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  • Author: Jan J. Michałek, Przemyslaw Wozniak
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: The trade war between the U.S. and China began in March 2018. The American side raised import duties on aluminum and steel from China, which were later extended to other countries, including Canada, Mexico and the EU member states. This drew a negative reaction from those countries and bilateral negotiations with the U.S. In June 2018 America, referring to Section 301 of its 1974 Trade Act, raised tariffs to 25% on 818 groups of products imported from China, arguing that the tariff increase was a response to years of theft of American intellectual property and dishonest trade practices, which has caused the U.S. trade deficit. Will this trade war mean the collapse of the multilateral trading system and a transition to bilateral relationships? What are the possibilities for increasing tariffs in light of World Trade Organization rules? Can the conflict be resolved using the WTO dispute-resolution mechanism? What are the consequences of the trade war for American consumers and producers, and for suppliers from other countries? How high will tariffs climb as a result of a global trade war? How far can trade volumes and GDP fall if the worst-case scenario comes to pass? Professor Jan J. Michałek and Dr. Przemysław Woźniak give answers to these questions in the mBank-CASE Seminar Proceeding No. 161.
  • Topic: Globalization, European Union, Economic growth, Trade
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, United States of America
  • Author: Marek Dabrowski
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: Inflation in advanced economies is low by historical standards but there is no threat of deflation. Slower economic growth is caused by supply-side constraints rather than low inflation. Below-the-target inflation does not damage the reputation of central banks. Thus, central banks should not try to bring inflation back to the targeted level of 2%. Rather, they should revise the inflation target downwards and publicly explain the rationale for such a move. Risks to the independence of central banks come from their additional mandates (beyond price stability) and populist politics.
  • Topic: Economic growth, Inflation, Central Bank
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Adam Czerniak, Stefan Kawalec
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: The year 2019 brought double-digit growth in Polish housing prices, for both new and existing homes. In some cities, real prices for residential real estate have reached the highest levels in history, even higher than at the peak of the boom in 2008. As a result, some are saying that there is a growing price bubble. But thus far no research has been produced that would comprehensively verify this hypothesis on the basis of data from 2006-2019. This work aims to fill that gap. This is exceptionally important, because assessing the likelihood that a housing price bubble is emerging is key for the conduct of monetary and macroprudential policy in Poland. Because if we’re really dealing with growth in macroeconomic imbalances, then taking pre-emptive action to limit further price growth and prepare the economy (including the financial sector) for a potential collapse in housing prices is essential for limiting fluctuations in growth.
  • Topic: Markets, Economic growth, Trade, Housing
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Poland
  • Author: Jerzy Wilkin, Joanna Konieczna-Sałamatin, Mirosława Marody, Maja Sawicka, Paweł Kaczmarczyk, Jan J. Michałek, Andrzej Halesiak, Stanisława Golinowska, Irena Topińska, Anna Fornalczyk, Richard Woodward, Grzegorz Gorzelak, Andrzej Kwieciński, Katarzyna Zawalińska, Przemysław Kowalski, Anna Malinowska, Wiesława Kozek, Magdalena Kąkol, Maciej Nowicki, Grzegorz Wiśniewski, Andrzej Cylwik, Tomasz Komornicki, Urszula Sztanderska, Jacek Liwiński, Dorota Ilczuk, Anna Karpińska, Przemysław Kowalski, Mateusz Szczurek, Stanisław Gomułka, Paweł Wojciechowski
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: This report is the result of the joint work of a number of experts from various fields who have been - for many years – analysing the multidimensional effects of EU institutions and cooperation with Member States pursuant to European values and mechanisms. The authors summarise the benefits of Poland’s membership in the EU based on facts; however, they do not hide their own views and reflections. They also demonstrate the barriers and challenges to further European integration. This report was prepared by CASE, one of the oldest independent think tanks in Central and Eastern Europe, utilising its nearly 30 years of experience in providing objective analyses and recommendations with respect to socioeconomic topics. It is both an expression of concern about Poland’s future in the EU, as well as the authors’ contribution to the debate on further European integration.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Demographics, Energy Policy, Labor Issues, Economic growth, Regional Integration, Social Policy, Fiscal Policy, Innovation, Trade
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eastern Europe, Poland
  • Author: Aleksandr Łożykowski, Anna Leszczyłowska, Dmitri Jegorov
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: Estonia has Europe’s most transparent tax system (while Poland is second-to-last, in 35th place), and is also known for its pioneering approach to taxation of legal persons’ income. Since 2000, payers of Estonian corporate tax don’t pay tax on their profits as long as they don’t realize them. In principle, this approach should make access to capital easier, spark investment by companies and contribute to faster economic growth. Are these and other positive effects really noticeable in Estonia? Have other countries followed in this country’s footsteps? Would deferment of income tax be possible and beneficial for Poland? How would this affect revenue from tax on corporate profits? Would investors come to see Poland as a tax haven? Does the Estonian system limit tax avoidance and evasion, or actually the opposite? Is such a system fair? Are intermediate solutions possible, which would combine the strengths or limit the weaknesses of the classical and Estonian models of profit tax? These questions are discussed in the mBank-CASE seminar Proceeding no. 163, written by Dmitri Jegorov, deputy general secretary of the Estonian Finance Ministry, who directs the country’s tax and customs policy, Dr. Anna Leszczyłowska of the Poznań University of Economics and Business and Aleksander Łożykowski of the Warsaw School of Economics.
