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Article

Frederic Compin

The purpose of this paper is to point out that tax fraud, recognized as a scourge by both governments and responsible tax-payers, hits public finances hard with an…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to point out that tax fraud, recognized as a scourge by both governments and responsible tax-payers, hits public finances hard with an inevitable knock-on effect on general welfare. Based on this observation, key players interviewed for this paper, including magistrates, a trade unionist and a high-ranking official, will attempt to provide some possible solutions to help understand why significant sections of public opinion consider this very particular form of financial crime to be legitimate, largely inspired by the notion that tax fraud and evasion are socially acceptable and even seen as a national sport in certain countries.

Design/methodology/approach

The survey was carried out among 20 tax officials, a trade unionist, two magistrates and a high-ranking civil servant. The interviewees were carefully chosen for their ability to provide valuable insights into the reasons behind the lenient treatment of fraudsters by a state lacking the necessary means and structures to fight this crime.

Findings

The fight against tax fraud has clearly sparked numerous controversies around evaluation, scope, criminal perpetrators and cooperation between services.

Social implications

Tax fraud, an offence committed with the aim of avoiding taxation or reducing the amount of tax to be paid, ranges from low-level illegal activity, such as undeclared work to make ends meet, to more serious offences, such as value-added tax carousel fraud. All the unpaid tax resulting from such blatant flouting of the law represent a serious loss of revenue for the state and local authorities.

Originality/value

The fight against tax fraud is crucial in determining taxpayers’ acceptance of the contribution required for state expenditure and investment. In a country such as France, where tax fraud is almost a national sport, combating this scourge will help restore the state’s budgetary sovereignty by making it central to people’s concerns about redistributive justice, tax equality and fair access to public goods.

Details

Journal of Financial Crime, vol. 22 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-0790

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Article

Norio Sasaki

To explain a fiscal rule that functions in a different way from a constitutional ideal of a welfare state, as Japan's case, and to give a literary examination of that kind…

Abstract

Purpose

To explain a fiscal rule that functions in a different way from a constitutional ideal of a welfare state, as Japan's case, and to give a literary examination of that kind of thoughts in modern economics and theory of public finance.

Design/methodology/approach

Compares neo‐institutional economics and fiscal sociology about the role of a government, using recent fiscal data of developed countries.

Findings

For neo‐institutional economics it is difficult to explain “welfare state” that substitutes the role of a family because the approach can only explain a complementary relationship of organizations in higher levels with lower organizations.

Practical implications

Points out that neo‐institutional economics should be examined by a historical formation of each rule and a real legal system in each country.

Originality/value

Discusses institutional economics and fiscal sociology from an aspect of possibility of applying to the field of public finance and social welfare.

Details

Journal of Economic Studies, vol. 33 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3585

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Article

Tomas Riha

Nobody concerned with political economy can neglect the history of economic doctrines. Structural changes in the economy and society influence economic thinking and…

Abstract

Nobody concerned with political economy can neglect the history of economic doctrines. Structural changes in the economy and society influence economic thinking and, conversely, innovative thought structures and attitudes have almost always forced economic institutions and modes of behaviour to adjust. We learn from the history of economic doctrines how a particular theory emerged and whether, and in which environment, it could take root. We can see how a school evolves out of a common methodological perception and similar techniques of analysis, and how it has to establish itself. The interaction between unresolved problems on the one hand, and the search for better solutions or explanations on the other, leads to a change in paradigma and to the formation of new lines of reasoning. As long as the real world is subject to progress and change scientific search for explanation must out of necessity continue.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 12 no. 3/4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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Book part

Richard Sturn

This chapter discusses the evolution of German views on public debt 1850–1920, referring to three strands of secondary literature: (1) German retrospectives on public…

Abstract

This chapter discusses the evolution of German views on public debt 1850–1920, referring to three strands of secondary literature: (1) German retrospectives on public finance, (2) the historical literature with a public choice perspective, and (3) contributions to public/constitutional law, mainly referring to Lorenz von Stein. The skeptic view of public debt endorsed by authors of the second half of the period is shown to be related to politico-economic issues of state agency combined with new state functions, rather than to the rejection of Dietzel’s Proto-Keynesian macroeconomic reasoning.

Details

Research in the History of Economic Thought and Methodology: Including a Symposium on Public Finance in the History of Economic Thought
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-699-5

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Book part

Anthony Rausch and Junichiro Koji

This chapter outlines and critiques Japan’s Furusato Nozei tax program from an economic anthropological perspective. This chapter first introduces the socio-political…

Abstract

This chapter outlines and critiques Japan’s Furusato Nozei tax program from an economic anthropological perspective. This chapter first introduces the socio-political organization of taxes together with the social-scientific paradigms that have been brought to analyze taxation within anthropological thinking. The chapter then outlines Japan’s tax history and the Furusato Nozei, or Hometown Tax program, before critiquing the program on the basis of these social science and anthropological. This critique confirms the validity of evaluating this Japanese tax program in its orientation and operation from an anthropologic viewpoint, while also calling into question the validity of such an approach to taxation from a broader societal view, thereby contributing to a new area of research within the Anthropology of Taxation.

