Should Tax Reform Level the Playing Field?

23 Pages Posted: 2 Jul 2004

See all articles by Lawrence H. Summers

Lawrence H. Summers

Harvard University; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Date Written: 1987

Abstract

While frequently invoked, the level playing field ideal and its practical embodiment in tax legislation has received relatively little analysis. This paper examines the economic arguments surrounding the level playing field doctrine. I conclude that leveling the playing field is an issue of little economic importance and that efforts to level the playing field like those recently enacted are likely to create more important nonneutralities than those they eliminate. They may however contribute to the perceived fairness of the tax system.

Suggested Citation

Summers, Lawrence H., Should Tax Reform Level the Playing Field? (1987). NBER Working Paper No. w2132. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=227394

Lawrence H. Summers (Contact Author)

Harvard University ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

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