IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Designing Tax Policy: Constraints and Objectives in an Open Economy


  • Richard M. Bird

    () (University of Toronto)

  • J. Scott Wilkie

    (Ernst & Young LLP, Toronto)


This paper is a non-technical discussion by an economist and lawyer, each with long international experience in taxation, of the constraints and objectives that in principle and practice shape tax policy design. After discussing the main factors traditionally taken into account by those charged with designing tax policy in any country – such as revenue, the costs of taxation, equity and fairness, administrability, and the effects of taxation on growth and other non-fiscal objectives – several additional important considerations associated with ‘globalization’ are then discussed with special attention to income taxes. The paper concludes with a brief reflection on how the ‘new world tax order’ in which countries must now develop their tax systems may perhaps develop over time.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard M. Bird & J. Scott Wilkie, 2012. "Designing Tax Policy: Constraints and Objectives in an Open Economy," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper1224, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  • Handle: RePEc:ays:ispwps:paper1224

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Lindemann, Henrik, 2015. "Budgetary Interests and the Degree of Unbundling in Electricity Markets - An Empirical Analysis for OECD Countries," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-543, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.

    More about this item


    tax policy design; globalization;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ays:ispwps:paper1224. 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: (Paul Benson). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.