Tax Ratios in Macroeconomics: Do Taxes Really Matter?
In various empirical studies so-called tax ratios (tax revenues expressed as a ratio of some aggregate tax base) are employed as approximations for tax burdens. The most difficult problem in calculating tax ratios is the way in which personal income tax revenues are attributed to labor and capital. We argue that the methodology of Mendoza et al. (1994) is seriously flawed in this respect. Using information from national sources, we calculate more accurate tax ratios for eight OECD countries that differ substantially from those of Mendoza et al. (1997) and which are also differently related to various economic variables.
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