Tax Administration and Tax Systems

IEB Working Paper 2015/3

30 Pages Posted: 28 Apr 2017

See all articles by Joel B. Slemrod

Joel B. Slemrod

University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: March 19, 2015


This is a review of the so-called "Optimal tax systems" approach to the economic analysis of taxation. This approach acknowledges the bunch of instruments the public sector has to collect revenues, but also the multiple responses of taxpayers to them. In a way, this is a more realistic approach to taxation, and so should provide reliable guides to action.

MAIN RESULT: It stresses the importance of a Tax-systems approach in contrast with the tradition optimal taxation approach.

This approach consists of three blocks: multiple sources of cost of taxation (compliance, administrative and deadweight loss), multiple responses to taxes (not only behavioral) and a bunch of instruments (not only statutory parameters). The future of this integrated approach to taxation will be very much influenced by the foreseen information revolution.

Keywords: Optimal taxation, tax administration, multiple behavioral responses

JEL Classification: H20

Suggested Citation

Slemrod, Joel B., Tax Administration and Tax Systems (March 19, 2015). IEB Working Paper 2015/3. Available at SSRN: or

Joel B. Slemrod (Contact Author)

University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business ( email )

701 Tappan Street
Room R5396
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1234
United States
734-936-3914 (Phone)
734-763-4032 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Register to save articles to
your library


Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics