Spreading the Wealth Around: Reflections Inspired by Joe the Plumber
AbstractThis essay discusses the policy debate concerning optimal taxation and the distribution of income. It begins with a brief overview of trends in income inequality, the leading hypothesis to explain these trends, and the distribution of the tax burden. It then considers the normative question of how the tax system should be designed. The conventional utilitarian framework is found to be wanting, as it leads to prescriptions that conflict with many individuals’ moral intuitions. The essay then explores an alternative normative framework, dubbed the Just Deserts Theory, according to which an individual's compensation should reflect his or her social contribution.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Palgrave Macmillan in its journal Eastern Economic Journal.
Volume (Year): 36 (2010 Summer)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
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Postal: Palgrave Macmillan Journals, Subscription Department, Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire RG21 6XS, UK
Other versions of this item:
- N. Gregory Mankiw, 2010. "Spreading the Wealth Around: Reflections Inspired by Joe the Plumber," NBER Working Papers 15846, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics; Underlying Principles
- H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
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- Thomas Cornelissen & Oliver Himmler & Tobias König, 2010.
"Fairness Spillovers - The Case of Taxation,"
CESifo Working Paper Series
3217, CESifo Group Munich.
- Thomas Cornelißen & Oliver Himmler & Tobias Koenig, 2012. "Fairness Spillovers – The Case of Taxation," Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2012_17, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
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