Taxation

Instructor: 
Time I: 
Wednesday,
10:00am to 12:00pm
Time II: 
Thursday,
10:00am to 12:00pm
Venue I: 
FU Berlin, Garystr. 21, Lecture Hall 104a
Venue II: 
FU Berlin, Garystr. 21, Lecture Hall 104a
Description: 

The course “Taxation” consists of a lecture (2 class hours) and problem class (1 class hour) as well as a literature reading class (1 class hour) about the economics of taxation. The lecture and problem class are primarily concerned with the microeconomic theory of taxation, e.g., optimal taxation theory. In the reading class, selected topics in the economics of taxation are further explored. We discuss theoretical as well as empirical papers.

The lecture and problem class cover the following topics:
• Fundamentals of Taxation
• Taxation and Labor Supply
• The Excess Burden of Taxation
• Tax Incidence
• Optimal Direct Taxation
• Optimal Indirect Taxation
• The Effects of Taxation on Savings
• Taxation and Risk Taking
• Taxation and Investment
• Taxation and Capital Structure
• Tax Evasion

Textbook:
• Salanié, Bernard (2011): "The Economics of Taxation", 2nd edition, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Reading list (examples):
• Atkinson, Anthony B. and Joseph E. Stiglitz (1976): The design of tax structure: Direct versus indirect taxation. Journal of Public Economics 6.1-2, 55-75.
• Bach, Stefan, Giacomo Corneo, and Viktor Steiner (2012): Optimal top marginal tax rates under income splitting for couples. European Economic Review 56, 1055-1069.
• Blundell, Richard, Mike Brewer, Peter Haan, and Andrew Shephard (2009): Optimal Income Taxation of Lone Mothers: An Empirical Comparison of the UK and Germany. Economic Journal 119.535, F101-F121.
• Cullen, Julie Berry, and Roger H. Gordon (2007): Taxes and entrepreneurial risk-taking: Theory and evidence for the US. Journal of Public Economics 91.7, 1479-1505.
• Dwenger, Nadja, and Viktor Steiner (2012): Profit taxation and the elasticity of the corporate income tax base. Evidence from German corporate tax return data. National Tax Journal 65.1, 117-150.
• Fossen, Frank M. (2009): Would a flat-rate tax stimulate entrepreneurship in Germany? A behavioural microsimulation analysis allowing for risk. Fiscal Studies 30.2, 179-218.
• Gentry, William M., and R. Glenn Hubbard (2000): Tax policy and entrepreneurial entry. American Economic Review 90.2, 283-287.
• Gruber, Jon and Emmanuel Saez (2002): The elasticity of taxable income: Evidence and implications. Journal of Public Economics 84, 1-32.
• Piketty, Thomas, and Emmanuel Saez (2013): A theory of optimal inheritance taxation. Econometrica 81.5, 1851-1886.
• Poterba, James M., and Andrew A. Samwick (2003): Taxation and household portfolio composition: US evidence from the 1980s and 1990s. Journal of Public Economics 87.1, 5-38.
• Saez, Emmanuel (2001): Using elasticities to derive optimal income tax rates. Review of Economic Studies 68.1, 205-229.
• Saez, Emmanuel (2002): The desirability of commodity taxation under non-linear income taxation and heterogeneous tastes. Journal of Public Economics 83.2 217-230.
• Wen, Jean-Francois, and Daniel V. Gordon (2013): An empirical model of tax convexity and self-employment. Forthcoming in: Review of Economics and Statistics, doi:10.1162/REST_a_00388.

Exam:
Participants take a final written exam (120 minutes). In addition, PhD students present research articles and actively participate in the discussions in the reading class. The written exam accounts for 2/3 and the presentation and class participation for 1/3 of the grade.

Credits: 
9.00
Program: 
Semester: 
Spring 2014
Affiliation: 
Freie Universität Berlin
End date of the whole course: 
Thursday, July 17, 2014 - 12:00pm