NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Michael Keen

Fiscal Affairs Department
International Monetary Fund
700 19th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20431
Tel: 202/623-7000

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NBER Working Papers and Publications

July 2016Optimal Tax Administration
with Joel Slemrod: w22408
This paper sets out a framework for analyzing optimal interventions by a tax administration, one that parallels and can be closely integrated with established frameworks for thinking about optimal tax policy. At its heart is a summary measure of the impact of administrative interventions—the “enforcement elasticity of tax revenue”—that is a sufficient statistic for the behavioral response to such interventions, much as the elasticity of taxable income serves as a sufficient statistic for the response to tax rates. Amongst the applications are characterizations of the optimal balance between policy and administrative measures, and of the optimal compliance gap.

Published: Michael Keen & Joel Slemrod, 2017. "Optimal Tax Administration," IMF Working Papers, vol 17(8).

March 2012'Fiscal Devaluation' and Fiscal Consolidation: The VAT in Troubled Times
with Ruud de Mooij: w17913
This paper focuses on two core tax design issues that arise in addressing current fiscal challenges It first explores the idea, prominent in troubled Eurozone countries, of a 'fiscal devaluation:' shifting from social contributions to the VAT as a way to mimic a nominal devaluation. Empirical evidence is presented which suggests that in Eurozone countries this may indeed improve the trade balance quite sizably in the short-run, though, as theory predicts, the effects eventually disappear. The paper then assesses the wider scope for VAT reform in meeting fiscal consolidation needs, developing and beginning to apply a methodology for finding additional VAT revenue in ways less distortionary and fairer than further raising the standard rate.

Published: "Fiscal Devaluation" and Fiscal Consolidation: The VAT in Troubled Times, Ruud de Mooij, Michael Keen. in Fiscal Policy after the Financial Crisis, Alesina and Giavazzi. 2013

"Fiscal Devaluation" and Fiscal Consolidation: The VAT in Troubled Times
with Ruud de Mooij
in Fiscal Policy after the Financial Crisis, Alberto Alesina and Francesco Giavazzi, editors
This chapter discusses the tax side of fiscal adjustments. It first explores the idea, prominent in troubled Euro area countries, of a "fiscal devaluation"--that is, shifting from social contributions to the value added tax (VAT) as a way to mimic a nominal devaluation. The chapter then assesses the wider scope for using a VAT to achieve a fiscal consolidation.
 
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