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Dimensions of Tax Design


Dimensions of Tax Design, volume one of the Mirrlees Review, is a collection of papers from high profile researchers analysing the different aspects and characteristics of the tax system. This expert evidence informs the conclusions of the review in Tax by Design, which recommends how the tax system might realistically be reformed.

The volume brings together a high-profile group of more than fifty international experts and younger researchers. It consists of a set of thirteen commissioned studies which draw on the latest thinking in each area. These are supplemented by expert commentaries to provide a wide range of views and ideas.

"For two centuries the design of taxation has been a central question of political economy, but tax systems in practice are often higgledy-piggledy and under strain. The Mirrlees Review -- a major collaborative research venture led by the IFS -- provides an authoritative and definitive analysis of the architecture of taxation that is at once rational, grounded in rich economic evidence, and practicable in terms of law and policy."
Professor Sir John Vickers, Warden of All Souls College, Oxford and President of the Royal Economic Society

"This is a stunning collection of papers and comments on tax issues for the 21st century. The topic selection is comprehensive, the authors are internationally renowned, and the commentators are equally distinguished. Anyone interested in the economics of taxation should start here."
Professor John Shoven, Charles Schwab Professor of Economics, Stanford University

Contents and Preface

Contents, preface and information about the editors

1. Taxation in the UK

AUTHORS: Stuart Adam; James Browne; Christopher Heady

2. Means testing and tax rates on earnings | Download Online appendix

AUTHORS: Mike Brewer; Emmanuel Saez; Andrew Shephard
COMMENTATORS: Hilary Hoynes; Guy Laroque; Robert Moffitt

3. Labour supply and taxes

AUTHORS: Costas Meghir; David Phillips

4. Value added tax and excises

AUTHORS: Ian Crawford; Michael Keen; Stephen Smith
COMMENTATORS: Richard Bird; Sijbren Cnossen; Ian Dickson; Jonathan Gruber; David White

5. Environmental taxes | Download Online appendix

AUTHORS: Don Fullerton; Andrew Leicester; Stephen Smith
COMMENTATORS: Paul Johnson; Agnar Sandmo; Nicholas Stern

6. The base for direct taxation

AUTHORS: James Banks; Peter Diamond
COMMENTATORS: Robert Hall; John Kay; Pierre Pestieau

7. The effects on consumption and saving of taxing asset returns

AUTHORS: Orazio Attanasio; Matthew Wakefield

8. Taxation of wealth and wealth transfers | Download Online appendices

AUTHORS: Robin Boadway; Emma Chamberlain; Carl Emmerson
COMMENTATORS: Helmuth Cremer; Thomas Piketty; Martin Weale

9. Taxing corporate income

AUTHORS: Alan Auerbach; Michael Devereux; Helen Simpson
COMMENTATORS: Harry Huizinga; Jack Mintz

10. International capital taxation

AUTHORS: Rachel Griffith; James Hines; Peter Birch Sørensen
COMMENTATORS: Julian Alworth; Roger Gordon; Jerry Hausman

11. Small business taxation

AUTHORS: Claire Crawford; Judith Freedman

12. Administration and compliance

AUTHORS: Jonathan Shaw; Joel Slemrod; John Whiting
COMMENTATORS: John Hasseldine; Richard Highfield; Brian Mace

13. The political economy of tax policy

AUTHORS: James Alt; Ian Preston; Luke Sibieta
COMMENTATORS: Peter Riddell; Guido Tabellini; Chris Wales


Find out more

It is with great sadness that the Institute for Fiscal Studies notes the death of Sir James Mirrlees (1936-2018). He has been a figure of enormous importance both for the magnitude of his influence on the field of public policy analysis in general and more particularly for his role in the Institute&...
Book chapter
This chapter of the Mirrlees Review (Dimensions of Tax Design) provides an overview of the voluminous literature relating taxand the supply of effort that has developed since the Meade Report (Meade, 1978) on the UK tax system thirty years ago, with a focus on the empirical consensus on how taxes ...
Tax by Design is the final report from the Mirrlees Review. We present a picture of coherent tax reform whose aim is to identify the characteristics of a good tax system for any open developed economy, to assess the extent to which the UK tax system conforms to these ideals, and to recommend how it ...
Newspaper article
In this article for the Financial Times Adviser, Stuart Adam and Carl Emmerson discuss the effectiveness of inheritance tax and consider possible directions for reform.
Journal article | Fiscal Studies
Sir James Mirrlees, co‐recipient of the 1996 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, passed away in August 2018. This article outlines how his work has transformed economists’ understanding of their discipline – from the principles of tax design to the theory of contracts and beyond.
This presentation was given to Government Economic Service officials at an HM Revenue & Customs conference on the Economics of Tax held in London on 20 October 2014.
This presentation was given to officials of the Indian Revenue Service on the Indian Institute of Management programme at Judge Business School, University of Cambridge, on 18 September 2014.