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A literature review on optimal indirect taxation and the uniformity debate

Odd E. Nygard () and John T. Revesz ()
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Odd E. Nygard: Statistics Norway
John T. Revesz: Australian Public Service

Hacienda Pública Española, 2016, vol. 218, issue 3, 107-140

Abstract: A review of the theoretical literature on optimal indirect taxation reveals that analytical arguments in favor of uniform indirect taxation seem rather weak and unrealistic; hence determining the optimal tax structure remains an empirical issue. However, reviewing the empirical-computational studies pub¬lished so far, shows that most of them operate under rather restrictive and simplistic frameworks. There is little computational support for uniformity, particularly when the models approach real world com¬plexity. It appears that in a many-consumer economy, differentiated and progressive indirect taxation is likely to be the optimal solution

Keywords: Optimal taxation; commodity taxation; indirect taxation; tax evasion (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H21 H23 H26 C63 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
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Handle: RePEc:hpe:journl:y:2016:v:218:i:3:p:107-140