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Strategies for Fiscal Reform in the Context of the EMU: the Case of Portugal

Alfredo Pereira () and Pedro Rodrigues ()

Review of Development Economics, 2004, vol. 8, issue 1, 141-163

Abstract: The authors use an endogenous growth dynamic general‐equilibrium model, which accommodates the institutional constraints of the Stability and Growth Pact, to study tax reform in Portugal. Simulation results suggest that tax cuts financed in a nondistortionary way increase long‐term GDP; i.e., they are efficiency improving, but do not always increase welfare. The tradeoff between efficiency and welfare is alleviated when reductions in public spending or increased public indebtedness finance the tax cuts. Since these mechanisms are not realistic under the institutional setting of the Stability and Growth Pact, tax reform in Portugal must involve trading off distortionary tax margins. In this case, the best strategy to increase both efficiency and welfare is to increase investment tax credits and finance them either through personal income taxes or through employers’ social security contributions.

Date: 2004
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