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Taxation and Economic Performance


  • Willi Leibfritz
  • John Thornton
  • Alexandra Bibbee


This paper reviews the theoretical and empirical literature on the effects of taxation on economic performance, adds marginally to the empirical literature, and draws conclusions for tax policy in OECD countries. Key issues covered are how, in open OECD economies, taxes may have affected economic performance via their effects on capital and labour markets, and on human capital formation. Perhaps the most important policy conclusion that emerges is that the increased integration of OECD capital markets limits the scope for using tax incentives to raise domestic savings and investment, which suggests that the tax burden in the future will have to fall increasingly on labour as the less mobile factor of production. With labour taxes having already increased sharply in recent years, contributing to a reduced demand for labour, greater labour-market flexibility is required to facilitate employers’ passing labour taxes on to reductions in real wages so as to reduce labour costs; while ... Fiscalité et performance économique Ce document passe en revue les études théoriques et empiriques ayant trait à l’impact de la fiscalité sur les performances économiques, les complète par quelques données empiriques et tire un certain nombre de conclusions pour la politique fiscale des pays de l’OCDE. Le question clef abordée est comment, dans des économies ouvertes comme celles des pays de l’OCDE, l’impôt a pu influer sur les performances économiques par ses effets sur les marchés de capitaux, le marché du travail et la formation de capital humain. En matière de politique économique, la conclusion la plus importante qui ressort de cette étude est peut-être que l’intégration accrue des marchés de capitaux des pays de l’OCDE limite la possibilité d’utiliser l’impôt pour stimuler l’épargne et l’investissement intérieurs. Ceci incite à penser qu’à l’avenir la charge fiscale devra de plus en plus peser sur le travail, facteur de production le moins mobile. L’impôt sur le travail s’est déjà fortement accru ces dernières ...

Suggested Citation

  • Willi Leibfritz & John Thornton & Alexandra Bibbee, 1997. "Taxation and Economic Performance," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 176, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:176-en
    DOI: 10.1787/668811115745

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