Economic analysts generally have a more dispassionate attitude toward the subject. They are interested primarily in studying the effects of taxation on individual behavior and market prices, and in describing the distributional effects of tax policies. When the discussion turns to changes in the tax system, however, positive analysis may be replaced by advocacy of particular alternatives. This is illustrated by the frequent use of the word "reform" in the literature, a term usually employed to refer to changes designed to make the system better, where "better" is judged in relation to some ideal standard.
Working Paper Number 04-48.