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Economics is not what you think: A defense of the economic approach to taxation

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  • Marc Fleurbaey

    (Economic Theory Center - Princeton University, Le Collège d'études mondiales - Le Collège d'études mondiales/FMSH - Fondation Maison des sciences de l?homme)

Abstract

In The Myth of Ownership - Taxes and Justice, Liam Murphy and Thomas Nagel (2002) launch an attack against a straw man, the economist who believes that taxation should minimally interfere with property rights and should seek to preserve the market distribution of wealth and income. Instead they propose an approach that focuses on the consequences of any form of public intervention for the distribution of welfare, without any particular ethical concern for the values emerging from the market. In fact, such an approach has been long developed by Mirrlees (1971), whose approach has been dominating the economics of taxation for the last forty years. But more recently the fairness approach to taxation goes beyond welfare consequentialism and attributes some value to market allocations, in line with the theories of justice proposed by Rawls and Dworkin.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by HAL in its series Working Papers with number halshs-00698575.

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Date of creation: 20 Feb 2012
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Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:halshs-00698575

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Related research

Keywords: taxation; welfare; property rights; fairness; Mirrlees;

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References

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  1. Emmanuel Saez, 2000. "Using Elasticities to Derive Optimal Income Tax Rates," NBER Working Papers 7628, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Fleurbaey, Marc, 2012. "Fairness, Responsibility, and Welfare," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199653591, Octomber.
  3. Diamond, Peter A, 1998. "Optimal Income Taxation: An Example with a U-Shaped Pattern of Optimal Marginal Tax Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 83-95, March.
  4. Guilhem Fabre & Stephane Grumbach, 2012. "The World upside down, China's R&D and innovation strategy," Working Papers halshs-00686389, HAL.
  5. Emmanuel Saez, 2002. "Optimal Income Transfer Programs: Intensive Versus Extensive Labor Supply Responses," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(3), pages 1039-1073, August.
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Cited by:
  1. Byasdeb Dasgupta, 2013. "Financialization, Labour Market Flexibility, Global Crisis and New Imperialism - A Marxist Perspective," Working Papers halshs-00840831, HAL.
  2. Byasdeb Dasgupta, 2013. "Some Aspects of External Dimensions of Indian Economy in the Age of Globalisation," Working Papers halshs-00820294, HAL.
  3. Xavier Richet, 2013. "L'internationalisation des firmes chinoises : croissance, motivations, stratégies," Working Papers halshs-00796197, HAL.
  4. Méda, Dominique, 2012. "Redéfinir le progrès à la lumière de la crise écologique," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/10490, Paris Dauphine University.

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