing their companies’ operations only with the use of credit, even if contracted from different sources, might not be the best idea. Consequently, Polish business turned to debt instruments – said Piotr Kowalski, one of the keynote speakers during the mBank - CASE Seminar no. 136. In the publication, which is an extended and authorized version of presentations delivered during the abovementioned seminar, the authors discuss various aspects of the corporate debt securities market in Poland. Piotr Kowalski gives a synthetic presentation of the subject of the analysis, Agieszka Gontarek presents selected domestic regulations and factors, and Tomasz Gałka writes about selected consequences of excessive burdens.
  • Topic: Debt, Business , Economic growth, Banks, Trade
  • Political Geography: Europe, Central Asia, Caucasus, Eastern Europe, Poland
  • Author: Marek Radzikowski, Mieczysław Groszek
  • Publication Date: 08-2015
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: The present document is an attempt at a comprehensive analysis of direct and indirect burdens imposed upon banks in 2015. The idea to present such factors — which are often extremely varied in nature — in a single study was born out of the fact that these factors are often considered separately, on the basis of various criteria, which causes them to be split into different groups. This approach results in a fairly common tendency for fragmentary assessment of their impact and, more importantly, in the adoption of piecemeal regulations which fail to take into account the full impact of the actions taken in different areas. This applies in equal measures to supervisory authorities, regulators, analysts, policymakers and the media, which means that, in a somewhat oversimplified sense, the above statement is applicable to the public at large. This situation can be most succinctly characterised in the manner presented below. In the aftermath of the crisis, banks require a new set of instruments to regulate the functioning thereof. This is because they are to become more stable, safe, less risk-prone and more customer-friendly. Each of these areas requires a separate set of regulatory instruments, along with the respective subgroups thereof. Oftentimes they are not synchronised with each other and are usually aimed at the implementation of a specific, particular goal to an excessive extent. In addition, there are also “special tasks” such as the reform of the Credit and Saving Unions (SKOK).
  • Topic: Finance, Economic growth, Banks, Trade
  • Political Geography: Europe, Central Asia, Caucasus, Eastern Europe, Poland, European Union