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June 2021

June 28, 2021

A Book Review: Rebellion, Rascals, and Revenue: Tax Follies and Wisdom Through the Ages

Keen and Slemrod
Posted by Richard Allen[1]

The authors of this unusual and stimulating book[2] note that “tax stories from the past … can be entertaining, sometimes in a weird way, sometimes in a gruesome one, and sometimes simply because they are fascinating in themselves”. The book is long (more than 500 pages), comprehensively researched (over 1000 references) and – a pleasant throwback to the past - devoid of any charts or tables (or equations!). Its anecdotes cover the period from ancient Sumer and Rome through modern times to a look at what the future may bring. Tax policies and design as well as tax administration are covered. The book pays tribute to the path-breaking work of economists such as Malthus, Ricardo (on tax incidence), Pigou (on correcting for externalities), and Frank Ramsey (who pioneered the mathematics of tax design).  

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June 21, 2021

Including Climate Change in Public Sector Financial Statements

ClimaTe Change PSFS
Posted by Antonia Ida Grafl[1]

The World Economic Forum’s Global Risk Report 2020 reveals that climate-related events are the top five global risks – extreme weather, climate action failure, natural disasters, biodiversity loss, and human-made environmental disasters. Climate action failure is the most critical risk. An adequate and urgent policy response is needed to protect the earth's environment and ensure a healthy planet. Governments worldwide are increasingly aware of the gravity of these risks and are taking action to combat climate change, as stipulated by the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Agreement. There is broad consensus among PFM experts that climate change will have a material financial impact on public sector (and private) entities. Linking environmental data with financial management information systems is one way to make transparent the consequences of global warming and help governments make climate-informed decisions.

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June 14, 2021

Fiscal Risk Management Tools for Latin America

Fiscal Risks Tools Seminar WHD
Posted by Laura Torrent, Lesley Fisher, and Alvaro Manoel[1]

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Latin American and Caribbean countries have suffered from reduced fiscal revenues in addition to increased spending, borrowing, called guarantees, and support for state-owned enterprises (SOEs). These trends have increased fiscal risks and deficits.[2] The pandemic has highlighted the need to strengthen fiscal management institutions and infrastructure to mitigate the negative impact on the countries’ growth and fiscal sustainability.

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June 10, 2021

Three Prizes of Digital PFM in Southern Africa

Surveying Macro-Fiscal Management in East and Southern Africa
Posted by Moulay El Omari, Felipe Bardella, and Gerardo Uña[1]

Digital technologies are transforming economies and human behavior around the world. The public sector in general, and public finances especially, have been involved in this revolution but governments need to accelerate their efforts.

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June 07, 2021

Call for Papers: Practitioner's Corner, Governance

Governance cover
Posted by Richard Allen[1]

Governance is an international journal devoted to the comparative study of executive politics, public policy, administration, and the organization of the state. PFM is one such area of interest. The journal seeks contributions that combine theoretical sophistication with rigorous empirical research. We welcome submissions employing any methodological approach that makes a clear and original intervention in a scholarly literature related to the journal's aims and scope. Peer-reviewed articles have a maximum length of 9,000 words.

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June 03, 2021

The FRAT Brings Order to the Fiscal Risk Party

FRAT
Posted by Fritz Bachmair, Celeste Kubasta, Lesley Fisher, and Nabil Hamliri[1]

Fiscal risks can be a rowdy crowd, as the COVID-19 pandemic and the Global Financial Crisis have shown. If left unchecked, overexposed governments may wake up with a persistent headache. Being a good chaperone, the IMF is developing the Fiscal Risk Assessment Tool (FRAT) as part of a suite of tools to assess and manage fiscal risks.[2]

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