  • Topic: Governance, Tax Systems, Investment, Fiscal Policy, Corporate Tax
  • Political Geography: Eurasia, Poland, Estonia
  • Author: Janusz Lewandowski
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: "Many brilliant prophecies have appeared for the future of the EU and our entire planet. I believe that Europe, in its own style, will draw pragmatic conclusions from the crisis, not revolutionary ones; conclusions that will allow us to continue enjoying a Europe without borders. Brussels will demonstrate its usefulness; it will react ably and flexibly. First of all, contrary to the deceitful statements of members of the Polish government, the EU warned of the threats already in 2021. Secondly, already in mid-March EU assistance programs were ready, i.e. earlier than the PiS government’s “shield” program. The conclusion from the crisis will be a strengthening of all the preventive mechanisms that allow us to recognize threats and react in time of need. Research programs will be more strongly directed toward diagnosing and treating infectious diseases. Europe will gain greater self-sufficiency in the area of medical equipment and drugs, and the EU – greater competencies in the area of the health service, thus far entrusted to the member states. The 2021-27 budget must be reconstructed, to supplement the priority of the Green Deal with economic stimulus programs. In this way structural funds, which have the greatest multiplier effect for investment and the labor market, may return to favor. So once again: an addition, as a conclusion from the crisis, and not a reinvention of the EU," writes Dr. Janusz Lewandowski, the author of the 162nd mBank-CASE seminar Proceeding.
  • Topic: Demographics, Labor Issues, European Union, Economic growth, Banks, Trade
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Adam Śmietanka, Anna Malinowska, Grzegorz Poniatowski, Jan Hagemejer
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: This report, prepared by a team of economists from CASE, is a continuation of the 2018 analysis The significance of the tobacco product manufacturing to Poland’s economy commissioned by JTI Polska Sp. z o.o. The purpose of the research whose results are presented in this report is to assess the economic significance, challenges and development prospects of the tobacco product manufacturing, trade and distribution sector in Poland. In the report we analyze a cross-section of the tobacco industry and its significance for the economy as a whole. We also present the significant barriers to the sector’s growth, i.e. the illicit market, costs of compliance and regulatory uncertainty, and we also model the long-term macroeconomic effects of potential changes in the industry. To the best of our knowledge, at the moment this is the most comprehensive economic study of the sector.
  • Topic: Economic growth, Fiscal Policy, Manufacturing, Trade, Tobacco
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland
  • Author: Marek Dabrowski
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: The euro is the second most important global currency after the US dollar. However, its international role has not increased since its inception in 1999. The private sector prefers using the US dollar rather than the euro because the financial market for US dollar-denominated assets is larger and deeper; network externalities and inertia also play a role. Increasing the attractiveness of the euro outside the euro area requires, among others, a proactive role for the European Central Bank and completing the Banking Union and Capital Market Union.
