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Direct versus Indirect Taxation: Trends, Theory and Economic Significance

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Abstract

One of the oldest questions in the theory and practice of taxation is that of the appropriate mix of direct and indirect taxes. The choice between direct and indirect taxes has contributed to a long animated debate, in political and academic circles, regarding the virtues and defects of those two forms of taxation. In this paper we provide an overview of the evolution of the ratio of direct taxes to indirect taxes across countries over the past three decades, the theorizing that has gone behind the alleged superiority of one form of taxation or the other, the determinants that appear to be behind the intensity with which both forms of taxation are used, and the economic relevance of the choice of tax structure in terms of economic growth, macroeconomic stability, the distribution of income, and the flow of foreign direct investment (FDI).

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University in its series International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU with number paper0911.

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Length: 57 pages
Date of creation: 01 Aug 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ays:ispwps:paper0911

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Keywords: Direct Taxation; Indirect Taxation; Taxation; Foreign direct investment (FDI).;

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Cited by:
  1. Richard M. Bird, 2013. "Foreign Advice and Tax Policy in Developing Countries," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper1307, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  2. Dolls, Mathias & Peichl, Andreas & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2011. "Eine Herausforderung für die G20: Global vereinbarte Schuldenbremsen und transnationale fiskalpolitische Aufsichtsgremien," IZA Standpunkte 45, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Bird, Richard M. & Zolt, Eric M., 2011. "Dual Income Taxation: A Promising Path to Tax Reform for Developing Countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(10), pages 1691-1703.
  4. Claus, Iris & Martinez-Vazquez, Jorge & Vulovic, Violeta, 2012. "Government Fiscal Policies and Redistribution in Asian Countries," ADB Economics Working Paper Series 310, Asian Development Bank.
  5. Hetzer, Nina & Peichl, Andreas, 2009. "Steuerstrukturreform trotz leerer Kassen?!," IZA Standpunkte 23, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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