Two are the main goals of the course: to provide the tools required for understanding the economic effects of various types of taxes and to provide the basic elements for understanding the characterization of an optimal tax structure.
Content and aims of the course The course focuses on the economic theory of the effects of taxation and on the normative theory of optimal taxation. The first part of the course is devoted to the exposition of the positive theory of taxation. In this part the students learn the theory of tax incidence and are offered a conceptual framework which allows understanding the allocative effects of taxes and the behavioral responses to taxes by individuals. The second part of the course is devoted to the normative theory of taxation. In this part the students learn the first rudimentary elements of the theory of optimal taxation. This is the branch of public economics investigating how a tax system should be structured in order to optimally trade-off equity gains and efficiency losses. Finally, the last part of the course is devoted to the exposition of some basic models of tax competition and tax evasion.
Program of the course Efficiency and excess burden of taxation. Tax incidence. The effects of taxes on various dimensions of individual behavior: taxation and labor supply, taxation and savings, taxation and risk-taking. Optimal tax theory: optimal income and commodity taxation. Tax competition. Tax evasion.
Materiale didattico e bibliografia
J. Gruber, Public Finance and Public Policy (fourth edition, chapters 2, 3, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 25), Worth Publishers, 2013; J. Hindriks and G. Myles, Intermediate Public Economics (second edition, chapters 13, 15, 16, 17, 20), The MIT Press, 2013.