LL4CO Half Unit
Taxation of Wealth
This information is for the 2018/19 session.
Dr Andrew Summers NAB.6.02
This course is available on the LLM (extended part-time), LLM (full-time), MSc in Inequalities and Social Science, MSc in Law and Accounting and University of Pennsylvania Law School LLM Visiting Students. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.
Students must apply through Graduate Course Choice on LSE for You.
This course is suitable for students who have not previously studied taxation. Some prior familiarity with principles of tax design is advantageous but not essential.
The course examines the taxation of wealth from a variety of interdisciplinary perspectives, drawing on research from political theory, economics, sociology and law. The main aims of the course are to explain why taxes on transfers, returns and holdings of wealth currently play a relatively minor role in most tax systems (compared, for example, with taxes on labour income and consumption), and to evaluate the options for taxing wealth. The focus is on the UK and US contexts although comparisons are also made with other jurisdictions.
Part I of the course introduces key debates from across the social sciences relevant to the taxation of wealth. Seminars 1-5 cover: (i) defining and measuring wealth; (ii) inequality and distributive justice; (iii) property rights; (iv) economic perspectives; and (v) social and political perspectives. Part II applies these debates to specific wealth tax policies. Seminars 6-10 cover: (i) taxes on transfers: inheritance or estate tax, gift tax, comprehensive income tax; (ii) taxes on returns: capital gains tax, capital income tax and (iii) taxes on holdings: property tax, land-value tax, annual wealth tax.
20 hours of seminars in the MT.
There will be a reading week in Week 6 MT.
Students will receive formative feedback on two essay-plans (comprising 300-word abstract, outline of sub-headings, and bibliography) based on past or sample summative essay titles.
Atkinson, Inequality: What can be Done? (Harvard University Press 2015); Graetz & Shapiro, Death by a Thousand Cuts: The Fight over Taxing Inherited Wealth (Princeton University Press 2005); Hills et al, Wealth in the UK: Distribution, Accumulation and Policy (OUP 2013); Institute for Fiscal Studies, The Structure and Reform of Direct Taxation: The Meade Report (Allen & Unwin 1978); Institute for Fiscal Studies, Tax by Design: The Mirrlees Review, Vols 1 & 2 (OUP 2011); Murphy and Nagel, The Myth of Ownership: Taxes and Justice (OUP 2002); Piketty, Capital in the Twenty-First Century (Harvard University Press 2014); Sandford, Taxing Personal Wealth (Allen & Unwin 1971); Scheve & Stasavage, Taxing the Rich: A History of Fiscal Fairness in the United States and Europe (Princeton University Press 2016); Waldron, The Right to Private Property (OUP 1991); Young, The Myth of Millionaire Tax Flight: How Place Still Matters for the Rich (Stanford University Press 2017)
Essay (50%, 3000 words) and essay (50%, 3000 words) in the ST.
For each essay, students will choose a title from a set of options published at the end of the MT.
Total students 2017/18: 32
Average class size 2017/18: 29
Controlled access 2017/18: Yes
Value: Half Unit
Personal development skills
- Team working
- Problem solving
- Application of information skills
- Application of numeracy skills
- Specialist skills