R. van der Ploeg
- Taxes and the economy: A survey of the impact of taxes on growth, employment, investment, consumption and the environment
- Number of pages
- Cheltenham: Elgar
- Document type
- Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB)
- Amsterdam School of Economics Research Institute (ASE-RI)
This book discusses the impact of taxation on economic growth, employment, investment, consumption and the environment. The public finance literature commonly distinguishes between three major functions of taxation: the traditional function of raising revenue to finance government expenditure; the distributional function as an instrument to alter the distribution of income and wealth amongst households; and the regulatory function that uses taxation at the benefit of stabilization and other economic policies. Especially after the Second World War, OECD countries have increasingly used taxation to achieve a variety of economic and social objectives. Today many governments use the tax system to stimulate economic growth and employment. Fiscal measures also play a role in creating a favourable climate for business investment and to promote a long-term sustainable environmental policy. Currently, in the debate on global warming, the use of tax instruments to tackle climate change is on the top of the international agenda.
The authors provide the reader with the necessary empirical information, while at the same time presenting an overview of the latest theory and best practices. In doing so, many relevant policy issues are touched upon. Based on theoretical and empirical studies and practical experiences in OECD countries, the book establishes guidelines for effective tax policy. The book offers tools for tax design in a globalising economy and the world of the internet with increasing tax competition and a growing battle for companies and brains between countries. The book also presents a ‘carrot and stick’ model to promote clean technologies, reduce pollution and combat climate change. The message from the authors is straightforward: broad, low, simple, and a shift from income to consumption taxation. These principles are illustrated in a concept proposal for a so-called Second Life Tax system.
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