  • Topic: European Union, Economic growth, Central Bank, Currency, Trade
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Andrzej Halesiak, Andrzej Rzońca
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: Forecasting during a strong shock is burdened with exceptionally high uncertainty. This gives rise to the temptation to formulate alarmist forecasts. Experiences from earlier pandemics, particularly those from the 20th century, for which we have the most data, don’t provide a basis for this. The mildest of them weakened growth by less than 1 percentage point, and the worst, the Spanish Flu, by 6 percentage points. Still, even the Spanish Flu never caused losses on the order of 20% of GDP – not even where it turned out to be a humanitarian disaster, costing the lives of 3-5% of the population. History suggests that if pandemics lead to such deep losses at all, it’s only in particular quarters and not over a whole year, as economic activity rebounds. The strength of that rebound is largely determined by economic policy. The purpose of this work is to describe possible scenarios for a rebound in Polish economic growth after the epidemic. A separate issue, no less important, is what world will emerge from the current crisis. In the face of the 2008 financial crisis, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel said: “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things that you think you could not do before.” Such changes can make the economy and society function better than before the crisis. Unfortunately, the opportunities created by the global financial crisis were squandered. Today’s task is more difficult; the scale of various problems has expanded even more. Without deep structural and institutional changes, the world will be facing enduring social and economic problems, accompanied by long-term stagnation.
  • Topic: Financial Crisis, Economy, Economic growth, Crisis Management, Fiscal Policy, Trade
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Adam Śmietanka, Grzegorz Poniatowski, Mikhail Bonch-Osmolovsky
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: This Study contains Value Added Tax (VAT) Gap estimates for 2018, fast estimates using a simplified methodology for 2019, the year immediately preceding the analysis, and includes revised estimates for 2014-2017. It also includes the updated and extended results of the econometric analysis of VAT Gap determinants initiated and initially reported in the 2018 Report (Poniatowski et al., 2018). As a novelty, the econometric analysis to forecast potential impacts of the coronavirus crisis and resulting recession on the evolution of the VAT Gap in 2020 is reported. In 2018, most European Union (EU) Member States (MS) saw a slight decrease in the pace of gross domestic product (GDP) growth, but the economic conditions for increasing tax compliance remained favourable. We estimate that the VAT total tax liability (VTTL) in 2018 increased by 3.6 percent whereas VAT revenue increased by 4.2 percent, leading to a decline in the VAT Gap in both relative and nominal terms. In relative terms, the EU-wide Gap dropped to 11 percent and EUR 140 billion. Fast estimates show that the VAT Gap will likely continue to decline in 2019. Of the EU-28, the smallest Gaps were observed in Sweden (0.7 percent), Croatia (3.5 percent), and Finland (3.6 percent), the largest – in Romania (33.8 percent), Greece (30.1 percent), and Lithuania (25.9 percent). Overall, half of the EU-28 MS recorded a Gap above 9.2 percent. In nominal terms, the largest Gaps were recorded in Italy (EUR 35.4 billion), the United Kingdom (EUR 23.5 billion), and Germany (EUR 22 billion). The Policy Gap and its components remained stable. For the EU overall, the average Policy Gap level was 44.24 percent. Of this, in 2018, 10.07 percentage points were due to the application of various reduced and super-reduced rates (the Rate Gap) and 34.17 were due to the application of exemptions without the right to deduct. The results of the econometric analysis show that the VAT Gap is influenced by a group of factors relating to the current economic conditions, institutional environment, and economic structure as well as to the measures and actions of tax administrations. Out of a broad set of tested variables, GDP growth and general government balance appeared to explain a substantial set of VAT Gap variation across time and countries. Within the control of tax administrations, share of IT expenditure proved to have the highest statistical significance in explaining the size of the VAT Gap. In addition, the VAT Gap appeared to be inter-related with the values of risky imports of goods, indicating the role of fraud in driving the overall share of the VAT Gap. Since the COVID-19 recession will likely have a dire impact on the EU economies, the VAT Gap in 2020 is forecasted to increase. If the EU economy contracts by 7.4 percent in 2020 and the general government deficit jumps as forecasted in the Spring Forecast of the European Commission, the Gap could increase by 4.1 percentage points year-over year up to 13.7 percent and EUR 164 billion in 2020. The hike in 2020 could be more pronounced than the gradual decrease of the Gap observed over the three preceding years. Moreover, a return to the VAT Gap levels observed in 2018 and 2019 will take time and require significant action from tax administrations. This Report has been written for the European Commission, DG TAXUD, for the project TAXUD/2019/AO-14, “Study and Reports on the VAT Gap in the EU-28 Member States”, and is a follow-up to the seven reports published between 2013 and 2019.
  • Topic: European Union, Fiscal Policy, VAT, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Europe, Global Focus