Public Finance

A Green New Deal Without Growth?


Mastinia, Ricardos, Giorgos Kallis, and Jason Hickel. 2021. “A Green New Deal Without Growth?” Ecological Economics 179.

Authors: Mastinia, Ricardos , Giorgos Kallis, Jason Hickel


The IPCC warns that in order to keep global warming under 1.5°, global emissions must be cut to zero by 2050. Policymakers and scholars debate how best to decarbonise the energy system, and what socio-economic changes might be necessary. Here we review the strengths, weaknesses, and synergies of two prominent climate change mitigation narratives: the Green New Deal and degrowth. Green New Deal advocates propose a plan to coordinate and finance a large-scale overhaul of the energy system. Some see economic growth as crucial to financing this transition, and claim that the Green New Deal will further stimulate growth. By contrast, proponents of degrowth maintain that growth makes it more difficult to accomplish emissions reductions, and argue for reducing the scale of energy use to enable a rapid energy transition. The two narratives converge on the importance of public investments for financing the energy transition, industrial policies to lead the decarbonisation of the economy, socializing the energy sector to allow longer investment horizons, and expanding the welfare state to increase social protection. We conclude that despite important tensions, there is room for synthesizing Green New Deal and degrowth-minded approaches into a ‘Green New Deal without growth.’

Keywords: Green New Deal, degrowth, decarbonisation, green growth, ecological economics, political ecology

Topics: Economies, Ecological Economics, Public Finance, Infrastructure, Energy

Year: 2021

Debt and Climate: Entangled Emergencies Derailing Women’s Rights and Gender Justice


Fresnillo Sallan, Iolanda. 2020. “Debt and Climate: Entangled Emergencies Derailing Women’s Rights and Gender Justice.” Gender & Development 28 (3): 499–513.

Author: Iolanda Fresnillo Sallan


As a new debt crisis is hitting the global South, aggravated by the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, governments and economies will face growing difficulties and challenges to deal with climate emergencies, adaptation, and mitigation. As we have seen in the past, debt crises tend to have a negative impact on women’s rights and gender equality, mainly through the implementation of austerity measures. Additionally, the climate emergency also has specific negative impacts on women’s rights and gender justice. The article explores the cumulative impacts on women of debt and austerity dynamics on one side, and climate crisis on the other. Also it proposes responses to the economic, social, and environmental crisis we are living, that address both debt and climate risks in a comprehensive, systemic, and feminist approach.


L’hémisphère Sud est touchée par une nouvelle crise de la dette aggravée par l’impact économique de la pandémie de COVID-19, et les gouvernements et les économies vont donc devoir se confronter à des difficultés et des défis croissants les poussant à se pencher sur les situations d’urgence liées au climat, ainsi que l’adaptation et l’atténuation. Comme nous l’avons vu dans le passé, les crises de la dette tendent à avoir un impact négatif sur les droits des femmes et l’égalité des sexes — principalement à travers la mise en oeuvre de mesures d’austérité. De plus, l’urgence climatique a aussi des impacts négatifs spécifiques sur les droits des femmes et la justice de genre. Cet article examine les effets cumulatifs sur les femmes de la dette et de la dynamique de l’austérité d’un côté, et de la crise climatique de l’autre. Il propose par ailleurs des réponses à la crise économique, sociale et environnementale que nous traversons, qui abordent les risques liés tant à la dette qu’au climat dans le cadre d’une approche globale, systémique et féministe.


