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Is it Fair to 'Make Work Pay'?

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  • ROLAND IWAN LUTTENS
  • ERWIN OOGHE

Abstract

We present a new fair allocation, coined a 'Pareto-efficient and Shared Resources Equivalent' allocation, which compensates for different productive skills, but not for different tastes for working. We illustrate the optimal second-best allocation in a discrete Stiglitz economy. The question of whether we should have regressive or progressive taxes for low earners crucially depends on whether the low-skilled have a strictly positive skill or zero skill. Our simulation results suggest that 'making work pay' policies can be optimal, according to our fairness criterion, but only in the unreasonable case in which all the unemployed are never willing to work. Copyright (c) The London School of Economics and Political Science 2007.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by London School of Economics and Political Science in its journal Economica.

Volume (Year): 74 (2007)
Issue (Month): 296 (November)
Pages: 599-626

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Handle: RePEc:bla:econom:v:74:y:2007:i:296:p:599-626

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  1. Tuomala, Matti, 1990. "Optimal Income Tax and Redistribution," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198286059.
  2. Emmanuel Saez, 2000. "Using Elasticities to Derive Optimal Income Tax Rates," NBER Working Papers 7628, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  4. Richard Blundell & Thomas MaCurdy, 1998. "Labour supply: a review of alternative approaches," IFS Working Papers W98/18, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
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  10. Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1981. "Self-Selection and Pareto Efficient Taxation," NBER Working Papers 0632, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  13. Fleurbaey, Marc & Maniquet, Francois, 1996. "Fair allocation with unequal production skills: The No Envy approach to compensation," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 71-93, August.
  14. Luigi, Bernardi, 2002. "Tax systems and tax reforms in Europe: Italy," MPRA Paper 18045, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  15. Ebert, Udo, 1992. "A reexamination of the optimal nonlinear income tax," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 47-73, October.
  16. Boadway, Robin & Keen, Michael, 2000. "Redistribution," Handbook of Income Distribution, in: A.B. Atkinson & F. Bourguignon (ed.), Handbook of Income Distribution, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 12, pages 677-789 Elsevier.
  17. M. Fleurbaey & F. Maniquet, 2000. "Fair Social Orderings With Unequal Production Skills," THEMA Working Papers 2000-17, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
  18. 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.
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  20. Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1987. "Pareto efficient and optimal taxation and the new new welfare economics," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 15, pages 991-1042 Elsevier.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Jacquet, Laurence & Van de Gaer, Dirk, 2011. "A comparison of optimal tax policies when compensation or responsibility matter," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(11), pages 1248-1262.
  2. Xavier Ramos & Dirk Van de gaer, 2012. "Empirical approaches to inequality of opportunity: Principles, measures, and evidence," Working Papers 259, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
  3. Haan, Peter & Decoster, Andre, 2013. "Empirical welfare analysis with preference heterogeneity," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79815, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  4. Erwin OOGHE & Andreas PEICHL, 2010. "Fair and efficient taxation under partial control: theory and evidence," Center for Economic Studies - Discussion papers ces10.32, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën.
  5. Ooghe, Erwin & Peichl, Andreas, 2014. "Fair and efficent taxation under partial control," ZEW Discussion Papers 14-002, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  6. Giacomo Valletta, 2009. "A fair solution to the compensation problem," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 32(3), pages 455-478, March.

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