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

Blundell, R; Preston, I; (2019) Principles of Tax Design, Public Policy and Beyond: The Ideas of James Mirrlees, 1936–2018. Fiscal Studies , 40 (1) pp. 5-18. 10.1111/1475-5890.12183. Green open access

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Abstract

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.

Type: Article
Title: Principles of Tax Design, Public Policy and Beyond: The Ideas of James Mirrlees, 1936–2018
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/1475-5890.12183
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1111/1475-5890.12183
Language: English
Additional information: © 2019 The Authors. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Keywords: Sir James Mirrlees, optimum taxation, contract theory, project analysis, growth. JEL classification numbers: B21, B31, D82, D86, H21, H24, O22, O40
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Economics
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10071341
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