A medida que una nueva crisis de la deuda, agravada por el impacto económico de la pandemia de COVID 19, golpee al Sur Global, los gobiernos y las economías tendrán que enfrentar crecientes dificultades y desafíos para hacer frente a las emergencias climáticas, promover adaptaciones e instrumentar estrategias de mitigación. Como hemos visto en el pasado, las crisis de la deuda tienden a provocar impactos negativos en los derechos de la mujer y la igualdad de género —principalmente mediante la aplicación de medidas de austeridad. Además, la emergencia climática tiene efectos negativos concretos en los derechos de la mujer y la igualdad de género. El presente artículo analiza los efectos negativos acumulativos ocasionados en las mujeres por la dinámica de la deuda y la austeridad, por un lado, y la crisis climática, por el otro. Asimismo, propone algunas respuestas a las crisis económica, social y ambiental que estamos viviendo, que abordan la deuda y los riesgos climáticos desde una perspectiva integral, sistémica y feminista.

Keywords: debt, climate austerity, public services, macroeconomic policies, ecofeminism

Topics: Economies, Public Finance, Environment, Climate Change, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Health, Rights, Women's Rights

Year: 2020

Gendered Implications of Tax Reform in Latin America: Argentine, Chile, Costa Rica, and Jamaica


Huber, Evelyne. 2006. "Gendered Implications of Tax Reform in Latin America: Argentine, Chile, Costa Rica, and Jamaica." In Gender and Social Policy in a Global Context, edited by Shahra Razavi and Shireen Hassim, 301-21. London: Palgrave Macmillan London.

Author: Evelyne Huber


In Latin American and Caribbean countries, poverty and inequality have been longstanding problems, and the momentous economic and social policy changes over the past two decades have done little to ameliorate them. The most effective means for reducing class- and gender-based poverty and inequality would be citizenship-based entitlements to basic (i.e. allowing basic subsistence) income support, healthcare, and education. In advanced industrial societies, public spending is an extremely important instrument for the alleviation of class- and gender-based poverty and inequality (Moller et al. 2003; Bradley et al. 2003; Huber and Stephens 2001), and it could potentially play a similar role in Latin America and the Caribbean. However, responsible, that is non-inflationary, financing of such programs requires a sound system of taxation, something that is scarce in developing countries, including in Latin America and the Caribbean. Systems of taxation on their part have important implications for class and gender equity. This chapter explores changes in the systems of taxation in four Latin American and Caribbean countries — Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, and Jamaica — from the point of view of their gendered impact.

Keywords: International Monetary Fund, indirect taxis, direct taxis, gender implication, Jamaica Labour Party

Topics: Citizenship, Class, Development, Economies, Public Finance, Poverty, Education, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Health Regions: Americas, Caribbean countries, Central America, South America Countries: Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, Jamaica

Year: 2006

Illicit Financial Flows: Why We Should Claim These Resources for Gender, Economic, and Social Justice


Waris, Attiya. 2017. Illicit Financial Flows: Why We Should Claim These Resources for Gender, Economic, and Social Justice. Toronto: Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID).

Author: Attiya Waris


“This brief focuses on international illicit financial flows (IFFs) and why these ‘lost’ resources should be claimed for gender, economic and social justice.
It will explore the following three issues:
1.     Understand the basic concept of IFFs and highlight their disproportional gender impact, in relation to the drain in developing countries of critical resources, for the advancement of women’s human rights.
2.     Unveil the current legal and political frameworks that allow multinational corporations to benefit from tax abuse to the detriment of people and planet
3.     Provide recommendations, from a feminist perspective, on how to demand transparency and corporate accountability in order to curb illicit financial flows" (Waris n.d., 7).

Topics: Development, Economies, Public Finance, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Men, Multi-National Corporations, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights

Year: 2017

The Gendered Dimensions of Illicit Financial Flows


Merkle, Ortrun. 2019. The Gendered Dimensions of Illicit Financial Flows. Berlin: Transparency International and CHR Michelsen Institute. 

Author: Ortun Merkle


Illicit financial flows (IFFs) are increasingly understood as one of the greatest challenges to global development. Interestingly, while much attention is paid to gendered aspects of development overall, there are very few studies exploring the extent to which women are affected by and involved in IFFs. The links between gender and IFFs can be investigated from three main perspectives: i) how IFFs specifically affect women; ii) the roles women play in IFFs; and iii) how women can help curb IFFs.

