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The Impact on Efficiency and Distribution of a Base-Broadening and Rate-Reducing Tax Reform


  • Johan Willner


  • Lena Granqvist


We analyze a base-broadening, rate-reducing, and simplifying tax reform, which may be revenue-neutral, or which may keep the average tax rates constant. Such a reform generally improves efficiency under reasonable conditions but not necessarily if the average tax rate is calculated on taxable incomes or if revenue-neutrality refers to aggregate tax payments only. In most cases, an efficiency-improving reform probably increases inequality unless the marginal rate reduction greatly affects low-income taxpayers. So in some cases, there might be a utilitarian case for increasing, rather than reducing the marginal tax rate. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Suggested Citation

  • Johan Willner & Lena Granqvist, 2002. "The Impact on Efficiency and Distribution of a Base-Broadening and Rate-Reducing Tax Reform," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 9(3), pages 273-294, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:itaxpf:v:9:y:2002:i:3:p:273-294 DOI: 10.1023/A:1016284731519

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Agell, J. & Berg, L. & Edin, P.A., 1995. "Tax Reform, Consumption and Asset Structure," Papers 16, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
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    3. Aronsson, Thomas & Palme, Marten, 1998. "A Decade of Tax and Benefit Reforms in Sweden: Effects on Labour Supply, Welfare and Inequality," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 65(257), pages 39-67, February.
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    7. Richard B. Freeman & Robert Topel & Birgitta Swedenborg, 1997. "The Welfare State in Transition: Reforming the Swedish Model," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number free97-1, January.
    8. Agell, S.A. & Meghir, C., 1995. "Male Labour Supply in Sweden : Are Incentives Important?," Papers 12, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
    9. Flood, Lennart & MaCurdy, Thomas, 1992. "Work disincentive effects of taxes: An empirical analysis of Swedish men," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 239-277, December.
    10. Blundell, Richard & Meghir, Costas & Symons, Elizabeth & Walker, Ian, 1988. "Labour supply specification and the evaluation of tax reforms," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 23-52, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Blaufus, Kay & Bob, Jonathan & Hundsdoerfer, Jochen & Kiesewetter, Dirk & Weimann, Joachim, 2013. "Decision heuristics and tax perception – An analysis of a tax-cut-cum-base-broadening policy," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 1-16.

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    tax reform; efficiency; inequality;


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