NEWS Margit Schratzenstaller (Austrian Institute of Economics) had the chance to present the FairTax research project at the 24th Annual Conference of the International Association of Feminist Economics (IAFFE) in July 2015 in Berlin.
At a roundtable on "Challenges of Rebalancing Finance and the Real Economy" organised by Brigitte Young (University of Muenster), she discussed the interrelations between tax policy and financialisation - and their impact on gender relations - with Dorothea Schaefer (DIW Berlin and Jönköping University) and Gary Dymski and Annina Kaltenbrunner (University of Leeds).
There was broad agreement that the common long-term trend in OECD countries of a decreasing tax burden on top incomes and wealth, by reducing top income tax rates, taking capital incomes out of progressive income taxation and taxing them separately at moderate flat tax rates, abolishing taxes on net wealth and eroding inheritance and gift taxation, has been and still is one important driver of financialisation.
The structural shift within the overall tax burden away from taxes on high incomes and wealth towards taxes on labour and value added taxes, which can be observed in many OECD countries, at the same time implies a shift of the tax burden away from men towards women: Due to the unequal distribution of wealth between men and women, the relatively small share of females among top income earners, and the comparatively high share of labour income in women's total income. Thus, a reversal of these trends in tax policy by, for example, increasing inheritance and gift taxation and the taxation of capital incomes at the national level or introducing a financial transaction tax within a larger group of countries can be expected to simultaneously strengthen the real economy and to improve gender equality in taxation.
Editor: Elin Andersson