Lecture Information:


Income Taxation in Germany: Trajectory and Perspectives

Berlin Lunchtime Meeting


SPEAKER: Giacomo Corneo, Free University of Berlin

CHAIR: Regina Vogel, Anglo-German Foundation  


Date: 25 May 2005


Data from official statistics and tax laws are exploited to describe fifty years of income taxation in Germany, with a focus on its role as a fiscal and distributive tool. The temporal pattern that emerges from the data is one of a golden age of the German income tax, followed by a slow decline, starting around 1986. The current German government based much of its economic policy on tax cuts and decreased tax progressivity. While this strategy is politically rewarding in the short run, it deprives the government of a policy tool which is highly valuable when it comes to the real thing: reforming the labor market.


Giacomo Corneo has the chair of Public Economics at the Free University of Berlin. His current research is focused on: redistributive taxation, the economics of public utilities and regulation, the economic role of the mass media and the economics of social norms. Giacomo Corneo has published several works in the field public economics, labor economics, comparative economics, industrial organization, and growth theory. Giacomo Corneo is Research Fellow of CEPR (London), CESifo (Munich) and IZA (Bonn).