Why the Legal System is Not Necessarily Less Efficient than the Income Tax In Redistributing Income
AbstractA common, though by no means universally-accepted doctrine among practitioners of law and economics is that redistribution is no business of the law. This efficiency-only doctrine is not that redistribution is unworthy as a social objective, but that any given benefit to the poor is attainable at a lower cost to the rich through taxation than through the choice of legal rules. The rationale for the efficiency-only doctrine is that redistributive law creates a double distortion: an initial distortion arising from redistribution pre se, through taxation or through law, and an additional distortion all its own. The efficiency-only doctrine is sometimes valid, but is far narrower than its advocates would seem to suggest, and is inapplicable to most of what is commonly thought of as redistributive law. Redistribution is best supplied by a combination of law and taxation.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Queen's University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 1210.
Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2011
Date of revision:
Law; Income Tax; Redistribution;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
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- K34 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Tax Law
- H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
- H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2009-08-22 (All new papers)
- NEP-LAW-2009-08-22 (Law & Economics)
- NEP-PBE-2009-08-22 (Public Economics)
- NEP-PKE-2009-08-22 (Post Keynesian Economics)
- NEP-REG-2009-08-22 (Regulation)
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