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Optimal Utilitarian Taxation and Horizontal Equity

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  • HENRIK JORDAHL
  • LUCA MICHELETTO

Abstract

We impose a horizontal equity restriction on the problem of finding the optimal utilitarian tax mix. The horizontal equity constraint requires that individuals with the same ability have to pay the same amount of taxes regardless of their preferences for leisure. Contrary to normal findings, we find that a good that is complementary to leisure can be encouraged by the tax system and that a good that normally should be discouraged by the tax system can be subsidized even if the economy is composed of only two private commodities plus leisure. Also, the marginal effective tax rate can be different from zero at the top of the ability distribution when the tax mix obeys the horizontal equity constraint. Copyright 2005 Blackwell Publishing Inc..

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Association for Public Economic Theory in its journal Journal of Public Economic Theory.

Volume (Year): 7 (2005)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
Pages: 681-708

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Handle: RePEc:bla:jpbect:v:7:y:2005:i:4:p:681-708

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Cited by:
  1. Jukka Pirttilä & Sanna Tenhunen, 2008. "Pawns and queens revisited: public provision of private goods when individuals make mistakes," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 15(5), pages 599-619, October.
  2. Hodler, Roland, 2008. "Leisure and redistribution," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 354-363, June.
  3. Henrik Jordahl & Luca Micheletto, 2005. "Optimal Utilitarian Taxation and Horizontal Equity," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 7(4), pages 681-708, October.
  4. Bastani, Spencer & Blomquist, Sören & Micheletto, Luca, 2010. "Public Provision of Private Goods, Tagging and Optimal Income Taxation with Heterogeneity in Needs," Working Paper Series, Center for Fiscal Studies 2010:14, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  5. Alessandro Balestrino, 2012. "Family Taxation, Fertility, and Horizontal Equity: A Political Economy Perspective," CESifo Working Paper Series 3774, CESifo Group Munich.

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