Taxes and the Economy


Taxes and the Economy

A Survey on the Impact of Taxes on Growth, Employment, Investment, Consumption and the Environment

9781849800167 Edward Elgar Publishing
Willem Vermeend, former Minister in the Dutch government and Faculty of Law and the Faculty of Economics, University of Maastricht, The Netherlands, Frederick van der Ploeg, Research Director, Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford, UK and Jan Willem Timmer, Faculty of Law, University of Maastricht, The Netherlands
Publication Date: 2009 ISBN: 978 1 84980 016 7 Extent: 512 pp
Since World War II OECD countries have increasingly used taxation to achieve a variety of economic policy objectives of which stimulating economic activity and employment are usually the most important. The tax system is also used to create a favourable climate for investment, to spur business innovation and to promote long-term sustainable environmental policy. More recently, policies have focused on stimulating child care and encouraging citizens to work for longer. This book discusses the effects of taxation on the economy and its development. It aims to provide the reader with the necessary empirical information, while at the same time presenting an overview of the latest theory. In doing so, it touches on many relevant policy issues.

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This book discusses the impact of taxation on economic growth, employment, investment, consumption and the environment. The public finance literature commonly distinguishes between three major functions of taxation: the traditional function of raising revenue to finance government expenditure; the distributional function as an instrument to alter the distribution of income and wealth amongst households; and the regulatory function that uses taxation at the benefit of stabilization and other economic policies. Especially after the Second World War, OECD countries have increasingly used taxation to achieve a variety of economic and social objectives. Today many governments use the tax system to stimulate economic growth and employment. Fiscal measures also play a role in creating a favourable climate for business investment and to promote a long-term sustainable environmental policy. Currently, in the debate on global warming, the use of tax instruments to tackle climate change is on the top of the international agenda.

The authors aim to provide the reader with the necessary empirical information, while at the same time presenting an overview of the latest theory and best practices. In doing so, many relevant policy issues are touched upon. Based on theoretical and empirical studies and practical experiences in OECD countries, the book establishes guidelines for effective tax policy. The book offers tools for tax design in a globalising economy and the world of the internet with increasing tax competition and a growing battle for companies and brains between countries. The book also presents a ‘carrot and stick’ model to promote clean technologies, reduce pollution and combat climate change. The message from the authors is straightforward: broad, low, simple, and a shift from income to consumption taxation. These principles are illustrated in a concept proposal for a so-called Second Life Tax system.
Contents: Preface Introduction Part I: Principles of Taxation 1. Taxation and Economic Policy 2. The Design of Tax Systems Part II: Key Macroeconomic Variables 3. Taxes, Benefits and Labour Market Performance 4. Capital Markets, Investment and Taxation 5. Taxes on Consumption Part III: Knowledge-based Society and Economic Growth 6. Tax Incentives for Research and Development 7. Taxes and Human Capital Accumulation Part IV: Sustainable Development 8. Tax Competition 9. Greening Tax Systems Part V: Lessons for Tax Policy 10. Summary of Findings and Recommendations Appendices: A1. Economic Growth A2. Keynesian Economics A3. Microeconomic Topics in Commodity Taxation A4. The OECD Classification of Taxes A5. Revenue Statistics A6. Relevant Web Links References Index
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