The economists Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez, Facundo Alvaredo and Anthony Atkinson have played a big role in helping analyse and popularise the role that tax rate cuts for wealthy folk play in fostering economic inequality, particularly the income shares of the top 1 percent of people compared to everyone else. As they put it in 2013:
“The evolution of top tax rates is strongly negatively correlated with changes in pre-tax income concentration.”
Their findings have of course been attacked, not least by certain players keen for taxes on wealthy people to stay low.
Now there’s a new US-focused study by Douglas Campbell and Lester Lusher, called Drivers of Inequality: Trade Shocks versus Top Marginal Tax Rates. It seeks to check on these findings:
Updated with new analysis.
Update 2: on a third round, the proposal has failed in the national assembly. This is far from the end of it.
STOP PRESS: We’ve just heard that the French National Assembly has voted in favour of public — yes, public — country-by-country reporting. As a member of Plateforme Paradis Fiscaux et Judiciaires (PPFJ,) a French partner network has noted, via email:
We have just put together a promotional video for TJN, to help explain our role in the fast-growing tax justice debates. We’ll place this video permanently on our home page, below the blogs, and on our Tax Justice TV page.
We have also just started soliciting testimonials from various people about TJN’s role, and this morning we received this one, via e-mail.
“TJN has done more than any other organization to put fiscal justice at the center of the policy agenda. Tax issues should not be left to those who want to escape taxes! Changes will come when more and more citizens of the world take ownership of these matters. TJN is a powerful force acting in this direction.”
– Thomas Piketty
The latest edition of our newsletter Tax Justice Focus focuses on the theme of tax justice and human rights, perhaps the fastest-growing area of interest in the rapidly expanding global tax justice community.
Click here for the full edition of Tax Justice Focus, the Human Rights edition.
You can also access the individual articles below.
As many readers will already know, there’s a big controversy going on regarding Prof. Thomas Piketty’s world-famous economics work Capital in the 21st Century, with the Financial Times alleging that he faces a ‘Reinhardt-Rogoff moment’ because of data problems. Piketty responds that he’s been transparent about everything and the FT is being ‘ridiculous’ to suggest that it undermines his central conclusions that inequality, particularly at the top of the income scales, has been rising.