On the Theoretical Background of Cosciani’s Tax Reform

Author/s Alessandro Petretto
Publishing Year 2015 Issue 2014/3 Language English
Pages 21 P. 59-79 File size 187 KB
DOI 10.3280/EP2014-003004
DOI is like a bar code for intellectual property: to have more infomation click here

Below, you can see the article first page

If you want to buy this article in PDF format, you can do it, following the instructions to buy download credits

Article preview

FrancoAngeli is member of Publishers International Linking Association, Inc (PILA), a not-for-profit association which run the CrossRef service enabling links to and from online scholarly content.

The aim of this paper is to underline the theoretical foundations of the Report "Stato dei lavori della Commissione per lo studio della riforma tributaria" (hereafter CSRT, 1964) with reference to the second objective of the reform itself, i.e. to realize an "equalizing, efficient and transparent progressivity of the Italian tax system". CSRT (1964), as a White Paper directed to the Treasury, could not dwell on designing the theoretical foundations of the proposals, but, at the end, these ones stand out. In looking at them, the author finds a sort of ideal theoretical "bridge" between the main scholars of Italian tradition of public finance, Haig and Simons, Richard Musgrave and James Mirrlees. In any case, the CSRT (1964) fiscal proposals are characterized by a great pragmatism and concreteness within the specific Italian institutional setting.

