Welcome to the website of the Irish Government Economic and Evaluation Service (IGEES), which will present analytical and statistical outputs from the Service. The site contains recent analytical papers across a range of public policy and expenditure topics.
Our most recent publications are set out below.
The papers have been prepared by members of IGEES and do not necessarily represent the policy positions of the relevant Departments, Ministers or the Government.
The IGEES Medium Term Strategy was launched on 27 October 2016.
The IGEES is building on and learning from existing economic and evaluation expertise and increasing levels of evaluation and analysis. This MTS seeks to enhance the level, consistency and quality of output across the IGEES. As such, the focus over the medium term will be:
(1) To have a greater input into and impact on the policy analysis process; and
(2) To generate an increased level of high quality IGEES output to inform the policy debate.
The responsibility for achieving these aims will rest with the IGEES as a whole supported by a revised set of governance arrangements. With a view to fostering a coherent approach across the Service, an IGEES business plan will form the basis for the output of the Service year to year.
The IGEES Medium Term Strategy can be viewed by following this link.
The presentations from the launch are available here.
Searching for the Inclusive Tax Growth Grail: The Distributional Impact of Growth Enhancing Tax Reform in Ireland
Abstract: The economic literature suggests that a revenue-neutral shift of tax revenues from income taxes to property taxes would increase GDP per capita in the medium term. This paper analyses for Ireland the consequences of such a shift in the tax mix. In particular, it examines whether this can be carried out in a way that would neither undermine income distribution nor depress government revenue. Simulations using the ESRI tax-benefit model, SWITCH, suggest it is possible to achieve such a broadly revenue-neutral tax shift in a non-regressive way, while lowering marginal tax rates for most taxpayers. In particular, reductions in the Universal Social Charge would reduce marginal and average tax rates and have a positive impact for the income of most households. This could be funded by shifting the tax base toward residential properties, though this might have an adverse effect on income distribution, due to Ireland’s high rates of home ownership throughout the income distribution. The analysis shows that low income groups could be protected through the careful introduction of income-related supports, with revenue losses recovered through a more progressive property tax rate structure. Overall, the simulations show that a shift from labour to property tax can be pro-growth and pro-employment, without equity losses. The paper therefore suggests that tax reform can be inclusive.
The paper is available here: The Distributional Impact of Growth Enhancing Tax Reform in Ireland
Applying Behavioural Economics in Irish Policy
This report provides a summary of Behavioural Economic projects across a number of Departments. A detailed overview of the application of Behavioural Economics is given for two example projects, a trial run by the DPER IGEES Unit with the Department of Social Protection to improve attendance at Group Information Sessions for jobseekers, and a trial carried out by the Office of the Revenue Commissioners to increase responses to the 2013 survey of SME Taxpayers. Short summaries are then be provided for 11 other Behavioural Economics projects which have been carried out by a number of different Departments. Of the 13 examples summarised in this paper some of the projects use randomised control trials, while others use behavioural findings or insights to inform delivery.
The paper is available here: Applying Behavioural Economics in Irish Policy 2016
Analysis of recent Property Price Development and Implications for Local Property Tax Liabilities
This paper reflects the significant residential property price growth which has occurred since the initial valuation date, May 2013, and estimates the implications for LPT liabilities of a hypothetical revaluation at May 2015 property prices. Drawing on a range of data sources, the authors use a transition matrix approach to illustrate the likely changes in LPT valuation bands and liabilities for residential properties. Revaluation is estimated to significantly increase tax liabilities for some taxpayers, with properties in higher valuation bands in May 2013 incurring larger increases in liability. The analysis also indicates substantial regional variation in band changes, with the largest band movements mainly occurring in Dublin.
The paper is available here: Analysis of recent property price developments and implications for Local Property Tax liabilities and revenue yield