Policy brief

Financial-Transaction Tax: Small Is Beautiful

Publishing date
08 February 2010

Based on their contribution to the European Parliament Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, in this Policy Contribution Resident Fellows Zsolt Darvas and Jakob von Weizsäcker discuss the merits of the much-discussed financial-transaction tax. They argue that the case for taxing financial transactions for the sake of not raising revenue is relatively weak, but a financial-transaction tax could be useful in limiting socially-undesirable transactions. On this basis, they say, a very small, coordinated tax on financial transactions could be implemented successfully.

A revised version of this paper was also published in Society and Economy Volume 33, Number 3/December 2011

About the authors

  • Jakob von Weizsäcker

    Jakob von Weizsäcker heads the department for economic policy and tourism at the Thuringian Economics Ministry in Erfurt and is a non-resident fellow at Bruegel where he was resident fellow form 2005 to 2010.

    He previously worked at the World Bank in Washington (2002-2005) where he was country economist for Tajikistan and the Federal Economics Ministry in Berlin (2001-2002) where he headed the office of a junior minister. Before that, he worked for Vesta, a venture capital firm, and held research positions at the Center for Economic Studies in Munich and CIRED in Paris.

  • Zsolt Darvas

    Zsolt Darvas, a Hungarian citizen, joined Bruegel as a Visiting Fellow in September 2008 and continued his work at Bruegel as a Research Fellow from January 2009, before being appointed Senior Fellow from September 2013. He is also a Senior Research Fellow at the Corvinus University of Budapest.

    From 2005 to 2008, he was the Research Advisor of the Argenta Financial Research Group in Budapest. Before that, he worked at the research unit of the Central Bank of Hungary (1994-2005) where he served as Deputy Head.

    Zsolt holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Corvinus University of Budapest where he teaches courses in Econometrics but also at other institutions since 1994. His research interests include macroeconomics, international economics, central banking and time series analysis.

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