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)
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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
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