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The Mirrlees Approach to the Theory of Economic Policy

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  • Robin Boadway

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Abstract

This paper summarizes James Mirrlees' key contribution to the theory of tax policy. It argues that the Mirrlees approach of viewing government as being constrained by imperfect information has changed profoundly how we look at the normative public policy. In this view, asymmetric information provides the limit to redistribution by restricting the efficiency-equity trade-off. It leads to consideration of other policy instruments for relaxing incentive constraints and improving the efficiency of redistributive policies. Some of these instruments include quantity controls, in-kind transfers and public provision or mandating of insurance, things we observe in practice. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 1998

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  • Robin Boadway, 1998. "The Mirrlees Approach to the Theory of Economic Policy," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 5(1), pages 67-81, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:itaxpf:v:5:y:1998:i:1:p:67-81 DOI: 10.1023/A:1008668509373
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Amegashie, J. Atsu & Ouattara, Bazoumanna & Strobl, Eric, 2007. "Moral Hazard and the Composition of Transfers: Theory with an Application to Foreign Aid," MPRA Paper 3158, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 06 May 2007.
    2. Patricia Apps & Ngo Long & Ray Rees, 2014. "Optimal Piecewise Linear Income Taxation," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 16(4), pages 523-545, August.

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    Keywords

    Mirrlees; incentive constraints; optimal policy;

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