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Rasmus Christensen @phdskat
, 18 tweets, 7 min read Read on Twitter
Okay, here we go!

Some descriptive plots and observations from the new @IMFnews data of tax policy measures in 23 advanced and emerging economies over four decades (imf.org/~/media/Files/…):
(Two notes before we get into it:

1. These are mostly plots looking at longitudinal trends. Suggestions for alternative relationships to look at are very welcome. What's interesting to you?

2. Still honing my data viz skills, so plot design comments very welcome too.)
Okay, first: 1990s and early 2000s clearly had most tax reform activity (in raw numbers of measures) since 1970 - across the globe.
Second: Personal and corporate income taxes are by far the most popular policy areas for tax reform measures since 1970 (again, raw numbers).

This is pretty consistent across the years.
Let me illustrate the underlying numbers for one country. Let's take the USA.

Here, you can see the tax reform spikes, especially cuts to personal and corporate income taxes, by Carter (late 70s), Reagan (1986) and George W. Bush (early 2000s).
Third: Tax *base* reforms are consistently more popular than tax *rate* reforms.

And measures that decrease the base/rate are generally more popular than measures that increase the base/rate (again, raw numbers).
(Relevant note here: Decreasing the rate/base doesn't *necessarily* mean decreasing tax revenue. Because of dynamic effects, the reverse *can be* true. But it's rate. I'll get back to that below.)
Fourth: We can look at the specifics for policy areas. Let's take corporate income tax (CIT).

Of the specific categories, we can see CIT measures are mostly used for investment promotion and capital gains reform.

This is again pretty consistent across the years.
Here's the same look at personal income tax (PIT) reform measures:
Fifth: Possibly the most interesting thing is the *fiscal impact* of tax reform, i.e. do tax policy measures raise or lower tax revenue (and what types do what)?
The database isn't great for this, but we might be able an idea using the net number of base/rate increases vs. decreases as a proxy (see here why: )
Using that proxy, what's then the fiscal impact of tax policy measures across these 23 countries since 1970?

Generally, it looks negative. But there is clear variation across countries. Here I've zoomed in on 12 states:
And what about policy areas?

By that same proxy:
- CIT and property tax reforms are mostly about *decreasing* tax rate/base;
- PIT reform about *increasing*
- Others largely neutral

Property and CIT reforms also seemed to become more focused on lowering taxes in 90s and 00s.
That's it for now. Looking forward to your thoughts. /end
More! Which countries lower/raise taxes the most?

From 1970-2015, Turkey and Denmark most active in raising taxes; France, UK, US most active in lowering taxes (again, raw number of measures):
Can do this with relative numbers too, to avoid skew of countries undertaking many (small) reforms.

Here, China, Luxembourg and Brazil come out as biggest tax decreasers; Turkey, Denmark still atop increasers.
Just adding this into the thread:

The historical trend of tax reform measures is: more focus on base/rate decreases, esp. in 90s and 00s

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