Implications of Behavioural Economics for Tax policy

This paper assesses how behavioural economics can be applied in the area of tax policy. A brief introduction to behavioural economics is followed by a summary of the existing rules-of-thumb that standard economics provides for tax policy design, focusing on the tax policy objectives of raising revenue efficiently and corrective taxation. Four behavioural economics concepts are then addressed in the context of these tax policy objectives and the Irish tax system: salience; bounded rationality; reference dependence and loss aversion; and time inconsistency. The paper finishes by summarising the main tax policy insights coming from behavioural economics and concludes on its value addition in Irish tax policy design.

This publication is available here.

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Capital Plan Review 2016-2021

The Infrastructure Capacity and Demand Analysis draws on available data and information to provide a detailed overview of the extent and quality of public infrastructure in key sectors (including transport, health, education, water, energy, broadband, housing and flood defences) and the primary drivers of projected future demand in order to support and contribute to the decision-making process on prioritisation. The paper contributes to the evidence base assembled through the Capital Review process and provides a number of findings including:
 On average over the period 1995-2015, Ireland’s public GFCF as a share of GNP was 3.7% compared to the EU15 average of 3.0% of GDP. Following a decrease in line with the economic downturn, the level is expected to return to around the EU15 average in 2021.
 There are a variety of drivers which impact the use of infrastructure. Two critical drivers are demographics and economic growth, while spatial and climate impacts are important considerations.
 The sectoral analysis shows a number of trends including:
o Transport demand is growing and would be expected to expand further in future years in line with forecast economic growth rates.
o In the Health sector, a continued shift towards primary care can help meet the growing demands of an ageing population; further research is required to assess overall capacity needs.
o In Education, the number of students set to attend third level will increase which may exert further pressure on capacity.
o Significant pressure is evident in the housing sector. Commitments made under the Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness mean that €5.35 billion will be invested in 47,000 units across a range of delivery mechanisms. Furthermore, housing output delivered by the private sector is expected to pick up over the coming years.
o Planned investment by Irish Water out to 2021 seeks to strike a balance between the demand for water infrastructure investment and the constraints that currently exist in terms of affordability, planning requirements and supply chain issues.

The publication is available here

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Spending Review 2017

The 2017 Spending Review is the first in a series of rolling, selective reviews, which will cover the totality of Government spending over a three year period to 2019. The results of the first year of this new approach are published with the Mid-Year Expenditure Report 2017. The objective of the review is to ensure that all Government expenditure is considered with regard to the principles of efficiency, effectiveness, sustainability and impact.

The output for the 2017 Spending Review has two main elements with key sectoral trend analyses and individual topic papers.

The individual topic papers were selected to reflect key strategic/priority areas of expenditure, both in terms of the quantum of expenditure and the significance of the emerging policy challenges. The published output of the Spending Review is intended to contribute to a robust evidence base to inform policy making in the short and medium term.

The Spending Review framework and approach taken is in keeping with a range of other reform measures put in place to embed and improve the use of evidence in policy making across the public service, including the establishment of the Irish Government Economic and Evaluation Service, the development of the performance budgeting initiative and the Public Spending Code.

A number of the topic papers were undertaken, or supported, by IGEES staff and include papers on IGEES output, housing supports, climate change related research, acute hospital spending, pharmaceutical expenditure, the Environment Fund, special educational needs provision, further education and training and employment supports, enterprise supports, police expenditure, and funding for public transport. As such, the papers prepared for the Spending Review cover a wide range of policy areas and account for a significant proportion of current expenditure.

These papers can be found here.

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Papers and Output of IGEES Staff 2016

Papers and Output of IGEES Staff 2016, showcases the papers that have been published on the IGEES website from January to December of 2016. While this is not an exhaustive list of the work that IGEES staff undertake, it does show the varied and detailed work that IGEES staff carryout throughout the year.

The Papers and Output of IGEES Staff 2016 can be found here

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