Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2134359
 


 



From Seligman to Shoup: The Early Columbia School of Taxation and Development


Ajay K. Mehrotra


Indiana University Maurer School of Law

2012

The Political Economy of Transnational Tax Reform: The Shoup Mission to Japan in Historical Context, eds. W. Elliot Brownlee, Yasunori Fukagai & Eiasku Ide (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013)
Indiana Legal Studies Research Paper No. 207

Abstract:     
In 1949, the Columbia University economist Carl Sumner Shoup helped lead a post-World War II tax mission to Japan. One of the principal goals of the mission was to assist in the reconstruction of the Japanese fiscal system. As part of this mission, Shoup brought with him not only his experience as an academic economist and longtime advisor to the U.S. Treasury Department, but also his deep intellectual commitment to fundamental tax reform. Throughout his career Shoup applied economic ideas about public finance to the practical issues of improving fiscal, political, and administrative institutions in redeveloping and lesser-developed nation-states. In many ways, though, Shoup was the culmination of a multi-generational tradition of research, scholarship, and policy guidance that can be described loosely as the Columbia school of taxation and development. This essay, which is a chapter in a forthcoming edited volume on the Shoup mission to Japan, provides a brief intellectual history of the Columbia school. More specifically, this chapter traces the genealogical connection between the type of economic institutionalism that was prominent at Columbia in the early twentieth century and Shoup’s specific ideas about taxation and development. The aim is to provide some historical perspective on the principles and proposals that were central to the many Shoup tax missions and to his overall vision of a “prescriptive” or “political economy” branch of public finance.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 42

Keywords: Carl Shoup, Edwin R. A. Seligman, Robert Murray Haig, tax policy, development, fiscal history, history of U.S. economic thought

JEL Classification: B25, H24, O23

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Date posted: August 25, 2012 ; Last revised: July 11, 2013

Suggested Citation

Mehrotra, Ajay K., From Seligman to Shoup: The Early Columbia School of Taxation and Development (2012). The Political Economy of Transnational Tax Reform: The Shoup Mission to Japan in Historical Context, eds. W. Elliot Brownlee, Yasunori Fukagai & Eiasku Ide (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013); Indiana Legal Studies Research Paper No. 207. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2134359

Contact Information

Ajay K. Mehrotra (Contact Author)
Indiana University Maurer School of Law ( email )
211 S. Indiana Avenue
Bloomington, IN 47405
United States
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