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Normative Analysis with Societal Constraints

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  • Robin Boadway
  • Nicolas-Guillaume Martineau

Abstract

This paper examines the question of achieving a societal consensus around redistributive policies. Its extent is measured by the degree of work participation among the different skill classes that populate the economy. This consensus is driven both by the material incentives and heterogeneous preferences for leisure of each skill class, and an endogenous social norm, which embodies societal attitudes towards distributive justice. Results for optimal redistributive taxation in the presence of an extensive margin of participation show that when a norm is present, participation taxes are generally lower (resp. higher) than when it is not, whenever it enters as a benefit or cost for participants (resp. a cost for non-participants). In the event of multiple participation equilibria, it is examined how changes in the progressivity of taxation may induce shifts in equilibria. This multiplicity of equilibria is thereafter exploited as a constraint on the social planner, which views societal consensus as an objective.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 4305.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_4305

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Related research

Keywords: optimal taxation; societal consensus; social norms; work participation; distributive justice; redistribution;

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  1. Emmanuel Saez, 2000. "Optimal Income Transfer Programs: Intensive Versus Extensive Labor Supply Responses," NBER Working Papers 7708, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Akerlof, George A, 1980. "A Theory of Social Custom, of Which Unemployment May be One Consequence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 94(4), pages 749-75, June.
  3. Dufwenberg, M. & Lundholm, M., 1997. "Social Norms and Moral Hazard," Papers 1997-28, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
  4. Lindbeck, A., 1994. "Welfare State Disincentives with Endogenous Habits and Norms," Papers 589, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  5. Laurence Kranich & Matteo Cervellati & Joan Esteban, 2010. "Work Values, Endogenous Sentiments and Redistribution," Discussion Papers 10-05, University at Albany, SUNY, Department of Economics.
  6. Diamond, P., 1980. "Income taxation with fixed hours of work," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 101-110, February.
  7. Emmanuel Saez & Stefanie Stantcheva, 2013. "Generalized Social Marginal Welfare Weights for Optimal Tax Theory," NBER Working Papers 18835, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Thomas Aronsson & Tomas Sjögren, 2010. "Optimal income taxation and social norms in the labor market," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 67-89, February.
  9. Cervellati, Matteo & Esteban, Joan & Kranich, Laurence, 2010. "Work values, endogenous sentiments redistribution," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(9-10), pages 612-627, October.
  10. Romer, Thomas, 1975. "Individual welfare, majority voting, and the properties of a linear income tax," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 163-185, February.
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