Upgrading the Tax System to Boost Productivity


April 13, 2017, 12:15 PM to 1:30 PM EDT
PIIE Webcast, Washington, DC

Vítor Gaspar (Former Minister of Finance of Portugal), Laura Jaramillo (International Monetary Fund), Jason Furman (PIIE) and Mihir Desai (Harvard Business School, Harvard Law School)

Event Summary

The Peterson Institute for International Economics held a discussion of “Upgrading the Tax System to Boost Productivity,” from the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) forthcoming Fiscal Monitor, on April 13, 2017. Vitor Gaspar and Laura Jaramillo, both with the Fiscal Affairs Department of the IMF, presented their department's analysis, “Designed for Growth: Taxation and Productivity.” Jason Furman, senior fellow at the Peterson Institute, and Mihir Desai, professor of finance at Harvard Business School and professor of law at Harvard Law School, provided their commentary on these issues.

Vitor Gaspar is director of the Fiscal Affairs Department of the IMF. Prior to joining the IMF, he held a variety of senior policy positions in Banco de Portugal, including most recently as special adviser. He served as minister of state and finance of Portugal during 2011–13. He was head of the European Commission’s Bureau of European Policy Advisers during 2007–10 and director-general of research at the European Central Bank from 1998 to 2004. Laura Jaramillo is deputy division chief of the Fiscal Operations II Division in the IMF’s Fiscal Affairs Department.

Jason Furman joined the Peterson Institute as senior fellow in January 2017. He served as a top economic adviser to President Barack Obama during the previous eight years, including as the 28th chair of the Council of Economic Advisers from August 2013 to January 2017, acting as both Obama’s chief economist and a member of the cabinet. Prior to joining the Obama administration, Furman held a variety of public policy and research posts. In public policy, Furman worked at both the Council of Economic Advisers and National Economic Council during the Clinton administration and at the World Bank. In research, Furman was a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Mihir A. Desai is the Mizuho Financial Group Professor of Finance at Harvard Business School and professor of law at Harvard Law School. He is a research associate in the National Bureau of Economic Research's (NBER) Public Economics and Corporate Finance Programs and served as codirector of the NBER's India program. His professional experiences include working at CS First Boston (1989–91), McKinsey & Co. (1992), and advising a number of firms and governmental organizations. He is also on the advisory board of the International Tax Policy Forum and the Centre for Business Taxation at Oxford University.