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Peculiar institutions: A British perspective on tax policy in the United States

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  • Michael Keen

Abstract

By both effect and example, tax policy in the United States has a huge impact on the rest of the world. This paper explores five features of the American tax system that seem, from a British and European perspective, to be both especially peculiar and potentially instructive. These are: the remarkably low overall level of taxation; the absence of a value added tax (or any other general national tax on consumption); the absence of any explicit interstate equalisation; the marginal subsidisation of low earnings under the Earned Income Tax Credit; and the fragmentation of power in policymaking, an important aspect of which is the role played by the Constitution.

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  • Michael Keen, 1997. "Peculiar institutions: A British perspective on tax policy in the United States," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 18(4), pages 371-400, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:ifs:fistud:v:18:y:1997:i:4:p:371-400
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    Cited by:

    1. Boadway, Robin & Marceau, Nicolas & Sato, Motohiro, 1999. "Agency and the design of welfare systems," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 1-30, July.
    2. William Gale, 1997. "What can America learn from the British tax system?," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 18(4), pages 341-369, November.
    3. Matti Tuomala & Hannu Tanninen, 2005. "Inherent Inequality and the Extent of Redistribution in OECD Countries," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 3(1), pages 48-53, 04.
    4. Michael Keen, 1997. "Peculiar institutions: A British perspective on tax policy in the United States," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, pages 371-400.
    5. Boadway, Robin & Cuff, Katherine & Marceau, Nicolas, 2003. "Redistribution and employment policies with endogenous unemployment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(11), pages 2407-2430, October.
    6. Kaplanoglou, Georgia & Newbery, David Michael, 2003. "Indirect Taxation in Greece: Evaluation and Possible Reform," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 10(5), pages 511-533, September.
    7. repec:ces:ifodic:v:3:y:2005:i:1:p:14567536 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Robin Boadway, 1998. "Redistributing Smarter: Self-Selection, Targeting and Non-Conventional Policy Instruments," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 24(3), pages 365-369, September.
    9. Gale, William G., 1997. "What Can America Learn From the British Tax System?," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 50(4), pages 753-777, December.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H10 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - General
    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General
    • H50 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - General
    • H70 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - General

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