The Centre of Excellence in Tax Systems Research carries out research that supports the development of the tax and transfer system. Our research sheds light on the effects of taxation on individuals, businesses and society as well as the mechanisms underlying the financial decision-making of individuals and companies.
Taxes affect us all, although we may not always notice it. Welfare services, such as childcare centres, education and pensions, are funded through taxation. Taxes can also be used to address important societal challenges, such as growing inequality and environmental or health problems.
The tax system must be carefully designed to strike a balance between securing the government's revenue-raising capacity and supporting economic growth. If the tax system is poorly designed, high tax rates can end up reducing the revenue collected by the government to fund welfare services. This can happen if high taxes discourage people from working as hard as they otherwise would or companies from making investments.
A good tax system meets the revenue needs of the government while minimising the burden on taxpayers. In many western countries, tax revenues account for almost 50% of the GDP. For example, the Finnish government raises approximately 100 billion euros in taxes each year. Being able to identify and measure the positive and negative effects of taxation and thereby develop an optimal tax system is vital to society. It is also a major scientific challenge that we are working to address.
We explore taxation and regulation from a broad perspective, drawing on extensive register data, survey data and field experiments, and generate new theoretical knowledge. Our particular strength is the creation of research designs that allow us to assess causality in economics and separately study the effects of different policy measures and other processes that are underway in society.