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Academic prose

Reading even a mildly stylish opening to an academic paper on issues in financial taxation is a good reminder of how nice it would be if the academy put a bit more emphasis on readable prose.

A looming global catastrophe. Daunting problems in measuring the marginal social damage caused by significant economic activities. International cooperation undermined by divergent national interests. Concerns that tax-based solutions will undermine economic growth. Accusations of self-serving experts misrepresenting, or even doctoring, the evidence.

But enough about global warming. Although the topic of this paper is the role of taxation in restructuring the financial sector, many of the same issues arise (with the possible exception of the last).

That's from “Taxation and the Financial Sector” by Douglas Shackelford, Daniel Shaviro and Joel Slemrod. I'll have more to say on the meat of the paper later.

By Ezra Klein  |  June 8, 2010; 5:19 PM ET
 
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Comments

But, isn't that what most academeic types do? That is, to use baffling prose to mask their well realized fear that someone might realize that they really have no idea.

Posted by: ChrisBrown11 | June 8, 2010 8:36 PM | Report abuse

But, isn't that what most academic types do? That is, to use baffling prose to mask their well realized fear that someone might realize that they really have no idea.

Posted by: ChrisBrown11 | June 8, 2010 8:38 PM | Report abuse

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