Skatter har en kostnad

Hur påverkar skatternas storlek ekonomin? Frågan är omtvistad bland ekonomer. Christina Romer och David Romer visar i ett metodologiskt innovativt bidrag till den vetenskapliga diskussionen, att skatteförändringar har stora effekter. En exogen ökning av skatternas andel av BNP med 1 procentenhet minskar real BNP med 2–3 procent. Och effekten är bestående.

Deras abstract beskriver forskningsansatsen:

This paper investigates the impact of changes in the level of taxation on economic activity. We use the narrative record – presidential speeches, executive-branch documents, and Congressional reports – to identify the size, timing, and principal motivation for all major postwar tax policy actions. This narrative analysis allows us to separate revenue changes resulting from legislation from changes occurring for other reasons. It also allows us to further separate legislated changes into those taken for reasons related to prospective economic conditions, such as countercyclical actions and tax changes tied to changes in government spending, and those taken for more exogenous reasons, such as to reduce an inherited budget deficit or to promote long-run growth. We then examine the behavior of output following these more exogenous legislated changes.

Man kan notera att skattetrycket i Sverige är fallande.