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Progression-neutral income tax reforms and horizontal inequity

  • Maria Cubel


  • Peter Lambert


A switch from any given income tax schedule to a tax structure in which two groups of taxpayers are treated differently, each still facing the same degree of progression, can induce an increase in welfare despite causing horizontal inequity (HI). The thrust of much recent research, however, is that removing the HI from an income tax system, by replacing it with a schedule, is itself welfare improving. In this note we reconcile these results, showing that acceptance of HI can be second-best when government must operate with a limited bundle of income tax parameters. Copyright Springer-Verlag 2002

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Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 9 (2002)
Issue (Month): 1 (December)
Pages: 1-8

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Handle: RePEc:kap:jeczfn:v:9:y:2002:i:1:p:1-8
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  1. Bourguignon, Francois, 1979. "Decomposable Income Inequality Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(4), pages 901-20, July.
  2. Lambert, P & X. Ramos, 1995. "Vertical redistribution and horizontal inequity," IFS Working Papers W95/01, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  3. Frank A. Cowell, 1980. "On the Structure of Additive Inequality Measures," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 47(3), pages 521-531.
  4. Shorrocks, A F, 1980. "The Class of Additively Decomposable Inequality Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(3), pages 613-25, April.
  5. Atkinson, Anthony B., 1970. "On the measurement of inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 244-263, September.
  6. Maria Cubel & Peter Lambert, . "A Regional Approach to Income Tax Policy," Discussion Papers 97/8, Department of Economics, University of York.
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