The Marginal Efficiency Cost of Redistribution
AbstractThe efficiency effects of redistributive policies are analyzed using a computational general equilibrium model, based on U.S. data for 1979. For parameter values considered most reasonable, a tax-financed universal cash grant generates losses for the higher-income groups that exceed the gains of the lower-income groups by 50 to 130 percent. These efficiency costs are substantially below those calculated by other authors. The marginal efficiency cost of redistribution through wage subsidies is near zero and can be negative. Social preferences regarding inequality need not be anywhere near Rawlsian in order for society to prefer further redistribution. Copyright 1988 by American Economic Association.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.
Volume (Year): 78 (1988)
Issue (Month): 5 (December)
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