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Optimal Distribution and the Family

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  • Kaplow, Louis

Abstract

Income tax burdens, welfare payments, and social security benefits depend on the composition of family units. Substantial controversy exists over the appropriate forms of adjustment, as reflected by the wide variation in methods among programs, across jurisdictions, and over time. In contrast to approaches based on 'ability to pay' or equivalence scales, a utilitarian welfare function is used here to derive the equitable distribution of income for different family configurations. The analysis considers how allocations should depend on family sharing arrangements, economies of scale, altruism among family members, and differences in utility functions among family members. Copyright 1996 by The editors of the Scandinavian Journal of Economics.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Scandinavian Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 98 (1996)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 75-92

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Handle: RePEc:bla:scandj:v:98:y:1996:i:1:p:75-92

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Web page: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/(ISSN)1467-9442

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Cited by:
  1. Louis Kaplow, 2006. "Discounting Dollars, Discounting Lives: Intergenerational Distributive Justice and Efficiency," NBER Working Papers 12239, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. John Muellbauer & Justin van de Ven, 2004. "Estimating Equivalence Scales for Tax and Benefits Systems," Economics Papers 2004-W06, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  3. Chiuri, Maria Concetta, 2000. "Individual decisions and household demand for consumption and leisure," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 277-324, September.
  4. Louis Kaplow, 2000. "Horizontal Equity: New Measures, Unclear Principles," NBER Working Papers 7649, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Zhijun Zhao, 2011. "Preference Relativity, Ambiguity and Social Welfare Evaluation," Working Papers 352011, Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research.
  6. Udo Ebert, 2000. "Equivalizing Incomes: A Normative Approach," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 7(6), pages 619-640, December.

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