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  • Author: M. Chatib Basri, Mayara Felix, Rema Hanna, Benjamin A. Olken
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: Developing countries collect a far lower share of GDP in taxes than richer countries. This paper asks whether changes in tax administration and tax rates can nevertheless raise substantial additional revenue – and if so, which approach is most effective. We study corporate taxation in Indonesia, where the government implemented two reforms that differentially affected firms. First, we show that increasing tax administration intensity by moving the top firms in each region into “Medium-Sized Taxpayer Offices,” with much higher staff-to-taxpayer ratios, more than doubled tax revenue from affected firms over six years, with increasing impacts over time. Second, using non-linear changes to the corporate income tax schedule, we estimate an elasticity of taxable income of 0.59, which implies that the revenue-maximizing rate is almost double the current rate. The increased revenue from improvements in tax administration is equivalent to raising the marginal corporate tax rate on affected firms by about 23 percentage points. We suggest one reason improved tax administration was so effective was that it flattened the relationship between firm size and enforcement, removing the additional “enforcement tax” on large firms. On net, our results suggest that improving tax administration can have significant returns for developing country governments.
  • Topic: Governance, Developing World, Reform, Business , Tax Systems
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Mark H. Moore
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: This is one of a series of working papers from “RISE"—the large-scale education systems research programme supported by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
  • Topic: Development, Education, Governance, Developing World
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Dani Rodrik
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: In a world economy that is highly integrated, most policies produce effects across the border. This is often believed to be an argument for greater global governance, but the logic requires scrutiny. There remains strong revealed demand for policy and institutional diversity among nations, rooted in differences in historical, cultural, or development trajectories. The canonical case for global governance is based on two set of circumstances. The first occurs when there is global public good (GPG) and the second under “beggar-thy-neighbor” (BTN) policies. However, the world economy is not a global commons, and virtually no economic policy has the nature of a global public good (or bad). And while there are some important BTN policies, much of our current discussions deal with policies that are not true BTNs. The policy failures that exist arise not from weaknesses of global governance, but from distortions of domestic governance. As a general rule, these domestic failures cannot be fixed through international agreements or multilateral cooperation. The paper closes by discussing an alternative model of global governance called “democracy-enhancing global governance.”
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Governance, Global Political Economy, Trade Wars
  • Political Geography: Global Focus, Global Markets
  • Author: Katherine Baicker, Theodore Svoronos
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: Given the complex relationships between patients’ demographics, underlying health needs, and outcomes, establishing the causal effects of health policy and delivery interventions on health outcomes is often empirically challenging. The single interrupted time series (SITS) design has become a popular evaluation method in contexts where a randomized controlled trial is not feasible. In this paper, we formalize the structure and assumptions underlying the single ITS design and show that it is significantly more vulnerable to confounding than is often acknowledged and, as a result, can produce misleading results. We illustrate this empirically using the Oregon Health Insurance Experiment, showing that an evaluation using a single interrupted time series design instead of the randomized controlled trial would have produced large and statistically significant results of the wrong sign. We discuss the pitfalls of the SITS design, and suggest circumstances in which it is and is not likely to be reliable.
  • Topic: Health, Governance, Health Care Policy
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: David Díaz Arias, Luisa Cajamarca, Maya Collombon, Olivier Dabène, Gaspard Estrada, Manuel Gárate, Marie-Laure Geoffray, Damien Larrouqué, Frédéric Louault, Maria Teresa Martínez, Anaís Medeiros Passos, Kevin Parthenay, Gustavo Pastor, Carlos A. Romero, Pierre Salama, Sebastián Urioste
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Internationales
  • Abstract: Amérique latine - L’Année politique is a publication by CERI-Sciences Po’s Political Observatory of Latin America and the Caribbean (OPALC). The study extends the work presented on the Observatory’s website (www.sciencespo.fr/opalc) by offering tools for understanding a continent that is in the grip of deep transformations.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Civil Society, Corruption, Crime, Democratization, Nationalism, Political Economy, Religion, Governance, Peacekeeping, Economy, Political Science, Regional Integration, Memory, Transnational Actors
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Cuba, Latin America, Nicaragua, Caribbean, Venezuela, Mexico, Costa Rica, Chile, Peru, Paraguay, Bolivia
  • Author: Lisa Denney
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF)
  • Abstract: This Tool is part of the DCAF, OSCE/ODIHR, UN Women Gender and Security Toolkit, which comprises nine Tools and a series of Policy Briefs. Within police services, this Tool is aimed at the policy rather than the operational level, with relevance for senior police, gender units and those interested in improving police effectiveness through integrating a gender perspective. While police services are a key audience for this Tool, it is intended for a wide readership – including parliaments, government departments with policing responsibilities, civil society organizations, development partners, international police assistance providers and researchers working to improve policing and gender equality. Police reform is not solely the work of police services, but of a wider set of actors who support and influence the police and their operating environment. This Tool sets out a range of options for integrating a gender perspective and advancing gender equality in and through policing, drawing on experience from multiple contexts. While it provides guidance in terms of examples and checklists which borrow from good practices in different contexts, what is relevant will differ across time and place and require adaptation. For that reason, the Tool also sets out conditions that are important in achieving progress. The Tool includes: why a gender perspective is important for policing; what policing that advances gender equality and integrates a gender perspective looks like; how policing can advance gender equality and integrate a gender perspective; case studies that draw out learning from specific contexts; suggestions for assessing a police service’s integration of gender; other useful resources.
