In This Review

Policies, Institutions, and the Dark Side of Economics
Policies, Institutions, and the Dark Side of Economics
By Vito Tanzi
Edward Elgar, 2000, 282 pp.

Tanzi has been director of the IMF's Fiscal Affairs Department for two decades, which has put him in contact with tax authorities in numerous countries. These essays, some previously published, focus on the practical and institutional side of fiscal affairs, especially tax policy. Much of the book concerns tax evasion, the underground economy, money laundering, corruption, and their relationship to tax policy and administration. The author is noteworthy for taking a global perspective and is especially concerned with cross-border tax incentives, evasion, and enforcement. He also addresses the roles of tax and expenditure policies in reducing income inequality. Although the book draws on the author's rich practical experience, he exercises much professional discretion when giving concrete examples of malfeasance -- even when they are public knowledge -- thereby rendering the text less colorful than it might have been.