The book addresses annual and lifetime distributional effects, saving, investment, transitional problems, simplification, home ownership and housing prices, charitable groups, international taxation, financial intermediaries and insurance, labor supply, and health insurance.
In addition to Henry Aaron and William Gale, the contributors include Alan Auerbach, University of California, Berkeley; David Bradford, Princeton University; Charles Clotfelter, Duke University; Eric Engen, Federal Reserve; Don Fullerton, University of Texas; Jon Gruber, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Patric Hendershott, Ohio State; David Ling, University of Florida; Ronald Perlman, Covington & Burling; Diane Lim Rogers, Congressional Budget Office; John Karl Scholz, University of Wisconsin; Joel Slemrod, University of Michigan; and Robert Triest, University of California, Davis.
In an attempt to quantify the effect of tax policy on international investment choices, this volume presents in-depth analyses of the interaction of international tax rules and the investment decisions of multinational enterprises. Ten papers assess the role played by multinational firms and their investment in the U.S. economy and the design of international tax rules for multinational investment; analyze channels through which international tax rules affect the costs of international business activities; and examine ways in which international tax rules affect financing decisions of multinational firms. As a group, the papers demonstrate that international tax rules have significant effects on firms' investment and other financing decisions.
Assaf Razin and Joel Slemrod gathered experts from two traditionally distinct specialties, taxation and international economics, to lay the groundwork for understanding these issues, which will require the attention of scholars and policymakers for years to come.
Contributors describe the basic provisions of the U.S. tax code with respect to international transactions, highlighting the changes contained in the U.S. Tax Reform Act of 1986; explore the ways that tax systems influence the decisions of multinationals; examine the effect of taxation on trade patterns and capital flows; and discuss the implications of the opening world economy for the design of optimal international tax policy. The papers will prove valuable not only to scholars and students, but to government economists and international tax lawyers as well.
THE UNITED STATES TAX CODE HAS UNDERGONE NO SERIOUS REFORM SINCE 1986. Since then, loopholes, exemptions, credits, and deductions have distorted its clarity, increased its inequity, and frustrated our ability to govern ourselves. By tracing the history of our own tax system and assessing the way other countries have solved similar problems, Bruce Bartlett explores the surprising answers to all these issues, giving a sense of the tax code’s many benefits—and its inevitable burdens. From one of the most respected political and economic thinkers, advisers, and writers of our time, The Benefit and the Burden is a thoughtful and surprising argument for American tax reform.
Behavioral Public Finance looks at several facets of economic life and asks how behavioral research can increase public welfare. Deborah A. Small, George Loewenstein, and Jeff Strnad note that public support for a tax often depends not only on who bears its burdens, but also on how the tax is framed. For example, people tend to prefer corporate taxes over sales taxes, even though the cost of both is eventually extracted from the consumer. James J. Choi, David Laibson, Brigitte C. Madrian, and Andrew Metrick assess the impact of several different features of 401(k) plans on employee savings behavior. They find that when employees are automatically enrolled in a retirement savings plan, they overwhelmingly accept the status quo and continue participating, while employees without automatic enrollment typically take over a year to join the saving plan. Behavioral Public Finance also looks at taxpayer compliance. While the classic economic model suggests that the low rate of IRS audits means far fewer people should voluntarily pay their taxes than actually do, John Cullis, Philip Jones, and Alan Lewis present new research showing that many people do not underreport their incomes even when the probability of getting caught is a mere one percent.
Human beings are not always rational, utility-maximizing economic agents. Behavioral economics has shown how human behavior departs from the assumptions made by generations of economists. Now, Behavioral Public Finance brings the insights of behavioral economics to analysis of policies that affect us all.