GLOBAL KNOWLEDGE FOR GLOBAL CHANGE

The Tobin Tax - A Review of the Evidence

McCulloch, N. and Pacillo, G.
Working Paper ED WPS No 16-2011
Publisher Department of Economics, University of Sussex
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The debate about the Tobin Tax, and other financial transaction taxes (FTT), gives rise to strong views both for and against. Unfortunately, little of this debate is based on the now considerable body of evidence about the impact of such taxes. This review attempts to synthesise what we know from the available theoretical and empirical literature about the impact of FTTs on volatility in financial markets. We also review the literature on how a Tobin Tax might be implemented, the amount of revenue that it might realistically produce, and the likely incidence of the tax. We conclude that, contrary to what is often assumed, a Tobin Tax is feasible and, if appropriately designed, could make a significant contribution to revenue without causing major distortions. However, it would be unlikely to reduce market volatility and could even increase it.
Published Date
08-Feb-11
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Related IDS Researchers
Neil McCulloch

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