Vito Tanzi: The ecology of tax systems—factors that shape the demand and supply of taxes
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Vito Tanzi is a practitioner of tax policy. After receiving a Ph.D. from Harvard University, he was a professor at American University and started in 1974 as the Chief of IMF’s Tax Policy Division, and was Director of the Fiscal Affairs Department in 1981–2000. He served as acting president and is now a honorary President of the International Institute of Public Finance. Drawing on a life-long experience in academic research and policy work, Tanzi presents a new book on the evolution of tax systems. The hallmark of the book is to point out the importance of the “ecology of taxation” and to nudge academic tax research in this direction. According to his judgement, “Public finance and the technical literature on taxation should pay more attention to this aspect”.
In essence, the book aims to explain the ‘supply and demand’ forces that shape the evolution of tax systems. ‘Demand forces’ reflect the needs of governments, i.e., what a government expects the tax system to do. The ‘supply...