| Willy Brandt School of Public Policy

New Blog Post on Complexity of Tax Systems in Industrialized Nations

In a new blog post, Prof. Achim Kemmerling explains why tax systems are notoriously difficult to understand. The blog post and the original article on which it is base unveil the political roots of this complexity and also highlight some of the political ways how to reform complex tax codes.

In a new blog post, Prof. Dr. Achim Kemmerling explains why tax systems in industrialized countries are so complex. The post is based on a new contribution to the “Handbook on the Politics of Taxation“, which looks at the political origins of tax systems. In particular, the chapter looks at how governments choose between the three main kinds of taxation: income tax, sales tax, and payroll tax. Prof. Kemmerling finds that in the past 40 years, there has been a slight convergence between industrialized countries in the kinds of taxation that are used and that there has been a shift towards the sales tax – the most regressive of the three. He argues that looking at interests, institutions, and ideas can give us greater understanding on why these two phenomena have taken place.

To learn more, you can read the blog post here.