Wealth Taxation: Lessons from History and Recent Developments
AbstractThis paper describes the historical experience of wealth taxation in Europe and draws lessons from this history for wealth taxation in the twenty-first century. We show that the wealth tax base was narrow in European countries, due to large exemptions, tax avoidance, and evasion. The paper explains why such exemptions were granted and how they undermined the European wealth taxes. Drawing from this experience, we lay out the key design and enforcement features required for a successful wealth tax in the twenty-first century and compare this ideal wealth tax to proposals recently made in the United States.
CitationSaez, Emmanuel, and Gabriel Zucman. 2022. "Wealth Taxation: Lessons from History and Recent Developments." AEA Papers and Proceedings, 112: 58-62. DOI: 10.1257/pandp.20221055
- D31 Personal Income, Wealth, and Their Distributions
- H24 Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies; includes inheritance and gift taxes
- H26 Tax Evasion and Avoidance
- K34 Tax Law