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The Structure of Ireland’s Tax System and Options for Growth Enhancing Reform

Listed author(s):
  • Brendan O'Connor

    (Department of Finance, Dublin)

Registered author(s):

    This paper explores the structure of Ireland’s tax system. Considerable attention is given to GDP and GNP as measures of Ireland’s taxable capacity but how appropriate are either of these measures given the structure of Ireland’s economy and how does the structure compare internationally? The paper also examines the distribution of income tax and the threshold for the top marginal rate as a percentage of the average wage and identifies Ireland as an outlier internationally in terms of the rapid progression to the highest marginal rate. Consideration is then given to the microeconomic and macroeconomic impacts of various forms of tax what lessons emerge from the literature in terms of growth enhancing reforms to the overall tax structures and how that might apply to Ireland. The results of simulations suggest permanent increases in GDP and employment from a revenue neutral shift from labour to consumption or property taxes.

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    File URL: http://www.esr.ie/article/download/93/73/93-332-1-PB.pdf
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    Article provided by Economic and Social Studies in its journal Economic and Social Review.

    Volume (Year): 44 (2013)
    Issue (Month): 4 ()
    Pages: 511-540

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    Handle: RePEc:eso:journl:v:44:y:2013:i:4:p:511-540
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    1. Richard Blundell & Alan Duncan & Costas Meghir, 1998. "Estimating Labor Supply Responses Using Tax Reforms," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(4), pages 827-862, July.
    2. Stephen Nickell, 2003. "Employment and Taxes," CESifo Working Paper Series 1109, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. Blumkin, Tomer & Ruffle, Bradley J. & Ganun, Yosef, 2012. "Are income and consumption taxes ever really equivalent? Evidence from a real-effort experiment with real goods," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(6), pages 1200-1219.
    4. (IFS), Institute for Fiscal Studies & Mirrlees, James (ed.), 2011. "Tax By Design: The Mirrlees Review," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199553747.
    5. European Commission, 2011. "Tax Reforms in EU Member States 2011: tax policy challenges for economic growth and fiscal sustainability," Taxation Papers 28, Directorate General Taxation and Customs Union, European Commission.
    6. Gareth D. Myles, 2009. "Economic Growth and the Role of Taxation-Theory," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 713, OECD Publishing.
    7. European Commission, 2013. "Taxation trends in the European Union: 2013 edition," Taxation trends 2013, Directorate General Taxation and Customs Union, European Commission.
    8. Heckman, James J, 1993. "What Has Been Learned about Labor Supply in the Past Twenty Years?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 116-121, May.
    9. FitzGerald, John, 2013. "The Effect of Re-domiciled Plcs on Irish Output Measures and the Balance of Payments," Research Notes RN2013/1/2, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    10. Judd, Kenneth L., 1985. "Redistributive taxation in a simple perfect foresight model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 59-83, October.
    11. Gareth D. Myles, 2009. "Economic Growth and the Role of Taxation - Disaggregate Data," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 715, OECD Publishing.
    12. Tim Callan & Claire Keane & John Walsh, 2010. "What Role for Property Taxes in Ireland?," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 41(1), pages 87-107.
    13. Chamley, Christophe, 1986. "Optimal Taxation of Capital Income in General Equilibrium with Infinite Lives," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 607-622, May.
    14. European Commission, 2012. "Tax reforms in EU Member States - Tax policy challenges for economic growth and fiscal sustainability – 2012 Report," Taxation Papers 34, Directorate General Taxation and Customs Union, European Commission.
    15. Bergin, Adele & Conefrey, Thomas & FitzGerald, John & Kearney, Ide & Znuderl, Nusa, 2013. "The HERMES-13 macroeconomic model of the Irish economy," Papers WP460, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    16. Callan, Tim & Savage, Michael, 2013. "Tax and Taxable Capacity: Ireland in Comparative Perspective," Research Notes RN2012/4/1, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    17. Gareth D. Myles, 2009. "Economic Growth and the Role of Taxation - Aggregate Data," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 714, OECD Publishing.
    18. Åsa Johansson & Chistopher Heady & Jens Arnold & Bert Brys & Laura Vartia, 2008. "Taxation and Economic Growth," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 620, OECD Publishing.
    19. European Commission, 2011. "Taxation trends in the European Union: 2011 edition," Taxation trends 2011, Directorate General Taxation and Customs Union, European Commission.
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