Topics: Development, Economies, Public Finance, Gender, Women

Year: 2019

Macroeconomic Policy Tools to Finance Gender Equality


Seguino, Stephanie. 2019. “Macroeconomic Policy Tools to Finance Gender Equality.” Development Policy Review  37 (4): 504-25.

Author: Stephanie Seguino


Feminist economists and heterodox macroeconomists have contributed substantively to the body of research that explores the distributional effects of macro policies. This work explicitly addresses the livelihood problems created by neoliberalism and, in addition, it provides a pathway for identifying financing mechanisms. Building on earlier work by Seguino and Grown (2006), this article synthesizes and elaborates the major contributions of this body of gender and macro research and, from this, extrapolates macro-level policies and tools that support gender equality. Among the tools identified is targeted government spending on physical and social infrastructure, the latter a relatively new conceptual tool that is discussed in detail. A key argument is that financing for gender equality that raises economy-wide productivity can be self-sustaining. As a result, both physical and social infrastructure spending have the ability to create fiscal space. This possibility offers a financing framework for gender equality expenditures. A contribution of this article is to critique mainstream monetary policies and identify alternative approaches that expand the toolkit to achieve gender equality goals. 

Keywords: monetary policy, gender, fiscal space, public investment, fiscal policy

Topics: Economies, Public Finance, Feminisms, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Infrastructure, Livelihoods

Year: 2019

Women, Tax and Social Programs: The Gendered Impact of Funding Social Programs Through the Tax System


Young, Claire F.L. 2000. Women, Tax and Social Programs: The Gendered Impact of Funding Social Programs Through the Tax System. Ottowa: Status of Women Canada. 

Author: Claire F.L. Young


This study examines the impact on women of funding social programs through the tax system. It does so using the framework of tax expenditure analysis, which allows one to view any departure from the normative tax system (i.e., those basic rules, such as the tax rate and the tax unit, that comprise the revenue-raising part of the system) as a spending measure. The analysis also takes into account the socio-economic realities of women’s lives and concludes that many tax measures that are subsidies in respect of social programs do not benefit women to the same extent that they benefit men. Tax measures explored include the childcare expense deduction, the Canada Child Tax Benefit, tax subsidies for retirement saving, the disability tax credit and tax relief for caregivers. The conclusion is that in many instances women have less access to these tax subsidies and, often, the amount they receive is less than the amount that men receive. The study concludes with a list of issues that should be considered by those involved in the tax policy process in order to ensure that women are not disadvantaged in comparison to men when tax subsidies are used to fund social programs.

Topics: Economies, Public Finance, Gender, Women, Men Regions: Americas, North America Countries: Canada

Year: 2000

Gender, Tax Reform and Taxation Cooperation Issues: Navigating Equity and Efficiency under Policy Constraints


Williams, Mariama. 2019. Gender, Tax Reform and Taxation Cooperation Issues: Navigating Equity and Efficiency under Policy Constraints. Policy Brief No. 9. Geneva: The South Centre.

