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Organized by the Institute of Public Finance, Michael Keen and Joel Slemrod, two prominent authorities on taxation, virtually presented their book “Rebellion, Rascals, and Revenue: Tax Follies and Wisdom through the Ages” on June 28th 2021.  

Keen and Slemrod explore history of taxation, dealing with the most significant events concerning the history of taxation. The presentation included most interesting parts of the book and examples of taxation around the world and across the ages. They emphasized that experience of taxation in the past can teach decision-makers to develop and bring better tax policies in the future. In that way, the presentation underlines the most preposterous and dramatic episodes since antient time to recent events that marked the history of taxation. 

recorded lecture and an accompanying presentation are available at the links.

June 28, 2021

Marina Tkalec, senior research associate at The Institute of Economics, Zagreb, held a lecture History Matters: Development and Institutional Persistence of the Habsburg Military Frontier in Croatia" on March 4th 2020 at the Institute of Public Finance.

Tkalec explores the effect of the long-gone Habsburg Military Frontier on modern institutions in Croatia. She uses the Life in Transition Survey and geographic regression discontinuity design to identify the causal mechanism between historical institutions and attitudes towards trust and corruption. She finds that the areas of the former Military Frontier are underdeveloped and poorer with worse economic performance indicators. The results suggest that respondents living in the former Military Frontier territory have lower levels of interpersonal trust, a higher level of trust in public authorities, but also tend to bribe those institutions more often when they interact with them. Ms. Tkalec claims that the war in Yugoslavia in the 1990s is not just a confounding factor in the analysis, but also a potential channel and finds evidence that attitudes towards bribery can survive even harsh wars, while trust in public institutions collapses during extreme events of violence.

Lecture is based on her article published in Public Sector Economics

March 4, 2020

Dubravko Mihaljek, Head of Operations at the Monetary and Economic Department of the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, held a lecture Property taxation and macro-financial stability on 25 February 2020 in the Institute of Public Finance.

Mihaljek emphasized that preferential tax treatment of the residential property is often quoted as one of the causes of the fast housing cost increase and the household debt in many economies before the Global financial crisis. In these respects, a stance that property taxation should be reformed and coordinated with monetary policy and macro-prudential measures with the aim of maintaining of macro-economic stability is becoming increasingly widespread. Proposed measures include not only cyclical but also structural elements such abolition of the mortgage interest deduction, taxation of the owner-occupant imputed rent as well as taxation of all forms of residential property ownership. However, fundamental leverages of the property taxes can't be used as anticyclical measures but, if properly settled and used, as the contributor to the financial stability, emphasized Mihaljek in presentation downloadable here.

February 25, 2020
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