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Home Publications Principles of Tax Design, Public Policy and Beyond: The Ideas of James Mirrlees, 1936–2018

Principles of Tax Design, Public Policy and Beyond: The Ideas of James Mirrlees, 1936–2018

Journal article | Fiscal Studies

Sir James Mirrlees, co‐recipient of the 1996 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, passed away in August 2018. This article outlines how his work has transformed economists’ understanding of their discipline – from the principles of tax design to the theory of contracts and beyond. By conceiving of policy questions in terms of information asymmetries between governments and taxpayers, Mirrlees demonstrated how to conduct convincing analysis of redistributive objectives together with incentive effects in the design of general tax systems and public policy more broadly. His ability to simplify complex problems in ways that reveal their tractable essence means that his work has yielded insights that have reverberated throughout the discipline. It has also proved highly fruitful for practical policy design.

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Book
Dimensions of Tax Design volume one of the Mirrlees Review, is a collection of papers from high profile researchers analysing the different aspects and characteristics of the tax system. This expert evidence informs the conclusions of the review in Tax by Design, which recommends how the tax system ...
Book
Tax by Design is the final report from the Mirrlees Review. We present a picture of coherent tax reform whose aim is to identify the characteristics of a good tax system for any open developed economy, to assess the extent to which the UK tax system conforms to these ideals, and to recommend how it ...