  • Topic: Security, Gender Issues, Governance, Law Enforcement, Women, Criminal Justice
  • Political Geography: Geneva, Europe, United Nations, Switzerland, Global Focus
  • Author: Jasper Linke
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF)
  • Abstract: This SSR Backgrounder explains how SSR features in peace processes and how it is linked to other aspects of security, justice and democratic governance. It highlights some of the main factors that influence the inclusion of SSR in peace processes, including the roles and strategies of mediators in shaping the negotiations. It also discusses what issues of SSR are typically not addressed in peace processes and some of the principal challenges of SSR negotiation and implementation. This SSR Backgrounder answers the following questions: Why is SSG central to peace processes? How can SSR feature in peace processes? What aspects of SSR are often neglected in peace processes? What other security arrangements in peace processes are relevant to SSR? What are the challenges of including SSR in peace processes?
  • Topic: Security, Peace Studies, Governance, Reform, Transitional Justice
  • Political Geography: Geneva, Global Focus
  • Author: Ronja Harder, Jasper Linke
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF)
  • Abstract: Civil society engagement is part of a culture of participation that enhances the democratic nature of decision-making about security. The expertise and independent interests of civil society provide a counter-balance to government policy by providing policymakers with a wider range of perspectives, information and alternative ideas. However, civil society activism is not always democratic or representative of the population’s needs or interests and does not automatically lead to effective oversight. This SSR Backgrounder explains how civil society can improve the accountability and effectiveness of the security sector. This SSR Backgrounder answers the following questions: What is civil society? How can civil society improve SSG? How can working with civil society help state security and justice institutions? When does civil society make insecurity worse? What challenges does civil society face?
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Civil Society, Governance
  • Political Geography: Geneva, Global Focus
  • Author: William McDermott
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF)
  • Abstract: This SSR Backgrounder explains what ombuds institutions for the armed forces are, what they do and how they contribute to good governance of the security sector. These institutions provide oversight of the armed forces by receiving and investigating complaints, thereby improving the accountability, transparency, effectiveness and efficiency of the armed forces. They are an essential feature of democratic security sector governance that ensures respect for the rule of law and human rights. This SSR Backgrounder answers the following questions: What are ombuds institutions for the armed forces? What are the different types of ombuds institutions? How do ombuds institutions contribute to good SSG? How do ombuds institutions handle complaints? Why should complaints be encouraged? What kinds of investigations can ombuds institutions conduct? Are ombuds institutions part of the justice sector? How do ombuds institutions ensure the enforcement of their recommendations?
  • Topic: Security, Governance, Armed Forces, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Geneva, Global Focus
  • Author: Thammy Evans
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF)
  • Abstract: This SSR Backgrounder is about applying the principles of good security sector governance (SSG) to defence through defence reform. The military is concerned with the defence of a state and its people. By increasing democratic oversight and control, defence reform ensures that military power is used according to the will and in defence of the population. Defence reform enables the military to fulfil its mandate more efficiently and effectively, in order to function flexibly in a dynamic security environment. This SSR Backgrounder answers the following questions: What is defence reform? Why reform defence? Who carries out defence reform? How does a defence reform process work? What links defence reform to good SSG and SSR? How to overcome barriers to defence reform?
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Governance, Reform
  • Political Geography: Geneva, Global Focus