Capital taxation is currently under debate, basically due to problems of administrative control and proper assessment of the levied assets. We analyze both problems focusing on a capital tax, the annual wealth tax (WT), which is only applied in five OECD countries, being Spain one of them. We concentrate our analysis on top 1% adult population, which permits us to describe the evolution of wealth concentration in Spainalong 1983-2001. On average top 1% holds about 18% of total wealth, which rises to 19% when tax incompliance and under-assessment is corrected for housing, the main asset. The evolution suggests wealth concentration has risen. Regarding WT, we analyze whether it helps to reduce wealth inequality or, on the contrary, it reinforces vertical inequity (due to especial concessions) and horizontal inequity (due to the de iure and to de facto different treatment of assets). We analyze in detail housing and equity shares. By means of a time series analysis, we relate the reported values with reasonable price indicators and proxies of the propensity to save. We infer net tax compliance is extremely low, which includes both what we commonly understand by (gross) tax compliance and the degree of under-assessment due to fiscal legislation (for housing). That is especially true for housing, whose level of net tax compliance is well below 50%. Hence, we corroborate the difficulties in taxing capital, and so cast doubts on the current role of the WT in Spain in reducing wealth inequality.
José Mª Durán Cabré (IEB); Alejandro Esteller Moré (IEB)
This paper investigates the extent to which the gap in total factor productivity between small and large firms is due to differences in the endowment of factors determining productivity and to the returns associated with these factors. We place particular emphasis on the contribution of differences in the propensity to innovate and in the use of skilled labor across firms of different size. Empirical evidence from a representative sample of Spanish manufacturing firms corroborates that both differences in endowments and returns to innovation and skilled labor significantly contribute to the productivity gap between small and large firms. In addition, it is observed that the contribution of innovation to this gap is caused only by differences in quantity, while differences in returns have no effect; in the case of human capital, however, most of the effect can be attributed to increasing differences in returns between small and large firms.
Laia Castany (AQR-IREA); Enrique López-Bazo (AQR-IREA) and Rosina Moreno (AQR-IREA)
This paper analyses how fiscal adjustment comes about when both central and sub-national governments are involved in consolidation. We test sustainability of public debt with a fiscal rule for both the federal and regional government. Results for the German Länder show that lower tier governments bear a relatively smaller part of the burden of debt consolidation, if they consolidate at all. Most of the fiscal adjustment occurs via central government debt. In contrast, both the US federal and state levels contribute to consolidation of public finances.
Peter Claeys (AQR-IREA), Raúl Ramos (AQR-IREA), Jordi Suriñach (AQR-IREA)
This empirical work studies the influence of immigrant students on individuals’ school choice in one of the most populated regions in Spain: Catalonia. It has estimated, following the Poisson model, the probability that a certain school, which immigrant students are already attending, may be chosen by natives as well as by immigrants, respectively. The information provided by the Catalonia School Department presents school characteristics of all the primary and secondary schools in Catalonia during the 2001/02 and 2002/03 school years. The results obtained support the evidence that Catalonia native families avoid schools attended by immigrants. Natives certainly prefer not to interact with immigrants. Private schools are more successful in avoiding immigrants. Finally, the main reason for non-natives’ choice is the presence of other non-natives in the same school.
Adriana Sánchez Hugalde (IEB)
La composición de la población española ha cambiado en los últimos años debido a la llegada de la población inmigrante. En este trabajo se acota cuánto podría llegar a cambiar la esperanza de vida en salud y en discapacidad de la población española, debido a la incorporación de un nuevo colectivo. La metodología propuesta permite calcular el máximo cambio posible en la esperanza de vida en salud y en discapacidad, en función de un porcentaje fijo de inmigración, y con el supuesto de mantenimiento de la mortalidad. Los resultados permiten analizar cambios en los costes de la dependencia para los mayores de 65 años.
Lluís Bermúdez Morata (RFA-IREA), Montserrat Guillén Estany (RFA-IREA), Aïda Solé Auró (RFA-IREA)
This paper analyses the performance of companies’ R&D and innovation and the effects of intra- and inter-industry R&D spillover on firms’ productivity in Catalonia. The paper deals simultaneously with the performance of manufacturing and service firms, with the aim of highlighting the growing role of knowledge-intensive services in promoting innovation and productivity gains. We find that intra-industry R&D spillovers have an important effect on the productivity level of manufacturing firms, and the inter-industrial R&D spillovers related to computer and software services also play an important role, especially in high-tech manufacturing industries. The main conclusion is that the traditional classification of manufactured goods and services no longer makes sense in the ‘knowledge economy’ and in Catalonia the regional policy makers will have to design policies that favour inter-industrial R&D flows, especially from high-tech services.
Agustí Segarra-Blasco (GRIT)
Recent concessions in France and in the US have resulted in a dramatic difference in the valuation placed on the toll roads; the price paid by the investors in France was twelve times current cash flow whereas investors paid sixty times current cash flow for the U.S. toll roads. In this paper we explore two questions: What accounts for the difference in these multiples, and what are the implications with respect to the public interest. Our analysis illustrates how structural and procedural decisions made by the public owner affect the concession price. Further, the terms of the concession have direct consequences that are enjoyed or borne by the various stakeholders of the toll road.
Germà Bel (PPRE-IREA), John Foote Forthcoming in Transport Reviews
A renewed interest on the use of tolls for funding motorways and regulating their demands has been recovered in the last years. However, less attention has been put to the road safety effects derived from this policy. Although toll motorways show quality levels equal or above free motorways, charging users for the use of better infrastructure shifts some traffic to their low quality adjacent alternatives. In the present study we test whether charging for the use of the better road might negatively affect road safety in the worst adjacent road. The results confirm our hypothesis opening a new concern.
Daniel Albalate (PPRE-IREA)
This paper explores the effects of two main sources of innovation —intramural and external R&D— on the productivity level in a sample of 3,267 Catalan firms. The data set used is based on the official innovation survey of Catalonia which was a part of the Spanish sample of CIS4, covering the years 2002-2004. We compare empirical results by applying usual OLS and quantile regression techniques both in manufacturing and services industries. In quantile regression, results suggest different patterns at both innovation sources as we move across conditional quantiles. The elasticity of intramural R&D activities on productivity decreased when we move up the high productivity levels both in manufacturing and services sectors, while the effects of external R&D rise in high-technology industries but are more ambiguous in low-technology and services industries.
Agustí Segarra-Blasco (GRIT)
Muchos gobiernos regionales en los países desarrollados diseñan programas para mejorar la competitividad de las empresas locales. En este papel, evaluamos la efectividad de programas públicos cuyo objetivo es reforzar la actuación de las empresas localizada en Cataluña (España). Se compara la actuación de empresas subvencionadas (tratadas) con empresas similares, pero no subvencionadas (no tratadas). Se utiliza el Propensity Score Matching (PSM) para construir un grupo de control que, con respecto a las principales características, es muy similar al grupo tratado, lo que permite identificar empresas que presentan la misma propensión a recibir subvenciones. Una vez se ha establecido un grupo de comparación válido, se comparan los resultados de cada empresa. Como resultado se encuentra que, en promedio, las empresas tratadas cambian sus prácticas comerciales, mejoran su actuación, y aumentan su valor añadido como resultado directo de los programas públicos.
Néstor Duch (IEB); Daniel Montolio (IEB); Mauro Mediavilla