NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Jaya Wen

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Institutional Affiliation: Harvard Business School

NBER Working Papers and Publications

March 2018Computerizing VAT Invoices in China
with Haichao Fan, Yu Liu, Nancy Qian: w24414
This paper documents that an increase in the enforcement of value-added tax (VAT) caused by the adoption of a new technology significantly increased VAT payments by large manufacturing firms in China. The reform contributed to 27.1% of VAT revenues and 12.9% of total government revenues in the five subsequent years. The main mechanism is likely to be a reduction in VAT deductions. The dynamic effects of the reform suggest that the rise in tax revenues is non-monotonic over time, with large short-run gains and smaller, though still positive, long-run gains. The reform also reduced firm revenues and inputs, and increased productivity.
January 2018Distrust and Political Turnover
with Nathan Nunn, Nancy Qian: w24187
We present findings that document one way in which a society's culture can affect political outcomes. Examining an annual panel of democratic countries over six decades, we show that severe economic downturns are more likely to cause political turnover in countries that have lower levels of generalized trust. The relationship is only found among democracies and for regular leader turnover, which suggests that the underlying mechanism works through leader accountability and the electoral process. Moreover, we find that the effects of trust on turnover are greatest during years with regularly-scheduled elections, and within democracies with a parliamentary system, a fully free media, and greater stability. The estimates suggest that generalized trust affects political institutions by influen...
 
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