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 framework that economists use to address the normative problem of designing tax systems. The conventional utilitarian approach 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.
Download InfoIf 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.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15846.
Date of creation: Mar 2010
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Other versions of this item:
- N Gregory Mankiw, 2010. "Spreading the Wealth Around: Reflections Inspired by Joe the Plumber," Eastern Economic Journal, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 36(3), pages 285-298.
- D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics; Underlying Principles
- H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- 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.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.