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Should Tax Reform Level the Playing Field?

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  • Lawrence H. Summers

Abstract

While frequently invoked, the level playing field ideal and its practical embodiment in tax legislation has received relatively little analysis. This paper examines the economic arguments surrounding the level playing field doctrine. I conclude that leveling the playing field is an issue of little economic importance and that efforts to level the playing field like those recently enacted are likely to create more important nonneutralities than those they eliminate. They may however contribute to the perceived fairness of the tax system.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w2132.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 2132.

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Date of creation: Jan 1987
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2132

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  1. Roger H. Gordon & James R. Hines, Jr. & Lawrence H. Summers, 1987. "Notes on the Tax Treatment of Structures," NBER Chapters, in: The Effects of Taxation on Capital Accumulation, pages 223-258 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Don Fullerton & Roger H. Gordon, 1983. "A Reexamination of Tax Distortions in General Equilibrium Models," NBER Chapters, in: Behavioral Simulation Methods in Tax Policy Analysis, pages 369-426 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Summers, Lawrence H, 1981. "Capital Taxation and Accumulation in a Life Cycle Growth Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(4), pages 533-44, September.
  4. Jeremy I. Bulow & Lawrence H. Summers, 1984. "The Taxation of Risky Assets," NBER Working Papers 0897, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Jorgenson, Dale W & Yun, Kun-Young, 1986. " Tax Policy and Capital Allocation," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 88(2), pages 355-77.
  6. Lawrence H. Summers, 1987. "Investment Incentives and the Discounting of Depreciation Allowances," NBER Chapters, in: The Effects of Taxation on Capital Accumulation, pages 295-304 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Conesa, Juan C. & Domínguez, Begoña, 2013. "Intangible investment and Ramsey capital taxation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(8), pages 983-995.
  2. Slemrod, Joel, 1990. "Optimal Taxation and Optimal Tax Systems," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 4(1), pages 157-78, Winter.
  3. James R. Hines Jr., 1998. "Investment Ramifications of Distortionary Tax Subsidies," NBER Working Papers 6615, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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