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Genes as Tags: The Tax Implications of Widely Available Genetic Information


  • Logue, Kyle
  • Slemrod, Joel


Advances in genetic research promise to loosen the tradeoff between progressivity and efficiency by allowing tax liability (or transfer eligibility) to be based in part on immutable characteristics of individuals (“tags”) that are correlated with their expected lot in life. Use of genetic tags would reduce reliance on tax bases (such as income) that are subject to individual choices and, therefore, subject to inefficient distortion to those choices. If genetic information can be used by private employers and insurers, the case for basing tax in part on it becomes more compelling, as genetic inequalities would be exacerbated by market forces.

Suggested Citation

  • Logue, Kyle & Slemrod, Joel, 2008. "Genes as Tags: The Tax Implications of Widely Available Genetic Information," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 61(4), pages 843-863, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:ntj:journl:v:61:y:2008:i:4:p:843-63

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Darrel Cohen & Glenn Follette, 2000. "The automatic fiscal stabilizers: quietly doing their thing," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Apr, pages 35-67.
    2. Rebecca M. Blank, 2001. "What Causes Public Assistance Caseloads to Grow?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 36(1), pages 85-118.
    3. Byron F. Lutz, 2008. "The connection between house price appreciation and property tax revenues," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2008-48, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    4. Lutz, Byron F., 2008. "The Connection Between House Price Appreciation and Property Tax Revenues," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 61(3), pages 555-572, September.
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