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CONFERENCE: Addressing internalities with energy and climate policies

June 3, 2024 – Sala de Recepcions – 12h


October, 23-24, 2024

SEMINAR: Andreas Löschel (Ruhr University Bochum) – «Improving Citizens’ Support for CO2 Taxes»

May 30, 2024 – 14.30h – Room 1038

SEMINAR: Camille Hémet (Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne & Paris School of Economics) – «Neighbor effect and early track choice»

May 28, 2024 – 14.30h – Room 1038

2024/04: Discovering tax decentralization: Does it impact marginal willingness to pay taxes?

Decentralized fiscal decision-making should serve to enhance welfare by promoting allocative efficiency gains and fostering greater political accountability. Within such an institutional framework, individuals are assumed to be willing to pay, at least, no less taxes than those they pay in a centralized system. We test this hypothesis by means of a survey experiment, leveraging the process of decentralization that has unfolded in Spain over the last 25 years. Our results suggest that individuals have very limited awareness of the tier of government to which they pay their taxes, frequently assuming the system to be centralized. This holds true even in regions where tax decentralization is maximum, as is the case of Spain’s foral communities. On ‘discovering decentralization’ (i.e., being informed that a tax is more decentralized than initially perceived), an individual’s marginal willingness to pay taxes undergoes only a minimal change, with the exception of that of personal income tax. These findings raise questions about the purported benefits of tax decentralization.

2024/03: Muddying the waters: How grade distributions change when university exams go online

We analyse how grade distributions change when higher education evaluations transition online and disentangle the mechanisms that help to explain the change observed in students’ results. We leverage administrative panel data, survey data and data on course plans from a large undergraduate degree at the University of Barcelona. We show that grade averages increase and their dispersion reduce. Changes are driven by students from the lower end of the performance distribution and by a reduction in the occurrence of fail grades; however, we do not find evidence for artificial `grade adjusting’ to explain the phenomenon. We are also able to dismiss shifts in the composition of test takers, improvements in teaching quality or in learning experiences and increases in Student engagement. While changes in the assessment formats employed do not appear to mediate the causal relationship between online evaluation and higher grades, we identify more dispersed evaluation opportunities and increased cheating as explanatory factors.