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Redistribution and market efficiency: An experimental study

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  • Großer, Jens
  • Reuben, Ernesto

Abstract

We study the interaction between competitive markets and income redistribution that reallocates unequal pre-tax market incomes away from the rich to the poor majority. In one setup, participants earn their income by trading in a double auction (DA) with exogenous zero or full redistribution. In another setup, after trading, they vote on redistributive tax policies in a majoritarian election with two competing candidates. This results in virtually full redistribution, even when participants have the opportunity to influence taxes by transferring money to the candidates. We find that the high redistribution reduces trading efficiency, but not as much as predicted if market participants trade randomly. This is because, rather than capitulating to the much lower trading incentives, many participants respond to redistribution by asking and bidding more conservatively in the DA, and in this way help to prevent further efficiency losses.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Public Economics.

Volume (Year): 101 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 39-52

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Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:101:y:2013:i:c:p:39-52

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578

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Keywords: Redistribution; Double auction; Market efficiency; Elections; Lobbying;

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Cited by:
  1. Doerrenberg, Philipp & Duncan, Denvil, 2014. "Tax Incidence in the Presence of Tax Evasion," IZA Discussion Papers 8137, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Wolfgang Hoechtl & Rupert Sausgruber & Jean-Robert Tyran, 2011. "Inequality Aversion and Voting on Redistribution," Working Papers 2011-13, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
  3. Loukas Balafoutas & Martin G. Kocher & Louis Putterman & Matthias Sutter, 2010. "Equality, equity, and incentives: An experiment," Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS) 10-13, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
  4. Rupert Sausgruber & Jean-Robert Tyran, 2013. "Discriminatory Taxes are Unpopular - Even when they are Efficient and Distributionally Fair," Discussion Papers 13-14, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  5. Sausgruber, Rupert & Tyran, Jean-Robert, 2011. "Are we taxing ourselves?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 164-176.
  6. Christos Bilanakos, 2012. "Consumers’ Heterogeneity, Publicness of Goods and the Size of Public Sector," University of Cyprus Working Papers in Economics 18-2012, University of Cyprus Department of Economics.
  7. R. Kline & F. Galeotti & R. Orsini, 2014. "When Foul Play Seems Fair: Dishonesty as a Response to Violations of Just Deserts," Working Papers wp920, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  8. Marina Agranov & Thomas R. Palfrey, 2014. "Equilibrium Tax Rates and Income Redistribution: A Laboratory Study," NBER Working Papers 19918, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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