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The Capital Levy in Theory and Practice

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  • Eichengreen, Barry

Abstract

This paper shows how in theory, if the contingencies in response to which it is imposed are fully anticipated, independently verifiable and not under government control, then saving and investment should not fall following the imposition of a capital levy. Nor should the government find it more difficult to raise revenues subsequently, even if its non-recurrence cannot be guaranteed. In practice, however, serious problems stand in the way of implementation. Property owners are sure to delay its adoption and engage in capital flight, reducing the prospective yield and allowing the special circumstances providing the justification for the levy to recede into the past.

Suggested Citation

  • Eichengreen, Barry, 1989. "The Capital Levy in Theory and Practice," CEPR Discussion Papers 350, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:350
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Why Wealth Taxes Are Not Enough
      by Kenneth Rogoff in Project Syndicate on 2013-11-04 21:51:59

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    Cited by:

    1. Louis Kaplow, 2006. "Capital Levies and Transition to a Consumption Tax," NBER Working Papers 12259, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Giovannini, Alberto & Hines Jr, James R, 1990. "Capital Flight and Tax Competition: Are there Viable Solutions to Both Problems," CEPR Discussion Papers 416, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. D’Erasmo, P. & Mendoza, E.G. & Zhang, J., 2016. "What is a Sustainable Public Debt?," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & Harald Uhlig (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 0, pages 2493-2597, Elsevier.
    4. Nicolas Marceau & Michael Smart, 2000. "Business Tax Lobbying," Cahiers de recherche CREFE / CREFE Working Papers 102, CREFE, Université du Québec à Montréal.
    5. Alesina, Alberto & Drazen, Allan, 1991. "Why Are Stabilizations Delayed?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1170-1188, December.
    6. Michael D. Bordo & Pierre-Cyrille Hautcoeur, 2003. "Why didn't France follow the British Stabilization after World War One ?," DELTA Working Papers 2003-15, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
    7. Mario Sarcinelli, 2012. "Euro crisis or public debt crisis? With a remedy for the latter case," PSL Quarterly Review, Economia civile, vol. 65(262), pages 215-236.
    8. Eric French & Elaine Kelly & Gerhard Kempkes & Nikolai Stähler, 2016. "A One‐Off Wealth Levy? Assessing the Pros and Cons and the Importance of Credibility," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 37, pages 821-849, September.

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