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The Power of Economists within the State$
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Johan Christensen

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781503600492

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9781503600492.001.0001

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The New Economics and Politics of Taxation

The New Economics and Politics of Taxation

(p.29) Chapter 2 The New Economics and Politics of Taxation
The Power of Economists within the State

Johan Christensen

Stanford University Press

This chapter provides an introduction to the changing economics and politics of taxation. It describes the rise and fall of the postwar tax regime and discusses the new economic ideas about taxation that emerged in the 1970s. These new ideas about efficient and neutral taxation were part of the background for the global “tax reform movement” of the 1980s. The chapter surveys the core elements of the tax policy changes adopted worldwide since that time. Yet, importantly, it argues that these general trends conceal great variation in the adoption of market principles in taxation. The chapter traces the diverging tax policy trajectories of four countries that serve as examples of the broader variation in reform: New Zealand, Ireland, Norway, and Denmark.

Keywords:   tax economics, tax policy, politics of taxation, economic efficiency, optimal taxation, tax reform

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