Monthly Archives: April 2019

Prof Jeffrey M. Wooldridge Q&A and book signing

Professor Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, author of the Cengage textbook Introductory Econometrics: A Modern Approach, from Michigan State University will deliver a Q&A session at the School of Economics, led by Dr Olena Nizalova. The event will take place on Wednesday 15 May from 6.00PM to 7.00PM in KLT1 (Canterbury campus) and will examine his work which has helped find answers to real life questions. Audience participation is encouraged, so email any questions you may have to prior to the event.

The Q&A session will focus on:

  • Education and what is needed to truly evaluate teachers and schools
  • The challenges that analysts face in situations that involve large amounts of money
  • His consulting work for the U.S. government
  • The challenges of obtaining empirical findings which go against your political beliefs

The Q&A session will be followed by a book signing and drinks reception hosted by Cengage.

About Professor Jeffrey M. Wooldridge
Jeffrey Wooldridge is an American Econometrician at Michigan State University. He is known for his theoretical contributions to analysis of cross-sectional and panel data.

Book a space
For more information, email:

Prof Tony Thirlwall

The Determinants of Tax Revenue and Tax Effort in Developed and Developing Countries: Theory and New Evidence 1995-2015

by Marcelo Piancastelli, IPEA, and A.P. Thirlwall, University of Kent. Discussion paper KDPE 1903, April 2019.

Non-technical summary:

Tax Revenue is necessary for the provision of public goods and to pay for social expenditures. Developing countries are in particular need of both, where tax revenue is often less than 20 percent of GDP. This paper attempts to assess the tax effort of a selection of both developing and developed countries over the period 1995 to 2015 by estimating an international tax function, which makes the tax revenue of countries a function of the level of per capita income; the share of trade in GDP; the monetisation of an economy, and the productive structure of countries, and then comparing actual tax revenue with that predicted from the estimated model. Tax effort is measured by the ratio of the actual tax/GDP ratio to the predicted ratio. Seventeen of the thirty-four developing countries taken are estimated to have a weak tax effort with a ratio less than unity. Policy recommendations include widening the tax base; tacking avoidance and evasion, and linking international aid to tax effort.

You can download the complete paper here.

Dr Amrit Amirapu

The cost of labour regulations in India

A working paper by Dr Amrit Amirapu (University of Kent) and Dr Michael Gechter (Pennsylvania State University) has been featured on VoxEU.

‘We inform the debate on labour regulations in India by costing their burden on firms and studying the role corruption plays in increasing these costs.

In policy debates and academic literature, restrictive labour regulations have been blamed for some of the most significant problems faced by developing countries, including low labour force participation rates and low levels of employment in the formal sector (Besley and Burgess 2004, Botero et al. 2004, Djankov and Ramalho 2009). But there is a bit of a puzzle: why are labour regulations so costly in a developing country setting, where enforcement agencies are typically characterised by severe resource constraints, low compliance and widespread corruption (Svensson 2005, Chatterjee and Kanbur 2013, Kanbur and Ronconi 2015)? Moreover, how do you measure a regulation’s effective cost to firms if its enforcement differs in practice from what is written in the text of the laws?’

Read the full blog post here. 

bank notes, cash, coins

Expert comment: UK economy grows but labour productivity continues to stagnate

Professor Miguel Leon-Ledesma from the School of Economics notes that despite a small rise in UK GDP there are areas of concern, not least stagnating labour productivity.

‘According to ONS figures, GDP grew by 0.2% in the UK between November 2018 and January 2019. This is the “rolling three-month” release that is not comparable with quarterly growth statistics in National Accounts and is a provisional figure. It is important to note that these figures are likely to be revised in the future. Since revisions normally range between 0.1 and 0.2 percentage points, we cannot make much out of the number and it should be treated with caution…’

The full article can be viewed on the University of Kent website here.