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Government’s Fiscal Monopoly: Mono or Poly?

European nations’ fiscal authorities must be doing an excellent job if people are willing to pay hundreds of thousands of euros for the privilege to pay taxes to them… Or is there something else behind the new market for EU citizenship?


Latest news

- The Precautionary Principle Against Science

- 10 Times More Economic Growth In The UK Than In France

- IREF In CBN News

- "Why I’m Going To Leave France"


Latest publications

April ’14 Newsletter: Is the Recovery Sustainable?

Recovery has started, according to some data. Is it sustainable? Or is it based on asset prices inflated by easy monetary policies? Inside this newsletter: * Bond markets and the real economy * Central Banking – The Illusion of Tapering * The Return of Bubbles?


The useless reshuffle : another French exception

Following lacklustre performance at local elections, the French President has appointed a new Prime Minister. Is it a good tactic, and will it change anything?


The fallacious statistics of Mr. Piketty

Book review
In his new book Capital in the 21st century (Belknap Press, April 2014), French economist Thomas Piketty presents a mass of data on asset growth in several European countries and the United States. This information improves the knowledge of our society’s relationship to capital and the divide between the richest and the poorest. Except that the author abuses these data, following 19th century scientific (...)


Are European Elections Bad for Democracy?

Where have all the voters gone....
“Nothing to see here, move on.” So goes the “apology” for low turnout rates in European elections as penned by many European analysts and commentators. “The US have them just as low at mid-term elections, so why worry?” Closer analysis of individual country data by the IREF, however, reveals that the “European turnout deficit” is actually worryingly high in many places, adding to existing concerns over EU’s democratic (...)


The Butch Dutch

They want to be taxed.. or so they say.
Government’s mortgage interest subsidy, besides creating a lot of social costs, benefits almost solely the rich, yet it’s precisely the rich who boldly claim to want to scrap the programme. What’s going on?


Dutch Disease, 2nd edition

… And Then There Were Three…
Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome to the stage Dutch Disease, 2nd edition. This time it’s not natural wealth that makes you poor, it’s a natural consequence of a poor policy.


Odd Odd-Number Experiment Has Odd Consequences. What Are The Odds?

Only those Parisians whose licence plates end with an odd number could drive their cars down the Boulevards last Monday. It was the 17th, an odd number. This is no solution to a real underlying problem which exists because of a lacking market.


Anti-Pollution Measures: A Third Of Abuse Of Power, A Third Of Mismanagement And A Third Of Demagoguery

And maybe even a fourth third of “electoralism” in order to win the hearts of green voters! In fact, the executive power has nothing but contempt for users, taxpayers and citizens.


Just How Unequal Would We Still Be If We Were All Equal?

Distribution Of Wealth Over The Life-Cycle And Inequality
Suppose we had a society where the only difference among its members were their age. How unequally would wealth then be distributed?


March Newsletter: A Questionable Recovery

The quality of the recovery remains questionable. In the meanwhile, banks must deal with new regulation and investors look for higher yields.


Matteo Renzi And The Reform Challenge In Italy

Of all the shortcomings of the Italian economy, youth unemployment (40%) is the most worrying. The new Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, took up this issue through labor law reform since it was outdated and harmful. Will he succeed where Mario Monti failed? Yet what happened at Fiat’s may be hopeful.


Obama The Ultimate Survival Guide

A Book By Wayne Allyn Root (Regnery, 2013)
Ultimately, how to resist the Obamamania that is ruining the United States?


France: Away From Global Economy?

"Made in France" produced and exported: it is indeed a very popular program, but it can only be achieved if companies want to stay in or move to France. However, they are escaping from this fiscal and regulatory hell. Abroad, corporate taxes are much lower than in France and the legal framework is stable and attractive.


A Weak Recovery Turns Monetary Policy Into A Gamble

European growth stutters along as fear of deflation exerts pressure on the ECB to loosen monetary policy further.


Save The Date! Workshop at AAU in cooperation with IREF

Institut de Recherches Economiques et Fiscales (IREF) in cooperation with Anglo-American University (AAU) is organizing a workshop on topical economic problems


European Energy Policy Is a Failure

Security supply is not guaranteed, energy cost will increase and CO2 emissions will not be reduced. This is an obvious failure that Jean Pierre Riou, President of Mont Champot, has clearly seen. The IREF support his analysis.


Corporate Tax: Northern Good Practices

It is not forbidden to former socialist countries to reduce the weight of the state and drastically reduce taxes, especially on businesses. This was done in Sweden and Denmark, where unemployment is lower than in France .


