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Redistributing Smarter: Self-Selection, Targeting and Non-Conventional Policy Instruments

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  • Robin Boadway

Abstract

Modern public economic theory emphasizes imperfect information as the ultimate constraint on redistribution policy: the needy are hard to identify. To target transfers efficiently, the standard tax-transfer system with its reliance on self-reporting needs to be supplemented by other devices designed to separate the needy from the non-needy. These include the use of in-kind transfers, quantity and price controls, and monitoring by welfare administrators. The role of such devices as part of the mix of redistribution policies and their potential implications for rationalizing the Canadian transfer system are summarized.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Toronto Press in its journal Canadian Public Policy.

Volume (Year): 24 (1998)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 365-369

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Handle: RePEc:cpp:issued:v:24:y:1998:i:3:p:365-369

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Postal: University of Toronto Press Journals Division 5201 Dufferin Street Toronto, Ontario, Canada M3H 5T8
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  1. Marceau, Nicolas & Boadway, Robin, 1994. " Minimum Wage Legislation and Unemployment Insurance as Instruments for Redistribution," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 96(1), pages 67-81.
  2. Robin Boadway & Katherine Cuff, 1999. "A Minimum Wage Can Be Welfare-Improving and Employment-Enhancing," Cahiers de recherche CREFE / CREFE Working Papers 72, CREFE, Université du Québec à Montréal.
  3. Robin Boadway, 1997. "Public Economics and the Theory of Public Policy," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 30(4), pages 753-72, November.
  4. Brett, Craig, 1998. "Who Should Be on Workfare? The Use of Work Requirements as Part of an Optimal Tax Mix," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(4), pages 607-22, October.
  5. BOADWAY, Robin & MARCHAND, Maurice & SATO, Motohiro, 1997. "Subsidies versus public provision of private goods as instruments for redistibution," CORE Discussion Papers 1997071, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  6. Chander, Parkash & Wilde, Louis L, 1998. "A General Characterization of Optimal Income Tax Enforcement," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(1), pages 165-83, January.
  7. Katherine Cuff, 2000. "Optimality of workfare with heterogeneous preferences," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 33(1), pages 149-174, February.
  8. Blackorby, Charles & Donaldson, David, 1988. "Cash versus Kind, Self-selection, and Efficient Transfers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 691-700, September.
  9. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1992. "Workfare versus Welfare Incentive Arguments for Work Requirements in Poverty-Alleviation Programs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 249-61, March.
  10. Guesnerie, Roger & Roberts, Kevin, 1987. "Minimum wage legislation as a second best policy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(1-2), pages 490-498.
  11. Alistair Munro, 1990. "Self-Selection and Optimal In-Kind Transfers," Working Papers Series 90/3, University of Stirling, Division of Economics.
  12. Keen, Michael, 1997. "Peculiar Institutions: A British Perspective on Tax Policy in the United States," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 50(4), pages 779-802, December .
  13. Arnott,Richard & Atkinson,Anthony B. & Arrow,Kenneth & Drèze,Jacques H. (ed.), 1997. "Public Economics Real Author-Name:Vickrey,William," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521597630, December.
  14. Parsons, Donald O., 1996. "Imperfect 'tagging' in social insurance programs," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1-2), pages 183-207, October.
  15. 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.
  16. Blomquist, Suren & Christiansen, Vidar, 1995. " Public Provision of Private Goods as a Redistributive Device in an Optimum Income Tax Model," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 97(4), pages 547-67, December.
  17. Nichols, Albert L & Zeckhauser, Richard J, 1982. "Targeting Transfers through Restrictions on Recipients," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(2), pages 372-77, May.
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