Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Responsibility, Well-Being, Information, and the Design of Distributive Policies

Contents:

Author Info

  • Frank Vandenbroucke
Registered author(s):

    Abstract

    The model developed in this paper admits a systematic discussion of the normative rationale behind the use of two distributive instruments: negative income taxation, creating an unconditional basic income, on the one hand and wage subsidies on the other hand. The model integrates two opposite conceptions of personal responsibility (whether or not we are responsible for our propensity to work in the labour market) into a single framework. Thus we can compare these conceptions systematically, and define conditions for practical convergence between the policies they indicate. This framework also illustrates how optimal taxation theory may proceed when utilities are considered ordinal and interpersonally not comparable. This requires the definition of an objective notion of individual well-being. I incorporate "time for non-market activity" in the definition of well-being. The model shows how alternative choices with regard to the inclusion and weighing of "time for non-market activity" in the Rawlsian basket of primary goods affect the prescription of policies. More generally, it shows how alternative conceptions of well-being affect the posttransfer reward scheme the government proposes. The model is used to illustrate the idea, defended by Fleurbaey et al., that responsibility-sensitive egalitarian justice imposes a principle of natural reward. Given the simplifying assumptions of the model, I will establish, in the second-best regimes and excluding corner solutions, for each conception of responsibility and set of instruments, a one-to-one correspondence between principles of reward, on the one hand, and conceptions of individual well-being on the other hand. Hence, given these assumptions and conditions, there is a unique definition of well-being which yields a neutral principle of reward, i.e. there is a unique "neutral" official conception of the citizens’ individual well-being. The model is then used to study the "egalitarian earnings subsidy scheme" proposed by White (1999) and to assess a related discussion between White (1997) and Van Parijs (1997) on basic income and the principle of reciprocity. According to White the principle of reciprocity implies the use of wage subsidies and the rejection of basic income. The model shows that basic income and a wage subsidy can be complementary instruments. However, under certain conditions, a neutral principle of reward demands that earned income taxation only be used to fund wage subsidies, so that a basic income has to be funded (possibly together with other expenditures) by a capital income tax on available "personal dividends".

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL: http://www.econ.kuleuven.be/eng/ew/discussionpapers/Dps00/Dps0003.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën in its series Center for Economic Studies - Discussion papers with number ces0003.

    as in new window
    Length:
    Date of creation: Mar 2000
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:ete:ceswps:ces0003

    Contact details of provider:
    Postal: Naamsestraat 69, 3000 Leuven
    Phone: +32-(0)16-32 67 25
    Fax: +32-(0)16-32 67 96
    Email:
    Web page: http://www.econ.kuleuven.be/ew
    More information through EDIRC

    Related research

    Keywords:

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    References

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    Citations

    Lists

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ete:ceswps:ces0003. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Karla Vander Weyden).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.