Efficiency and Redistribution: An Evaluative Review of Louis Kaplow's The Theory of Taxation and Public Economics
AbstractLouis Kaplow proposes a two-step methodology for normative policy analysis and illustrates it using various policy reforms. The first step is to identify efficiency gains when hypothetical lump-sum taxes can undo redistributive consequences. The second step evaluates the redistributive effects using a strictly welfaristic social welfare function. I critically review the foundations for Kaplow's procedure and its reliance on strict welfarism. I argue that basing efficiency gains on hypothetical lump-sum tax adjustment can lead to social welfare reducing policies if such tax adjustments are not carried out. I also indicate some conceptual problems with translating welfarism into policy evaluation when individuals have different utility function, and review one promising alternative approach.(JEL H20, H41, H50)
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Literature.
Volume (Year): 48 (2010)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General
- H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
- H50 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - General
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- John C. Harsanyi, 1955. "Cardinal Welfare, Individualistic Ethics, and Interpersonal Comparisons of Utility," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 63, pages 309.
- Kaplow, Louis, 2006.
"On the undesirability of commodity taxation even when income taxation is not optimal,"
Journal of Public Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 90(6-7), pages 1235-1250, August.
- Louis Kaplow, 2004. "On the Undesirability of Commodity Taxation Even When Income Taxation is Not Optimal," NBER Working Papers 10407, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Boadway, Robin & Keen, Michael, 1993.
"Public Goods, Self-Selection and Optimal Income Taxation,"
International Economic Review,
Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 34(3), pages 463-78, August.
- Robin Boadway & Michael Keen, 1991. "Public Goods, Self-Selection and Optimal Income Taxation," Working Papers 828, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
- Cremer, Helmuth & Pestieau, Pierre, 2006.
"Wealth transfer taxation: a survey of the theoretical literature,"
Handbook on the Economics of Giving, Reciprocity and Altruism,
- CREMER, Helmuth & PESTIEAU, Pierre, . "Wealth transfer taxation: a survey of the theoretical literature," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1874, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
- Mirrlees, James A, 1971. "An Exploration in the Theory of Optimum Income Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(114), pages 175-208, April.
- Nava, Mario & Schroyen, Fred & Marchand, Maurice, 1996. "Optimal fiscal and public expenditure policy in a two-class economy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 119-137, July.
- Atkinson, A. B. & Stiglitz, J. E., 1976. "The design of tax structure: Direct versus indirect taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1-2), pages 55-75.
- Sen, Amartya, 1973. "On Economic Inequality," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198281931.
- Stephen Coate, 1999.
"An Efficiency Approach to the Evaluation of Policy Changes,"
NBER Working Papers
7316, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Coate, Stephen, 2000. "An Efficiency Approach to the Evaluation of Policy Changes," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(463), pages 437-55, April.
- Konishi, Hideo, 1995. "A Pareto-improving commodity tax reform under a smooth nonlinear income tax," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 413-446, March.
- Hultkrantz, Lars & Svensson, Mikael, 2012.
"A Comparison of Benefit Cost and Cost Utility Analysis in Practice: Divergent Policies in Sweden,"
Karlstad University Working Papers in Economics
1, Department of Economics, Karlstad University.
- Hultkrantz, Lars & Svensson, Mikael, 2012. "A Comparison of Benefit Cost and Cost Utility Analysis in Practice: Divergent Policies in Sweden," Working Papers 2012:5, Örebro University, School of Business.
- Keuschnigg, Christian, 2011. "Intra- und intergenerative Gerechtigkeit in der Finanzpolitik," Economics Working Paper Series 1137, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jane Voros) or (Michael P. Albert).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.