Markets, Morals and Policy-Making: A New Defence of Free‐Market Economics

Event coming up: Enrico Colombatto will intervene at the CISEPS Seminar in defence of free-market, on January 30th, 2014 in Milan. Here is reproduced the abstract of Enrico Colombatto’s talk.


The Word “Profit” Falls Into Oblivion in François Hollande’s Economic Liberalism

Here is a relevant remarks from Professor Florin Aftalion: the word "profit" has disappeared from the public debate to be replaced by the word "margin". This semantic shift is not trivial: the profit goes to CEOs and shareholders while the margin is under Government control!


Knowledge and Power

A little more than 30 years ago, George Gilder published a book titled: “Wealth and Poverty”. This book became a worldwide bestseller. As a researcher, an economist and an investor, the author showed that government intervention cannot reduce poverty, but economic growth and economic development can only achieve this goal.


Confidence Rises and Inflation Stays Low. Is Everything Under Control?

The statistics tell us that recession is over. Yet, while this has triggered tapering in the USA, it has also prompted a new of ECB promises to keep interest rates low. In the meantime, EU authorities do not seem how to deal with the world of banking, which is far weaker than meets the eye.


The U.S. Economy Is Getting Better Thanks To The Stimulus. Really?

It seems logical: economic growth resumed in the United States, and since the United States used an economic stimulus thanks to budget deficits, it could be believed that public spending lead to recovery. Indeed, but… it is in the sectors that did not benefited from the Federal money that new companies and new jobs were created. And in States that have reduced their public spending (as in some European (...)


Growth Is Fragile, But Banks Might Be In Better Shape

GDP in the EU area seems to be growing, but at a very slow pace. Although financial market remain sanguine, the real estate sector presents a mixed picture, with bad news coming from heavily indebted countries. While waiting for better news, the authorities are devoting their attention to the rating agencies. Six years after the crisis exploded, experts still find it difficult to come up with satisfactory criteria to evaluate the banking industry. The good news, however, is that regulators (...)


28 millions French workers versus 14.5 millions who live off the State!

It is the stunning figure revealed by Jean-Philippe’s Delsol in his book "Why I Am Going To Leave France", an IREF bestseller. Between the public sector (5.2 millions), the parapublic sector (2 millions), those who are granted the public allowance called "Active Solidarity Revenue" (1.3 millions) and those who are granted direct or indirect public allowances (6 millions), the total amount of the French people receiving public money is superior to those working in the private (...)


Taxation in Europe - Yearbook 2013

The yearly report on the evolution of European tax systems
A short presentation of IREF ’Yearbook on Taxation in Europe’ Series Among the many ways to understand the climate of opinion and the culture of a country, looking at its fiscal system is one of the most rewarding. Sure, fiscal systems almost always rhyme with complexity; each system bearing the weight of its history. But the attempts to change the system, to give it a new direction, are highly (...)


More Taxes, Less Revenues

The Laffer Effect Has (Also) Arrived In France
This long-debated concept by policy makers and economists is coming back. That is because the Government believes that prosperity cannot be recovered without a strict “austerity policy”. But it actually means higher taxes only. Yet, the latest concerns of the French National Assembly on a substantial fall of tax revenues for 2013 raise the question again: has France reached the top of Laffer’s (...)


IREF’s Bestseller: "Why I am Going To Leave France"

Half of France workforce is living off the State!
After publishing the real figures of the tax exile as part of the IREF research, this book tells the story of these exiles who are leaving not only for tax reasons, but also because they had enough with this France. A country where more than half of the population is living thanks to public money! This book is written as a testimony from daily facts encounters by a tax lawyer, whose main activity is to support those who wish to leave France. Among them: industrial, retirees, entrepreneurs, (...)


The 2014 Agenda

Raise Taxation Now And Fix The Banking Problem Later
More taxation, more banking supervision, more bail-in than bail-out, more banking malpractice... This month newsletter summarizes the trends that are leading the banking world.


Government Caring For Youth: The Path To Failure

France hosted in the November 15th week a summit dedicated to the "Fight Against Youth Unemployment." This is an excellent initiative for a country where the 16-25 years-old population reached a 26.1 % unemployment rate. Yet, France should be doing what is being done elsewhere, especially in Germany, where the rate of youth unemployment is three times lower than in France: 7.7 (...)