Author: Mariama Williams


This policy brief has sought to present a review of the state of thinking and research on a pressing issue of the day: tax reform and tax cooperation and its gendered impacts. There is undeniably widespread agreement amongst all the entities of global governance with responsibility for a role in macroeconomic, financial and trade policies that gender equality and women’s empowerment are important to sustained growth and development. Increasingly, these same voices are articulating and researching on how fiscal policy both on the budgetary and on the revenue side can be made more efficient, gender sensitive and gender responsive. Taxation is the latest area of focused attention in this regard. There is now a quite strong body of work, including case studies, that demonstrates how the tax system can work to the disadvantage of socio-economic development and social goals including gender equality and women’s empowerment. 
La présente note d'orientation a pour but de présenter un état de la réflexion et de la recherche concernant la question brûlante des réformes et de la coopération en matière fiscale et leurs incidences en fonction du sexe. Il existe un consensus clair au sein des structures de la gouvernance mondiale qui jouent un rôle dans les politiques macroéconomiques, financières et commerciales selon lequel l'égalité des sexes et l'autonomisation des femmes sont essentielles pour garantir une croissance et un développement durables. De plus en plus des voix s'expriment et des recherches sont entreprises sur les moyens permettant de faire en sorte que les politiques fiscales, tant du point de vue des dépenses que du point de vue des recettes, soient plus efficaces, tiennent davantage compte des questions de genre et intègrent la dimension homme-femme. La fiscalité est le dernier domaine qui fait l'objet d'une attention particulière sur ce point. Il existe aujourd'hui un corpus de travaux plus que solide, y compris des études de cas, qui démontrent que le système fiscal peut nuire au développement socio-économique et aux objectifs sociaux, qui incluent l’égalité des sexes et l'autonomisation des femmes.
Este informe de políticas tiene como objetivo presentar un balance de la opinión predominante y la investigación sobre un tema apremiante de la actualidad: la reforma y la cooperación tributarias y sus repercusiones en las cuestiones de género. Entre todas las entidades de gobernanza mundial responsables de desempeñar un papel en las políticas macroeconómicas, financieras y comerciales existe indiscutiblemente un amplio consenso acerca de la importancia de la igualdad de género y el empoderamiento de las mujeres para lograr el crecimiento y el desarrollo sostenidos. Cada vez más, estas mismas voces están articulando e investigando de qué forma la política fiscal, tanto en materia presupuestaria como de ingresos, puede ser más eficiente y sensible a las cuestiones de género y tener en cuenta el género. La tributación es el último ámbito en que se está centrando la atención a este respecto. Actualmente, existe un corpus de trabajo bastante sólido que incluye estudios de caso y demuestra que el sistema tributario puede perjudicar el desarrollo socioeconómico y los objetivos sociales, como la igualdad de género y el empoderamiento de las mujeres.

Topics: Development, Economies, Public Finance, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance

Year: 2019

Gender and the Formal and Informal Systems of Local Public Finance in Sierra Leone


van den Boogaard, Vanessa. 2018. “Gender and the Formal and Informal Systems of Local Public Finance in Sierra Leone.” Working Paper No. 87, International Centre for Tax and Development (ICTD), Brighton. 

Author: Vanessa van den Boogaard


This paper considers how men and women in eastern and northern Sierra Leone interact differently with formal and informal revenue collection. It argues that the literature on tax and gender equity needs to be expanded in low-income countries to pay greater attention to the ways that citizens pay for public services in practice. It shows that formal taxation affects a very small proportion of the population, and especially of the female population. The reality is that women primarily pay for services at the local level through informal revenue contributions, which has the potential to reinforce gender inequities on account of the implications for intra-household divisions of power and lack of associated opportunities for political representation.

Keywords: gender, informal systems, local public finance, Sierra Leone

Topics: Economies, Informal Economies, Public Finance, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equity, Households, Political Participation Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Sierra Leone

Year: 2018

Gender, Poverty, and Taxation


Valodia, Imraan. 2009. “Gender, Poverty, and Taxation.” Empowering Women for Gender Equity, no. 81: 137-47.

Author: Imraan Valodia


While gender-budgeting has grown in prominence gender activists and policymakers have paid insufficient attention to the taxation side of public finance. Drawing on a three-year eight-country study this Profile outlines why gender activists should be concerned about the revenue side of the budget, shares the conceptual approach, methodology and some of the research findings of the study, and highlights key policy issues flowing from the research. The project found that income taxes continued to be biased against women. Somewhat against expectations, because these were carefully designed, value-added taxes in all of the countries studied did not appear to place an undue burden on poor women.

Keywords: gender, taxation, tax policy

Topics: Economies, Public Finance, Gender, Women

Year: 2009


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