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Jørgen R. Lotz and Elliott R. Morss

THE QUESTION often arises whether there is scope for an increase in the level of taxation in a country as part of a stabilization program, for the mobilization of resources to finance a development program, or for other purposes. A relevant consideration in answering this question is how the tax effort of the country compares with that of other countries in similar circumstances.

Mr. Vito Tanzi

The sensitivity (i.e., elasticity and built-in flexibility) of the U. S. individual income tax to changes in national income is of great interest to researchers and policymakers. However, the direct measurement of this sensitivity—that is, the measurement obtained from time-series observations of the relevant variables—has always been difficult, and even at times impossible, because changes in the legal structure of the tax have been too frequent to provide enough observations that relate to the same legal structure to allow statistically significant coefficients to be determined. This was particularly true in the United States before 1954, when the rates were changed frequently; it has also been true since 1963, when important changes occurred in rates, personal exemptions, deductions, and other features. In contrast, during the period between 1954 and 1963, hardly any significant statutory changes occurred in the tax.

Juanita D. Amatong

ECONOMISTS GENERALLY AGREE that gains from capital are a proper source of taxation in developing countries. This view was expressed in the Technical Assistance Conference on Comparative Fiscal Administration in Geneva in 1951 and more recently in the Santiago Conference on Fiscal Policy for Economic Growth in Latin America.1 A capital gains tax is on the appreciation of capital assets and is commonly imposed only when the increase in value is realized through sale or exchange. It should be distinguished from net wealth tax, death duties, and other capital taxes in that these are assessed on the total value of assets.