Today we need a tax system that will provide sufficient revenue to deal with long run budget challenges, that will promote long run economic growth, and that will provide progressivity in the face of increasing inequality. However, do we face a “fiscal trilemma”: Can we only meet two of these goals and not the third? For example, must a progressive tax system that meets our revenue needs hamper economic growth? Do pro-growth systems that generate needed revenues come at the expense of progressivity? Would a progressive income tax system that encouraged growth provide insufficient revenues? Is there an unresolvable tension between the traditional Haig-Simons notion of a “good” tax (e.g., a broad-based income tax base with few if any exclusions or deductions), which emerges from a largely static view of the tax system, and the more growth-oriented notions that emerge from a more dynamic analysis (e.g., a consumption tax to encourage growth)?
The tensions between these three goals of tax policy are not fully understood or quantified. The Murphy Institute and the Department of Economics at Tulane University are sponsoring a conference that will explore these tensions. The conference aims at bringing together researchers working on these issues to explore recent advances in the field and to increase awareness of the subject.
The conference will highlight the tensions between these three goals of tax policy. Papers should focus on at least one of these goals and should ideally explore trade-offs with other goals. Alternative approaches to analyzing these issues are welcome. Papers presented at the conference will be published in a special issue of Public Finance Review, subject to the normal refereeing process.
Researchers working in these areas are invited to submit papers or 2-page abstracts via email attachment to: James Alm at email@example.com or Steven Sheffrin at firstname.lastname@example.org. The submission deadline for papers and abstracts is May 1, 2012. Acceptance for presentation will be communicated no later than June 1, 2012. The conference will be held at Tulane University in New Orleans, LA on Friday, October 26, 2012.
The Murphy Institute will pay an honorarium of $1,000, and will cover normal travel expenses.
Conference organizers are James Alm and Steven Sheffrin.
Contact information for the Murphy Institute is:
108 Tilton Hall
New Orleans, LA 70118
Tel: +1 504 865 5317
Fax: +1 504 862 8755
Program Manager: Ruth Carter (email@example.com)
Contact information for the Department of Economics is:
206 Tilton Hall
New Orleans, LA 70118
Tel: +1 504 865 5321 Fax: +1 504 865 5869
Department Manager: Paul Watson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
206 Tilton Hall, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 tel 504-865-5321 fax 504-865-5869 email@example.com