An Optimal Tax System
A notable feature and principal virtue of Tax by Design is its system-wide perspective on different elements of the tax system. This review essay builds on this trait and offers a more explicit foundation for the report's general approach, drawing on a distribution-neutral methodology that is developed in other work. This technique is then employed to illuminate and extend Tax by Design's analysis regarding the VAT, environmental taxation, wealth transfer taxation, and income transfers.
The title is inspired by Slemrod (1990). I would like to thank Steven Shavell and the referee for helpful comments and the John M. Olin Center for Law, Economics, and Business at Harvard University for financial support. The views expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.