Essays on Tax Collection and Local Government Efficiency

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

State intervention emerged in the economy as an instrument to deal with a variety of market failures and led to the development of a wide set of activities: provision of public goods and services, redistribution of wealth across citizens by means of taxes and transfers, education finance, unemployment and health insurance, labour and market regulations. From one hand, these interventions may cause efficiency losses by distorting agents’ choices. From the other hand, efficiency gains may arise from the reduction of the detrimental effects determined by market imperfections. However, the scientific literature also highlights that public intervention in the economy –necessarily made through institutions shaped by the conflicting interests of voters, politicians and bureaucrats– always entails some degree of inefficiency. Hence, whether state intervention enhances efficiency or not, hinges on the particular market imperfection and on the particular implementation of the public intervention considered. The present thesis, acknowledging the potential usefulness of economic policies made by the public sector, is focused on two activities crucial for any state: the collection of revenue, necessary to its very existence and to any policy, and the provision of goods and services made throughout its local branches, with the aim of evaluating its efficiency. Two theoretical contributions are provided that investigate the impact of avoidance and evasion on the self-declaration of liabilities made by taxpayers and on optimal enforcement of tax laws. The third contribution is an empirical inquiry using conditional frontier models to assess the performances of major Italian municipalities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)485-514
Number of pages30
JournalATTI E MEMORIE DELL'ACCADEMIA TOSCANA DI SCIENZE E LETTERE LA COLOMBARIA
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Keywords

  • Tax avoidance, Tax evasion, Conditional Frontier Models, Local Government Efficiency

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