Policies, Institutions and the Dark Side of Economics
Автор(и) : Vito Tanzi
Издател : Edward Elgar Publishing
Място на издаване : Northampton, USA
Година на издаване : 2000
ISBN : 978-1-85898-729-3
Брой страници : 282
Език : английски
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Tanzi has been director of the IMF's Fiscal Affairs Department for two decades, which has put him in contact with tax authorities in numerous countries. These essays, some previously published, focus on the practical and institutional side of fiscal affairs, especially tax policy. Much of the book concerns tax evasion, the underground economy, money laundering, corruption, and their relationship to tax policy and administration. The author is noteworthy for taking a global perspective and is especially concerned with cross-border tax incentives, evasion, and enforcement. He also addresses the roles of tax and expenditure policies in reducing income inequality. Although the book draws on the author's rich practical experience, he exercises much professional discretion when giving concrete examples of malfeasance -- even when they are public knowledge -- thereby rendering the text less colorful than it might have been.
In the first five chapters, Tanzi discusses the role of government. In the first chapter, written in 1974, he argues that income maximization has never been the sole objective function of government leaders. Clearly, Tanzi was a front-runner on this issue, particularly among those working within the Beltway. In chapter 2, he makes a good case that the change of the Washington consensus on the proper role of government in developing countries, from antimarket and interventionist to pro–free market, resulted from the accumulating evidence of corruption in developing countries. To gauge the extent of government involvement in the economy, Tanzi cautions us in chapters 2 and 3, government expenditure as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) is a woefully inaccurate measure. This argument alone is not a new one, having been cogently made for the United States by Robert Higgs in Crisis and Leviathan: Critical Episodes in the Growth of American Government (New York: Oxford University Press, 1987, chap. 2), but Tanzi adds a new twist. Lacking the capacity to tax directly, many developing countries have been far more ingenious than developed countries in using a myriad of quasi-fiscal policy instruments, which, besides being highly inefficient, obfuscate the role of government. For example, the government in many developing countries allocates a significant amount of investment, credit, and foreign exchange. Many of these activities are filtered through existing financial institutions that are required to lend to certain firms or sectors, generally at below-market interest rates.
Vito Tanzi is an economist of international renown. He has had a distinguished career at the International Monetary Fund, where he has served for almost three decades. At the Endowment, he is examining the changing role of the state in globalization and the role of international financial institutions.
Mr. Tanzi has served as director of the fiscal affairs department at the IMF since 1981. In that post, he has worked with fiscal authorities worldwide on issues ranging from tax policy to corruption and money laundering. He started at the IMF in 1974 as chief of the tax policy division. From 1990 to 1994, he also served as president of the International Institute of Public Finance.
Before joining the IMF, Mr. Tanzi was professor and chairman of the department of economics at American University. He has also been on the faculty of the George Washington University and a consultant for the World Bank, the United Nations, the Organization of American States, and the Stanford Research Institute. Mr. Tanzi received his Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University and has received honorary degrees from the National University of Córdoba (Argentina) and the University of Liège (Belgium).
He is a prolific writer and has published widely on fiscal policy and other economic issues in books and journals. He is known for his research on Latin American economies and the so-called Tanzi effect, whereby real tax proceeds are eroded during periods of high inflation. His most recent publications include
Public Spending in the 20th Century: A Global Perspective; Policies, Institutions, and the Dark Side of Economics; and Taxation in an Integrating World.