Keywords: Progressivity, equity, efficiency, personal income tax

Jel codes: B150, H200

  1. Atkinson A.B. (2013). The Mirrlees Review and the State of Public Economics. Journal of Economic Literature, 50: 770-780. DOI: 10.1257/jel.50.3.770
  2. Atkinson A.B. and Sandmo A. (1980). Welfare Implications of the Taxation of Savings. Economic Journal, 90: 529-549. DOI: 10.2307/2231925
  3. Atkinson A.B. and Stiglitz J.E. (1980). Lectures of Public Economics. New York: McGraw-Hill.
  4. Atkinson A.B. and Stiglitz, J.E. (1976). The Design of Tax Structure: Direct vs. Indirect Taxation. Journal of Public Economics, 6: 55-75. DOI: 10.1016/0047-2727(76)90041-4
  5. Banks J. and Diamond P. (2010). The Base for Direct Taxation. In: Mirrlees Review. Dimension of Tax Design and Tax by design. Institute of Fiscal Studies. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  6. Bastani S., Blomquist S. and Micheletto L. (2013). The Welfare Gains of Agedependent Taxes. International Economic Review, 54: 1219-1249. DOI: 10.1111/iere.12034
  7. Blomquist S., Christiansen V. and Micheletto L. (2010). Public Provision of Private Goods and Non-distortionary Marginal Tax Rates. American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, 2: 1-27. DOI: 10.1257/pol.2.2.1
  8. Boadway R. (2012). From Optimal Tax Theory to Tax Policy: Retrospective and Prospective Views. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press. DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262017114.001.0001
  9. Boadway R., Chamberlain E. and Emmerson C. (2010). Taxation of Wealth and Wealth Transfer. In: Mirrlees Review. Dimension of Tax Design and Tax by design. Institute of Fiscal Studies. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  10. Borgatta G. (1920). Lo studio scientifico dei fenomeni finanziari. Giornale degli Economisti, gennaio-marzo.
  11. Brewer M., Saez E. and Shepard A. (2010). Means Testing and Tax-rates on Earnings. In: Mirrlees Review. Dimension of Tax Design and Tax by design. Institute of Fiscal Studies. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  12. Buchanan J. (1969). La “Scienza delle finanze”: the Italian Tradition in Fiscal Theory. In: Buchanan J. (Ed.), Fiscal Theory and Political Economy. Chappell
  13. Hill: University of North Carolina Press Haig R.M. (1921). The Concept of Income: Economic and Legal Aspects. In: Haig R.M. (Ed.), The Federal Income Tax. New York: Columbia University Press.
  14. Hettich W. and Winer S.L. (1999). Democratic Choice and Taxation: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press. DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511572197
  15. Hettich W., Kenney L.W. e Winer S.L. (2012). Regimi politici, istituzioni e natura dei sistemi fiscali. In: Padovano F. e Petretto A. (a cura di), Public choice e political economy: i fondamenti positivi della teoria della finanza pubblica. Milano: FrancoAngeli.
  16. Hindriks J. and Myles G.D. (2013). Intermediate Public Economics, 2nd ed. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.
  17. Kaldor N. (1959). An Expenditure Tax. London: Allen & Unwin.
  18. Kaplow L. (1994). Taxation and Risk-taking: a General Equilibrium Perspective. National Tax Journal, 47: 789-798.
  19. Kaplow L. and Shavell S. (2001). Any Non-Welfarist Method of Policy Assessment Violates the Pareto Principle. Journal of Political Economy, 109: 281-286. DOI: 10.1086/319553
  20. Kopczuk W. (2013). Taxation of Intergenerational Transfers and Wealth. In: Auerbach A., Chetty R., Feldstein M. and Saez E. (Eds.), Handbook of Public Economics, vol. V. Amsterdam: North Holland.
  21. Meade Report (1978). The Structure and Reform of Direct Taxation, Report of a Committee chaired by Professor J. E. Meade. London: Allen & Unwin.
  22. Mill J.S. (1848), Principles of Political Economy. London: Longmans, Green and Co.
  23. Mirrlees J. (1971). An Exploration in the Theory of Optimum Income Taxation. Review of Economic Studies, 38: 175-208. DOI: 10.2307/2296779
  24. Mirrlees Review (2010, 2011). Dimension of Tax Design and Tax by design. Institute of Fiscal Studies. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  25. Musgrave R. (1959). The Theory of Public Finance. New York: McGraw-Hill.
  26. Musgrave R. (1976). ET, OT and SBT. Journal of Public Economics, 6, July-August. DOI: 10.1016/0047-2727(76)90037-2
  27. Myrdal G. (1959). The Political Element in the Development of Economic Theory. London: Routledge.
  28. Parmentier A. and Van der Linden B. (2011). Optimal Income Taxation with Endogenous Participation and Search Unemployment. Journal of Public Economics, 95: 1523-1537: DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2011.05.012
  29. Roemer J.E. (1998). Equality of Opportunity. Cambridge, MA.: Harvard University Press.
  30. Saez E. (2002). Optimal Income Transfer Programs: Intensive vs. Extensive Labor Supply Responses. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 117: 1039-73. DOI: 10.1162/003355302760193959
  31. Samuelson P.A. (1954). The Pure Theory of Public Expenditure. Review of Economic and Statistics, 36: 387-389. DOI: 10.2307/1925895
  32. Sandmo A. (1983). Ex post Welfare Economics and the Theory of Merit Goods. Economica, 50: 19-33. DOI: 10.2307/2554118
  33. Schenk D.H. (2000). Saving the Income Tax with a Wealth Tax. Tax Law Review, 53: 423-475. Simons H.C. (1938). Personal Income Taxation. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  34. Sorensen P.B. (1994). From the Global Income Tax to the Dual Income Tax: Recent Tax Reforms in the Nordic Countries. International Tax and Public finance, 1: 57-80. DOI: 10.1007/BF00874089
  35. Sorensen P.B. (2009). The theory of Optimal Taxation: New Developments and Policy Relevance. In: Longobardi E. e Petretto A. (a cura di), Saggi di teoria della tassazione. Milano: FrancoAngeli.
  36. Steve S. (1965). Lezioni di Scienza delle finanze. Padova: Cedam.
  37. Stiglitz J.E. (1982). Utilitarism and Horizontal Equity: The Case for Random Taxation. Journal of Public Economics, 18: 1-33. DOI: 10.1016/0047-2727(82)90009-3
  38. Stiglitz J.E. (1987). Pareto Efficient and Optimal Taxation and the New New Welfare Economics. In: Auerbach A.J. and Feldstein M. (Eds.), Handbook of Public Economics, vol. II. Amsterdam: North Holland. DOI: 10.3386/w2189
  39. Straub L. and Werning I. (2014). Positive Lon Run Capital Taxation: Chamley-Judd Revisited. NBER Working Paper No. 20441, August. DOI: 10.3386/w20441

Alessandro Petretto, On the Theoretical Background of Cosciani’s Tax Reform in "ECONOMIA PUBBLICA " 3/2014, pp 59-79, DOI: 10.3280/EP2014-003004