A General Financial Transaction Tax: A Short Cut of the Pros, the Cons and a Proposal
AbstractThe idea of introducing a general financial transaction tax (FTT) has recently attracted rising attention. There are three reasons for this interest: First, the economic crisis was deepened by the instability of stock prices, exchange rates and commodity prices. This instability might be dampened by such a tax. Second, as a consequence of the crisis, the need for fiscal consolidation has tremendously increased. A FTT would provide governments with substantial revenues. Third, the dampening effects of a FTT on the real economy would be much smaller as compared to other tax measures like increasing the VAT. The paper summarises at first the six main arguments in favour and against a FTT. It then provides empirical evidence about the movements of the most important asset prices. These observations suggest that a small FTT (between 0.1 and 0.01 percent) would mitigate price volatility not only over the short run but also over the long run. At the same time, a FTT would yield substantial revenues. For Europe, revenues would amount to 1.6 percent of GDP at a tax rate of 0.05 percent (transaction volume is assumed to decline by roughly 65 percent at this rate). In the UK, tax receipts would be highest. Even if only transactions on exchanges are taxed in a first step (at a rate of 0.05 percent), a FTT would yield 3.6 percent of GDP in the UK. In Germany, FTT receipts would amount to 0.9 percent of GDP in this case. If a FTT is introduced in the UK and in Germany at the same time, neither country needs to fear a significant "emigration" of trading. This can be presumed because roughly 97 percent of all transactions on exchanges in the EU are carried out in these two countries.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by WIFO in its series WIFO Working Papers with number 344.
Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: 05 Oct 2009
Date of revision:
Boom and bust of asset prices; speculation; technical trading; transaction tax;
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ACC-2009-10-24 (Accounting & Auditing)
- NEP-ALL-2009-10-24 (All new papers)
- NEP-PBE-2009-10-24 (Public Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Barry Eichengreen, James Tobin, and Charles Wyplosz., 1994.
"Two Cases for Sand in the Wheels of International Finance,"
Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers
C94-045, University of California at Berkeley.
- Eichengreen, Barry & Tobin, James & Wyplosz, Charles, 1995. "Two Cases for Sand in the Wheels of International Finance," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(428), pages 162-72, January.
- Harry Huizinga, 2002. "A European VAT on financial services?," Economic Policy, CEPR & CES & MSH, vol. 17(35), pages 497-534, October.
- Ben Beachy, 2012. "A Financial Crisis Manual Causes, Consequences, and Lessons of the Financial Crisis," GDAE Working Papers 12-06, GDAE, Tufts University.
- Zsolt Darvas & Jakob von WeizsÃ¤cker, 2010.
"Financial-Transaction Tax: Small Is Beautiful,"
- Zsolt Darvas & Jakob von Weizs„cker, 2010. "Financial Transaction Tax: Small is Beautiful," IEHAS Discussion Papers 1019, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
- Zsolt Darvas & Jakob von Weizsäcker, 2010. "Financial Transaction Tax: Small is Beautiful," Working Papers 1001, Department of Mathematical Economics and Economic Analysis, Corvinus University of Budapest, revised 31 Aug 2010.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ilse Schulz).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.