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Value-Added Taxation: A Tax Whose Time Has Come?

By Gilbert E. Metcalf


Value-added taxes (VATs) are used in a large number of developed countries and have been under consideration at the national level in the United States in recent years. This paper provides an introduction to the tax for those unfamiliar with it. The author begins by describing how VATs work and briefly surveys their use by other countries. The remainder of the paper considers the economic impact as well as design issues that are likely to arise if the United States were to implement a VAT.

DOI identifier: 10.1257/jep.9.1.121
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