Voluntary disclosure programmes offer tax evaders the opportunity to come clean with reduced penalties. This column uses data from the US and Germany to examine the merits of such programmes. They are found to increase tax evasion, but also to significantly lower administrative costs, leading to a net increase in tax revenues.
Dominika Langenmayr, Friday, November 13, 2015 - 00:00
Aspen Gorry, Kevin Hassett, Glenn Hubbard, Aparna Mathur, Monday, October 19, 2015 - 00:00
As the tabloid press and broadsheet newspapers often report, executive compensation has grown dramatically since the 1980s and continues to rise in most financial centres. This column looks at how compensating executives has changed in recent years, and suggests ways that governments can collect revenue more effectively in response.
Sebastian Galiani, Camila Navajas Ahumada, Marcela Meléndez, Monday, August 10, 2015 - 00:00
Informality is widespread in most developing countries. A challenge for governments is to lure informal firms into the formal economy. This column presents evidence from an experiment designed to induce formalisation in Colombia. Assistance through the bureaucratic process and the removal of the fixed costs of formalising increased the likelihood of formalisation. However, this effect did not persist over time, with many firms returning to the informal sector when minimal fixed costs came back into effect.
Ufuk Akcigit, Salome Baslandze, Stefanie Stantcheva, Monday, April 27, 2015 - 00:00
Taxing high earners is an issue of growing importance in many nations. One concern is that raising rates will lead high earners to move elsewhere. This column suggests that top-tier inventors are significantly affected by top tax rates when deciding where to live. The loss of these highly skilled agents could entail significant economic costs in terms of lost tax revenues and less overall innovation.
Ricardo Perez-Truglia, Ugo Troiano, Friday, March 20, 2015 - 00:00
Hans Holter, Dirk Krueger, Serhiy Stepanchuk, Friday, February 20, 2015 - 00:00
Tim Besley, Anders Jensen, Torsten Persson, Thursday, February 12, 2015 - 00:00
Kirill Shakhnov, Saturday, January 17, 2015 - 00:00
Ronald B. Davies, Julien Martin, Mathieu Parenti, Farid Toubal, Monday, January 5, 2015 - 00:00
Nezih Guner, Martin Lopez-Daneri, Gustavo Ventura, Sunday, October 5, 2014 - 00:00
Ruud de Mooij, Michael Keen, Victoria Perry, Sunday, September 14, 2014 - 00:00
Cait Lamberton, Jan-Emmanuel De Neve, Michael I. Norton, Friday, May 30, 2014 - 00:00
Non-compliance with tax costs governments billions, in part because people really don't like paying taxes. This column reports two experiments designed to see if it's possible to make people hate taxes a little less and raise tax compliance. The results indicate that if people are given the opportunity to express a preference (though not actually make the final decisions) on how their taxes are spent, they are much less likely to cheat. Simply by making the tax form more interactive, governments could increase tax compliance, while empowering citizens and improving their attitudes towards taxation.
Laurence J. Kotlikoff, Tuesday, January 14, 2014 - 00:00
Though taxing corporations may be a political no-brainer, it may be a big economic mistake. This column discusses recent research showing that the tax is not paid primarily by rich corporate shareholders. They can, and do, move their capital away from countries that have high corporate rates. Eliminating the US corporate tax by, for example, taxing accrued global corporate profits as personal income can produce dramatic increases in US investment, output, real wages, and saving. Modest gains accrue to early generations with very sizable gains going to young and future generations, both skilled and unskilled.
Michael Keen, Wednesday, October 16, 2013 - 00:00
Fiscal consolidation, and public concern that its pain be fairly spread, is putting tax systems under considerable pressure. This column takes stock of how they have been faring, and how they could do better.
Charles F Manski, Sunday, August 18, 2013 - 00:00
Economists usually think of taxation as inefficient. This column argues that the anti-tax rhetoric evident in much lay discussion of public policy draws considerable support from the prevalent negative language of professional economic discourse. Optimal income taxation doesn’t have to employ the pejorative concepts of inefficiency, deadweight loss and distortion; and this column argues that it is high time for economists to discard them and make analysis of taxation and public spending distortion-free.
Balázs Égert, Friday, May 10, 2013 - 00:00
France has recorded one of the lowest real per capita income growth levels in the OECD over the last 20 years or so. One of the many structural weaknesses causing this weak performance is the French tax system. This column argues that complexity, instability and non-neutrality coupled with very high effective tax rates in many areas of the French tax system put a heavy burden on the economy.
José M. González-Páramo, Ángel Melguizo, Wednesday, February 6, 2013 - 00:00
In spite of its policy relevance, academics and policymakers cannot agree on who bears the brunt of a tax on labour. This column uses meta-regression techniques to argue that economic institutions, the tax wedge definition, and the time horizon are crucial in determining who actually pays. Results based on 52 empirical papers suggest that in the long run, workers bear between two thirds of the tax burden in Continental and Anglo-Saxon economies, and nearly 90% in Nordic ones.
Mika Maliranta, Niku Määttänen, Vesa Vihriälä, Wednesday, December 19, 2012 - 00:00
Do the ‘cuddly’ Nordic countries free ride on the ‘cut-throat’ incentives for innovation in US-style economies? Don’t PCs, the internet, Google, Windows, iPhones and the Big Mac speak for themselves? This column argues that, despite a higher overall tax burden and more generous safety nets, the Nordics have generated at least as much – if not more – innovation than the US. So far, ‘cut-throat’ capitalism has not been the only road to an innovative economy.
Casey B. Mulligan, Wednesday, October 31, 2012 - 00:00
What has happened to marginal tax rates in the US? This column argues that marginal tax rates vary so much among different groups in the US that redistributive taxes have actually damaged and interfered with the incentives and make up of the workforce.
Harry Huizinga, Johannes Voget, Wolf Wagner, Wednesday, October 31, 2012 - 00:00
Capital gains taxation increases the cost of capital with potentially negative implications for growth. This column uses data from international mergers and acquisitions to show that a higher capital gains tax rate in the acquiring country reduces the international takeover price. It implies a discount of 3.4% in the acquisition prices paid by US acquiring firms, given the US capital gains tax rate of 15%.