Optimal taxation as a guide to tax policy: a survey
The purpose of this paper is to survey the field of optimal taxation. In order to provide a focus, and bearing in mind the interests of many of the readers of Fiscal Studies, the paper will concentrate on attempting to answer the question of whether, and to what extent, the literature on optimal taxation can provide guidance in the practical determination of tax policy. This focus means that the survey will be selective, and will neglect many intellectually interesting results that have not yet been developed to provide clear policy conclusions. It is an interest in tax policy that has led a number of economists to undertake research on optimal taxation, and so one might expect the link between the research and the policy-making to be clear. However, the level of abstraction of much of the research, together with the extensive use of (sometimes difficult) mathematics, has caused many policy-orientated people to discount its practical value. It is dismissed as being “academic’, with little or no practical value. For some, the mere title of the field is off-putting: how can any aspect of public policy, with all its political constraints and administrative problems, ever hope to be optimal? Particularly, how can anything as unpopular as taxation be described in such terms?
Volume (Year): 14 (1993)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: (+44) 020 7291 4800
Fax: (+44) 020 7323 4780
Web page: http://www.ifs.org.ukEmail:
More information through EDIRC
|Order Information:|| Postal: The Institute for Fiscal Studies 7 Ridgmount Street LONDON WC1E 7AE|
References listed on IDEAS
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.:
- Myles, Gareth D., 1989. "Ramsey tax rules for economies with imperfect competition," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 95-115, February.
- Allen, Franklin, 1982. "Optimal linear income taxation with general equilibrium effects on wages," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 135-143, March.
- repec:cup:cbooks:9780521397421 is not listed on IDEAS
- Heady, Christopher, 1987. "A Diagrammatic Approach to Optimal Commodity Taxation," Public Finance = Finances publiques, , vol. 42(2), pages 250-63.
- repec:cup:cbooks:9780521265638 is not listed on IDEAS
- Tuomala, Matti, 1990. "Optimal Income Tax and Redistribution," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198286059, March.
- Richard Blundell, 1992. "Labour supply and taxation: a survey," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 13(3), pages 15-40, January.
- Ebrahimi, Ahmad & Heady, Christopher, 1987. "Tax Design and Household Composition," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 98(390), pages 83-96, Supplemen.
- Mirrlees, James A, 1971. "An Exploration in the Theory of Optimum Income Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(114), pages 175-208, April.
- Heady, Christopher J. & Mitra, Pradeep K., 1992. "Taxation in decentralizing socialist economies : the case of China," Policy Research Working Paper Series 820, The World Bank.
- Peter A. Diamond & J. A. Mirrlees, 1968. "Optimal Taxation and Public Production," Working papers 22, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Deaton, Angus, 1979. "Optimally uniform commodity taxes," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 2(4), pages 357-361.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ifs:fistud:v:14:y:1993:i:1:p:15-41. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Stephanie Seavers)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.