Details

Anthropological Enquiries into Policy, Debt, Business, and Capitalism
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-659-4

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Book part

Isaac William Martin

The local property tax is the oldest tax in the United States, as well as being the only substantial tax on landed wealth, a major part of the housing expense of most…

Abstract

The local property tax is the oldest tax in the United States, as well as being the only substantial tax on landed wealth, a major part of the housing expense of most American families, and the most important revenue source for local governments. It is also increasingly limited by state law. This chapter presents a synthetic review of the literature on property tax limitation laws. Property taxation is a crucial resource for local governments because it is primarily a tax on real estate, and land is the least mobile tax base. A tax on the market value of real estate may have the effect of transmitting real estate price shocks to individual land users. Property tax limitation laws provide some homeowners with social protection from such market-induced economic shocks, but they do so at the price of a substantial reduction in state capacity. A meta-regression analysis of published studies finds that property tax levy limitations, on average, reduce local government budgets by as much as 5%. The potential implications for provision of other public goods, including social protection for other groups, are discussed.

Details

The Politics of Land
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-428-2

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Article

J.G. Backhaus

A reconsideration of some Austrian work in public finance analysisthat is based on a positive theory of the state and its relationshipwith the market economy is offered…

Abstract

A reconsideration of some Austrian work in public finance analysis that is based on a positive theory of the state and its relationship with the market economy is offered. The contributions of some prominent Austrian economists are considered, and how they relate to contemporary thinking in public finance. The two central paradigms of the tax state and entrepreneurship are explored.

Details

Journal of Economic Studies, vol. 16 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3585

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Article

Janey Qian Wang

This paper investigates the impact of state governments’ “Tax and Expenditure Limits” (TELs) on their tax progressivity and redistributive spending. A two stage least…

Abstract

This paper investigates the impact of state governments’ “Tax and Expenditure Limits” (TELs) on their tax progressivity and redistributive spending. A two stage least squares (2SLS) regression model of data covering 1985-2007, was employed to allow for simultaneity in the relationships between intergovernmental transfer, tax progressivity, expenditure progressivity, and labor mobility. This model tested whether high- or low income residents had paid for and benefited from these fiscal institutions. As a result we find that TELs significantly decrease tax progressivity and increase poverty rate. These two policy effects should be explicitly accounted for in the design or revision of TELs.

Details

Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, vol. 24 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1096-3367

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Book part

Maxime Desmarais-Tremblay and Marianne Johnson

Alvin Hansen and John Williams’ Fiscal Policy Seminar at Harvard University is widely regarded as a key mechanism for the spread of Keynesianism in the United States. An…

Abstract

Alvin Hansen and John Williams’ Fiscal Policy Seminar at Harvard University is widely regarded as a key mechanism for the spread of Keynesianism in the United States. An original and regular participant, Richard A. Musgrave was invited to prepare remarks for the fiftieth anniversary of the seminar in 1988. These were never published, though a copy was filed with Musgrave’s papers at Princeton University. Their reproduction here is important for several reasons. First, it is one of the last reminiscences of the original participants. Second, the remarks make an important contribution to our understanding of the Harvard School of macro-fiscal policy. Third, the remarks provide interesting insights into Musgrave’s views on national economic policymaking as well as the intersection between theory and practice. The reminiscence demonstrates the importance of the seminar in shifting Musgrave’s research focus and moving him to a more pragmatic approach to public finance.

Details

Including a Symposium on Robert Heilbroner at 100
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-869-7

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Book part

Jari Eloranta, Svetlozar Andreev and Pavel Osinsky

Did the expansion of democratic institutions play a role in determining central government spending behavior in the 19th and 20th centuries? The link between democracy and…

Abstract

Did the expansion of democratic institutions play a role in determining central government spending behavior in the 19th and 20th centuries? The link between democracy and increased central government spending is well established for the post-Second World War period, but has never been explored during the first “wave of democracy” and its subsequent reversal, that is 1870–1938. The main contribution of this paper is the compilation of a dataset covering 24 countries over this period to begin to address this question. Utilizing various descriptive techniques, including panel data regressions, we explore correlations between central government spending and the institutional characteristics of regimes. We find that the data are consistent with the hypothesis that democracies have a broader need for legitimization than autocracies as various measures of democracy are associated with higher central government spending. Our results indicate that the extension of franchise had a slight positive impact on central government spending levels, as did a few of the other democracy variables. We also find that early liberal democracies spent less and monarchies more than other regimes; debt increases spending; and participation in the Gold Standard reduced government spending substantially.

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