Donato Masciandaro, Francesco Passarelli, 11 January 2012

Italy’s prime minister, Mario Monti, is the latest in a growing line of senior public figures to support the idea of a financial transaction tax - also known as a Tobin tax or Robin Hood tax. Rather than give a case for or against, this column looks at what the realistic options are and asks whether they will be better for Europe, or worse.

Robert Frank, 23 December 2011

Robert Frank of Cornell University talks to Romesh Vaitilingam about his book, ‘The Darwin Economy: Liberty, Competition and the Common Good’. He argues that Charles Darwin's understanding of competition – in which individual and group interests often diverge sharply – describes economic reality far more accurately than Adam Smith's. They discuss the implications of this view for current debates about inequality, taxation, and policies to get out of economic stagnation. The interview was recorded in London in November 2011. [Transcript available]

Leonard Burman, Marvin Phaup, 17 November 2011

As the US tries to cut back its debt, the battle lines are already being drawn. Republicans are in favour of spending cuts; Democrats in favour of tax rises. Putting political ideology to one side, this column asks what objective economics has to say.

Harry Huizinga, Wolf Wagner, Johannes Voget, 11 July 2011

What new policies should be included in financial and regulatory reforms? This column argues that banks are under-taxed along many dimensions and analyses a proposed broad tax on financial-sector income.

Christopher Heady, 14 March 2011

Have governments been cutting the right taxes? And are they choosing the best taxes to increase now that they need to balance the books? Using data from 21 OECD countries, this column argues that the best taxes to cut early on are income taxes for low earners, while the best taxes to increase – later on – are property taxes and consumption taxes.

Pierre Cahuc, Stéphane Carcillo, 02 February 2011

In October 2007 France introduced an exemption on income tax and social security contributions for overtime work. In the second of two columns on the labour market, the authors show that this reform has had no significant impact on hours worked and that it induced workers and employers to manipulate the overtime hours they declare in order to optimise their tax situation.

Thorsten Beck, Chen Lin, Yue Ma, 13 October 2010

Can financial sector reform help bring informal firms into the formal sector? This column examines over 22,000 firms from 43 countries. Firms in countries with a credit registry are 20% less likely to evade taxes, and the tax evasion ratio in such countries is 11% lower.

Thorsten Beck, Thomas Losse-Müller, 31 May 2010

The global crisis has exposed the frailty of financial sectors the world over and highlighted the need for regulatory reform. This column argues that taxing banks is no panacea. The only way to achieve financial stability and financial integration in Europe is to move towards a European-level bank resolution framework that has both funding and intervention authority.

Harry Huizinga, Luc Laeven, 09 December 2008

It is unfortunate and economically costly if taxation rather than the availability of skilled labour or the quality of infrastructure determine the headquarter location decisions of multinational firms. This column suggests countries would do well to eliminate their international double taxation of foreign source income collectively by, for instance, EU-wide tax reform.

Salvador Barrios, Harry Huizinga, Luc Laeven, Gaëtan Nicodème, 17 November 2008

Increased globalization and decreased trade barriers worldwide have led an increasing number of corporations to expand their activities internationally. The authors of CEPR DP7047 examine the effects of host and parent country taxation on the location decisions of these multinational corporations using a range of data from 33 European countries.

Tito Boeri, 15 October 2008

Are EU citizens ready to accept the crisis rescue plan that makes massive transfers of resources from taxpayers to the banking sector? This column proposes three ways to share the rescue’s benefits with citizens: increased competition in the banking sector, tax reductions for low-wage earners, and temporary relief schemes for families with mortgage problems.

Andreas Georgiadis, Alan Manning, 05 January 2008

The standard framework for thinking about inequality and redistribution – the median voter approach – predicts that rising inequality should produce more redistribution. The facts reject this prediction for the UK and suggest that beliefs may be an important missing factor.

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