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Steuerpolitik im Dienste der Umverteilung: eine makroökonomische Ergänzung

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  • Achim Truger

Abstract

The trend of increasing inequality in the distribution of income and wealth in most developed countries, including Germany, has led to calls for corrective tax increases for the rich and wealthy. Such calls are often confronted with the claim that corrective taxation will unavoidably lead to lower output and employment. In fact, within the field of public economics usually a more or less strong trade-off between (re-)distribution and efficiency is assumed. A macroeconomic perspective, however, may change the picture. Depending on the theoretical approach chosen, redistribution may be conducive to output and employment both in the short and in the long run. If the economy is constrained by insufficient demand and if inequality is detrimental to private consumption, redistributive taxation may strengthen growth and employment via the resulting increase in private consumption. At the same time a change towards such a policy of redistribution may well be the prerequisite for compliance with the constitutional debt brake if an increase of the international macroeconomic imbalances that have come to be seen as a root cause of the global financial and economic crisis 2008/2009 by many observers is to be avoided. Die auch in Deutschland trendmäßig gestiegene Einkommens- und Vermögensungleichheit führt zunehmend zu Forderungen nach steuerpolitischer Korrektur durch höhere Steuern für Wohlhabende und Vermögende. Solche Forderungen begegnen jedoch häufig dem Einwand, die höhere steuerliche Belastung sei unweigerlich mit Wachstums- und Beschäftigungseinbußen verbunden. Tatsächlich geht die Finanzwissenschaft üblicherweise von einem mehr oder weniger starken Zielkonflikt zwischen Allokation und Distribution aus. Dabei werden allerdings wichtige makroökonomische Überlegungen ausgeblendet. Eine makroökonomische Betrachtung kann je nach verwendetem theoretischen Ansatz zu der ganz anderen Schlussfolgerung einer kurz- oder sogar langfristigen Zielharmonie zwischen Umverteilung sowie Wachstum und Beschäftigung führen: Sofern die Ökonomie nachfrageseitigen Beschränkungen unterliegt und der private Konsum durch höhere Ungleichheit negativ beeinträchtigt wird, kann eine Verringerung der Ungleichheit über eine Ausweitung des privaten Konsums Wachstum und Beschäftigung stärken. Ein Wechsel hin zu einer solchen Umverteilungspolitik ist wahrscheinlich auch die Voraussetzung für die Einhaltung der grundgesetzlichen Schuldenbremse, ohne dabei die internationalen makroökonomischen Ungleichgewichte zu verstärken, die von vielen Ökonomen mittlerweile als eine wesentliche Ursache für die globale Finanz- und Wirtschaftskrise 2008/2009 ausgemacht werden.

Suggested Citation

  • Achim Truger, 2013. "Steuerpolitik im Dienste der Umverteilung: eine makroökonomische Ergänzung," Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung / Quarterly Journal of Economic Research, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 82(1), pages 43-59.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwvjh:82-1-4
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Katja Rietzler & Dieter Teichmann & Achim Truger, 2013. "IMK Steuerschätzung 2013-2017," IMK Report 81-2013, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Macroeconomic effects of taxation; redistribution and macroeconomic performance; macroeconomic imbalances;

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth

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