RG

IN CONTEXT

FOCUS

Economic policy

KEY THINKER

Anne-Robert-Jacques Turgot (1727–81)

BEFORE

1689–1763 Expensive wars, together with an inefficient tax system that exempted landowners and unions, lays the ground for French financial crisis and the Revolution.

AFTER

1817 In his Principles of Political Economy and Taxation, British economist David Ricardo argues that taxes should fall on luxuries.

1927 British mathematician Frank Ramsay emphasizes the importance of price elasticity.

1976 Economists Anthony Atkinson and Joseph Stiglitz suggest uniform commodity taxes are optimal in The Design of Tax Structure.

Who bears the burden of tax? The key question of “tax ...

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