United States: 800,000 Civil Servants Unemployed Means 212,000 Private Sector Jobs Created

About a month ago, the United States experienced the "Shutdown" for 15 days. Several jurisdictions were closed and about 800,000 employees have been laid off because no agreement was reached on the budget. The Democrats and President Obama cried about the paralysis of the economy in order to end the "shutdown". In fact, the US economy has not been affected by the shutdown. More: the US economy even experienced an upturn. According to the data on the third quarter, U.S. GDP grew by 2.8% and (...)


UK Corporate Tax: From 26% to 20% In 2016

As shown in the Report of the IREF on Taxation in Europe, many countries have lowered their corporate tax. The UK is among them. The corporate tax will gradually decrease: 23% in 2013/14, 21% in 2014/15 and 20% in 2015/16. It must be an example for countries as France…


US Tax Exile: 1130 US Citizens Gone

1,130: here is the number of Americans who gave up their citizenship and left the US territory. Taxation made them leave. Who said the US was a tax haven? It is true that tax pressure on individuals and companies is much lighter than in France. Furthermore there is a real tax competition between the States. Yet, it is not sufficient. Many American taxpayers left because of Obama’s policy and tax increases. Thus, in Q2 of this year, 1130 US taxpayers gave up their citizenship because of (...)


France: A Free-Trader President After Hollande?

According to the Harris Interactive poll for Le Figaro daily and LCP television, French President Hollande would not be reelected in 2017. His fiscal policies are highly criticized and would cost him his reelection. It seems that Holland is discovering this principle : the more taxes, the less votes. Yet, if he is not reelected, what would be next?


Violence and Absurdity of French Anti-Wealth Ideologists

Attacks against wealthy people are still going on in spite of the fact the Welfare-State is plundering taxpayers. In a recently published book, sociologists – I should say ideologists – Michel and Monique Pionçon-Charlot are criticizing those they call "deliquents". No, wealthy people are not offenders or delinquent. They are above all those who create jobs.


Positive Opinion of the Administration: France vs Germany

50% against 73% favorable to the administration!
According to a Eurobarometer / TNS Opinion, only 50% of the French people have a good opinion of their government whereas 46% have a bad opinion (4% are undecided). In Germany, the government gathers 73% favorable opinion and 23% unfavorable opinions (4% were undecided). Yet, in 2013 public spending in Germany reach 45.4% of GDP against 57.2% in France. A huge difference - 12 points - which does not contribute to the improvement of our public sector. That is a good reason to reduce (...)


National Debts Reappear, Old Issues Remain Unsolved

Monthly Newsletter
Something is rotten in the European Union! It looks like a hide and seek game, where countries and banks are playing a very dangerous game for the citizens’ future. Thus, between political instabilities, stealthy defaults, unhealthy and reckless banks and a real estate market that is artificially boucing back, there are many concerns about the EU’s future.


The Stimulus Does Not Work

The crisis of the world economy since 2008 has encouraged various governments to increase the share of public spending. This increase was a general phenomenon among the OECD countries and contributed to an unprecedented debt hike. An IREF study comparing the development of key economic indicators over the recent period (1997-2011) for some 30 OECD member countries makes it possible to update the link between public spending and economic growth in the light of the first impact of deficit (...)


Germany : Less Welfare State, More Electoral Victories

Reforming is a path for reelection: German Chancellor Angela Merkel privatized, deregulated, capitalized. She did not reflate nor accepted deficits : she reduced taxes. For sure, there are some lessons to learn for France.


Dutch King Willem Alexander Ends The Welfare State

John Galt in The Netherlands?
"A nation with a small but strong government which gives people the space they need": this what Dutch King Wilhem-Alexander wants for his people. And it has become a domestic policy on September 17th, 2013. The King has a life-time in front of him to consider the social, economic and political evolutions of society. Unlike an elected President, he does not have only a handful of years poisoned by the lurking idea of reelection for another handful of years to propose or back policies. That (...)


Freedom of Education and Students’ Assessments

The more freedom, the better the assessments ! That are the global conclusions of Sylvain Charat, Ph.D when comparing the European data base on school systems Eurydice and the OECD Pisa assessment data base. The freedom of education is measured (...)



Last Seminar

Free Market Road Show


Last Publication

Comparison Between the Banque de France and the Bundesbank


Last Digit

Banque de France vs Bundesbank


Latest Study

Legitimacy and The Cost of Government


Last Topics

The Welfare State and The Individual Responsibility


In the media

IREF Bookseller: "Before It’s News"


"Why I Am Going To Leave France" in the Financial Post


"Why I Am Going To Leave France" in the Marginal Revolution


"Why I Am Going To Leave France" in the Telegraph


Financial Times