Taxation and Law and Political Economy
70 Pages Posted: 15 Jun 2021 Last revised: 29 Jun 2021
Date Written: June 11, 2021
The Law and Political Economy (LPE) project seeks to reorient legal thought by centering considerations of power, equality, and democracy. This reorientation would supplant approaches to legal thought that prioritize efficiency and neutrality, and that imagine a pre-political market “encased” from legal scrutiny or intervention.
This Article seeks to advance dialogue between LPE and tax scholarship. The Article first describes the areas of intersection between the two literatures and then offers general insights each can learn from the other as a basis for further engagement.
The Article describes both why taxation is central to LPE and the project’s importance for the future of tax scholarship and policy. Unlike many other areas of law, the tax system explicitly accounts for economic differences and serves an overt distributive function—two considerations that LPE would center in legal thought. Tax scholarship also reflects both the priorities and considerations at the center of LPE and the market-based frames it would supplant, and thereby offers lessons for how LPE might navigate the insights and limitations of current legal thought and reshape its future. At the same time, LPE offers an opportunity to envision new priorities and analytic modes for tax scholarship, and future possibilities for the tax system.
Keywords: Tax, Tax Policy, Inequality, Law and Political Economy
JEL Classification: K34
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation