Measures of Tax Efforts Revisited: from Summary to Decomposable Tax Ratios

Part of the Central Issues in Contemporary Economic Theory and Policy book series (CICETP)


Summary tax ratios and tax structure statistics are generally used in the analysis of tax trends to infer about tax efforts, tax choices and tax quality, and to relate these aspects to economic and broader social and political change as well as to other factors (viz., institutional, administrative, etc.) considered important in shaping tax structure developments. As many other summary statistics, these indicators were developed at a time of great popularity of scalar representations in the belief that they had the appealing property of permitting to obtain “numerical representations” in the same way as temperature from a thermometer. Over time their popularity has remained practically unchanged, though they have proved not to be immune from drawbacks (1). Unlike other summary statistics then, they have withstood time and not evolved, neither in terms of precision, nor from their “visual intuition” to a “first principles” stage.


Personal Income Personal Income Taxation Social Security Contribution Financial Wealth Real Wealth 
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Copyright information

© SIPI Servizio Italiano Pubblicazioni Internazionali Srl 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ministero del Tesoro and “Università di Tor Vergata”Roma

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