JRC B2 Seminar: "Public support for tax policies in COVID-19 times: Evidence from Luxembourg" - Javier Oliveira


We study attitudes towards the introduction of hypothetical new taxes to finance the cost of the COVID-19 pandemic. We rely on survey data collected in Luxembourg in 2020. The survey asks for the agreement of respondents over: a one-time net wealth tax, an inheritance tax, a temporary solidarity income tax, and a temporary increase in VAT. All questions include different and randomly assigned tax attributes (tax rates and exemption amounts). We find a clear divide with relatively high support for new wealth and inheritance taxes on the one hand and a low support for increases in VAT and income taxes on the other hand. While 58% of respondents agree or strongly agree with a one-time tax levied on net worth, only 24% are in favor of a small increase in VAT. Support for any tax is however negatively associated with the size of the tax as measured by the predicted revenues. Our results indicate that a one-time wealth tax could raise substantial revenues and still garner public support.


Javier Olivera is a researcher in the department of living conditions at the Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER) and full professor of economics at Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru (PUCP). He is also affiliated to the department of economics at KU Leuven. Before his academic career he worked in the public sector, advising policy in Peru. His research interests include public economics, socio-economic inequality, pensions, attitudes towards redistribution and taxation, intergenerational transfers, old age and economic demography.

JRC B2 Seminar: 'Social and distributional impact of the revision of the Energy Tax Directive in the EU' - Eva Alonso Epelde & Xaquin Garcia

Abstract: “The proposed Energy Taxation Directive (ETD) reform is one of the most politically sensitive elements of the Fit for 55 package. it is expected that the new ETD will have a direct impact on the energy products that are consumed by the European households and many stakeholders are concerned that the proposal risk entrenching inequality. We provide new evidence from a microsimulation model developed by the Basque Centre for Climate Change (BC3) with IEEP and five other partners in the Think Sustainable Europe (TSE) network to assess the direct, overnight distributional impacts of the New Energy Tax Directive. We show that if carefully designed – including well-directed revenue-recycling, and alongside complementary policy measures – the proposals can achieve progressive impacts. In short, it could serve as a tool to fight both inequality and the climate crisis.”

JRC B2 Seminar: “Did the policy responses to COVID-19 protect Italian households’ incomes? Evidence from survey and administrative data” - Chiara Subrizi & Dalila de Rosa


This paper addresses the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic by providing timely and accurate information on Italian households’ income distribution, inequality and poverty risk, assessing the effects of policy responses during 2020. By building a unique and wide database with the latest survey, tax and administrative data at individual and firm level, and by using the micro-simulation model TAXBEN-DF from the Italian Department of Finance, the analysis nowcasts the income loss due to the economic shutdown since March 2020 and simulates most of the interventions adopted by the Government from March to December 2020. Results suggest that policy measures in response to the pandemic have been effective to limit the overall increase in income inequality and relative poverty, not being able yet to avoid a concerning polarization of incomes and large heterogeneous effects in terms of both income losses and measures’ compensation.

JRC B2 Seminar: 'EU 1.5° Lifestyles: Policies and tools for mainstreaming 1.5° Lifestyles' - Nadin Ozcelik

The IPCC concludes in their Special Report on Global Warming that limiting global temperature increase needs demand-side actions and lifestyle changes. Previous attempts to realise demand-side changes have been hampered by several factors: First, there is very limited quantitative data showing how much a proposed change in lifestyle would contribute to climate change mitigation. Thus, policy makers and citizens lack guidance to make informed choices. Second, there is still limited evidence of public acceptance of drastic changes. This has led to internationally uncoordinated policies and to policies that will very likely fall short on having sufficient impact. Third, policies have usually promoted changes of individual behaviour without addressing structural constraints or structural drivers of unsustainable lifestyles. This has led to policies that remain ineffective and frustrate citizens who wish to make positive lifestyle choices. We aim to address all three of the above issues, by connecting an analysis of individual lifestyle perspectives, on household level, with policies and socio-economic structures, on all levels from international to local. The analysis will be structured according to the emerging 1.5-degree lifestyles approach, which members of the consortium have helped to define. The advantage of a lifestyle-oriented approach is to link concrete transformations of lifestyle by individuals to transformations of the structural context by policies, economic, and societal institutions. This inclusive approach is original in terms of a research strategy. In practical terms, it is very promising as it offers concrete guidance and as it can be scaled to political, social, and economic capacities on regional to (supra-) national levels. We pursue our aims using quantitative and qualitative methods, country-level assessments and sector-based case studies, as well as innovative participatory formats and a broad range of communication methods.

Ciclo de Conferencias Científicas Aida Fernández Ríos - María Loureiro: “A cidadanía ante o cambio climático: aspectos socioeconómicos”


María Loureiro García, catedrática de Fundamentos de Análisis Económico, Facultade de Ciencias Económicas e Empresariais, Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, e académica numeraria electa da RAGC. Directora científica de ECOBAS

“A cidadanía ante o cambio climático: aspectos socioeconómicos”

O cambio climático é un dos fenómenos máis globais e preocupantes ós que se enfronta a cidadanía no século  XXI. Nesta presentación  analízase como os sentimentos cara o cambio climático se expresan e se transmiten a nivel mundial e xeran posibilidades de aplicacións de políticas de mitigación e adaptación nos distintos continentes. En liñas xerais, cada vez hai máis conciencia a nivel mundial sobre a aparición do cambio climático e as súas consecuencias económicas e sociais; isto ocorre de maneira especial en países que recentemente experimentaron acontecemientos extremos. Para realizar esta análise empregamos unha base de datos que contén máis de 100 millóns de rexistros de conversacións en Twitter a nivel mundial desde o ano 2019 ata a actualidade.
Por proximidade, centrámonos no caso europeo e analizaremos de forma causal, con aplicacións empíricas microeconométricas, cómo a transición enerxética e as súas consecuencias nos prezos da enerxía afectan á percepción sobre a necesidade da política climática.



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JRC B2 Seminar: Inequality and Growth: How Social Mobility Reshapes The Main Theoretical Channels - Ignacio Campomanes


This paper analyzes how the different mechanisms proposed to explain the inequality-growth relation are affected by the introduction of social mobility in a politico-economic environment with imperfect tax enforcement. I show that the direct negative effect of inequality on growth predicted by models of incomplete markets is especially pronounced in societies with low social mobility, while it is lessened in highly mobile economies. This is due the different effects of the increase in inequality on redistribution in each case. Conversely, in models where inequality favors economic growth because of investment indivisibilities or heterogeneity in marginal propensities to save among the population, the opposite result applies. Inequality is especially beneficial for economic growth when social mobility is low, as the compensating effect of redistribution is reduced. Finally, exogenous taxation costs modulate the previous findings depending on whether redistribution helps or retards economic growth. Conditional correlations of market inequality and economic growth across countries point to an important modulating effect of social mobility.

JRC B2 Seminar. Exploring policy interventions for a just low-carbon transition: A scenario discovery approach, Nicola Campigotto

There is currently no consensus among scholars on how to achieve a just low-carbon transition. This paper subjects a macrosimulation model to an extensive sensitivity analysis, and trains random forests on the simulation results to identify which policy combinations are most effective in reducing carbon emissions while improving the distribution of income. The results suggest a trade-off between inequality and emissions, which limits the extent to which inequality can be addressed through the growth of bottom incomes alone, and indicate that environmental and distributive goals can be met jointly only through a variety of coherent policies in different domains.