NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Should Tax Reform Level the Playing Field?

Lawrence H. Summers

NBER Working Paper No. 2132
Issued in 1987
NBER Program(s):   PE

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.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w2132

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