The Optimal Taxation of Height: A Case Study of Utilitarian Income Redistribution
AbstractShould the income tax include a credit for short taxpayers and a surcharge for tall ones? The standard Utilitarian framework for tax analysis answers this question in the affirmative. Moreover, a plausible parameterization using data on height and wages implies a substantial height tax: a tall person earning $50,000 should pay $4,500 more in tax than a short person. One interpretation is that personal attributes correlated with wages should be considered more widely for determining taxes. Alternatively, if policies such as a height tax are rejected, then the standard Utilitarian framework must fail to capture intuitive notions of distributive justice.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Harvard Business School in its series Harvard Business School Working Papers with number 09-139.
Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2009
Date of revision:
Other versions of this item:
- N. Gregory Mankiw & Matthew Weinzierl, 2010. "The Optimal Taxation of Height: A Case Study of Utilitarian Income Redistribution," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 155-76, February.
- N. Gregory Mankiw & Matthew Weinzierl, 2009. "The Optimal Taxation of Height: A Case Study of Utilitarian Income Redistribution," NBER Working Papers 14976, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy
- H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
- H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
- H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
- J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
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Blog mentionsAs found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
- Does being short make you more likely to be a criminal?
by Adam Ozimek in Modeled Behavior on 2010-05-03 11:39:11
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