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Base independence in the analysis of tax policy effects: with an application to Norway 1992–2004

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  • Peter J. Lambert
  • Thor O. Thoresen

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    (Statistics Norway)

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    Abstract

    The analysis contrasts results of two recently expounded micro-level data approaches to derive robust intertemporal characterizations of redistributional effects of income tax schedules; the fixed-income procedure of Kasten, Sammartino and Toder (1994) and the transplant-and-compare method of Dardanoni and Lambert (2002). Our study is normative in that the Blackorby and Donaldson (1984) index of tax progressivity is employed. This enables contributions from vertical redistribution and horizontal inequity also to be assessed, using for the latter one classical measure and one no reranking measure. When the competing methodologies are applied to Norwegian data for 1992–2004, their respective strengths and weaknesses are revealed. The transplant-and-compare procedure is found to have a number of advantages.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Research Department of Statistics Norway in its series Discussion Papers with number 434.

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    Date of creation: Sep 2005
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    Handle: RePEc:ssb:dispap:434

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    Keywords: Income tax; Tax progressivity; Horizontal inequity;

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    1. Dardanoni, Valentino & Lambert, Peter J., 2002. "Progressivity comparisons," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(1), pages 99-122, October.
    2. King, Mervyn A, 1983. "An Index of Inequality: With Applications to Horizontal Equity and Social Mobility," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(1), pages 99-115, January.
    3. Lambert, Peter J. & Millimet, Daniel L. & Slottje, Daniel, 2003. "Inequality aversion and the natural rate of subjective inequality," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(5-6), pages 1061-1090, May.
    4. Alan J. Auerbach & Kevin A. Hassett, 2002. "A New Measure of Horizontal Equity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1116-1125, September.
    5. Jean-Yves Duclos & Peter J. Lambert, 2000. "A normative and statistical approach to measuring classical horizontal inequity," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 33(1), pages 87-113, February.
    6. Lambert, P & Ramos, X, 1995. "Vertical redistribution and horizontal inequity," IFS Working Papers W95/01, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    7. McCloskey, Donald N, 1985. "The Loss Function Has Been Mislaid: The Rhetoric of Significance Tests," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 201-05, May.
    8. Charles Blackorby & David Donaldson, 1984. "Ethical Social Index Numbers and the Measurement of Effective Tax-Benefit Progressivity," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 17(4), pages 683-94, November.
    9. Stephen Jenkins & Peter Lambert, . "Horizontal Inequity Measurement: A Basic Reassessment," Discussion Papers 96/21, Department of Economics, University of York.
    10. Mervyn A. King, 1980. "An Index of Inequality: With Applications to Horizontal Equity and Social Mobility," NBER Working Papers 0468, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Frank Cowell, 1998. "Measurement of inequality," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 2084, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    12. André Decoster & Erwin Ooghe, 2002. "Weighting with individuals, equivalent individuals, or not weighting at all. Does it matter empirically?," Public Economics Working Paper Series ces0215, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën, Working Group Public Economics.
    13. Kakwani, Nanok C, 1977. "Measurement of Tax Progressivity: An International Comparison," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 87(345), pages 71-80, March.
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