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Guidelines on Searching for a Dalton-Improving Tax Reform: An Illustration with Data from Indonesia

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  • Yitzhaki, Shlomo
  • Lewis, Jeffrey D

Abstract

This article documents the search for a Dalton-improving tax and expenditure reform using a methodology developed by Yitzhaki and Slemrod (1991) and Mayshar and Yitzhaki (1995). The methodology overcomes the need to define a specific social welfare function by searching instead for reforms that improve each social welfare function belonging to a wide class of functions. The authors apply the method to the energy sector of Indonesia, ignoring distributional constraints, and find that both the subsidy on kerosene and the tax on gasoline should be reduced. But taking distributional concerns into account, the present structure of energy taxes is reasonable and the country may benefit by increasing the subsidy to kerosene, taxing electricity, and reducing the gasoline tax. These conclusions are robust to changes in the relevant parameters representing the Indonesian economy. Copyright 1996 by Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Yitzhaki, Shlomo & Lewis, Jeffrey D, 1996. "Guidelines on Searching for a Dalton-Improving Tax Reform: An Illustration with Data from Indonesia," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 10(3), pages 541-562, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:wbecrv:v:10:y:1996:i:3:p:541-62
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    Cited by:

    1. Sami Bibi & Jean-Yves Duclos, 2007. "Poverty-decreasing indirect tax reforms: Evidence from Tunisia," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 14(2), pages 165-190, April.
    2. Paul Makdissi & Quentin Wodon, 2000. "Consumption Dominance Curves: Testing for the Impact of Tax Reforms on Poverty," Cahiers de recherche 00-05, Departement d'Economique de l'École de gestion à l'Université de Sherbrooke.
    3. Alessandro Santoro, 2007. "Marginal Commodity Tax Reforms: A Survey," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(4), pages 827-848, September.
    4. Paolo Liberati, 2001. "The Distributional Effects of Indirect Tax Changes in Italy," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 8(1), pages 27-51, January.
    5. Duclos, Jean-Yves & Makdissi, Paul & Wodon, Quentin, 2002. "Socially-Efficient Tax Reforms," Cahiers de recherche 0201, Université Laval - Département d'économique.
    6. Jean-Yves Duclos & Paul Makdissi & Quentin Wodon, 2008. "Socially Improving Tax Reforms," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 49(4), pages 1505-1537, November.
    7. Ajitava Raychaudhuri & Sudip Kumar Sinha & Poulomi Roy, 2007. "Is the Value Added Tax Reform in India Poverty-Improving? An Analysis of Data from Two Major States," Working Papers PMMA 2007-18, PEP-PMMA.
    8. Makdissi, Paul & Wodon, Quentin, 2002. "Consumption dominance curves: testing for the impact of indirect tax reforms on poverty," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 227-235, April.
    9. Sehili, Saloua & Wodon, Quentin, 2008. "Analyzing the Potential Impact of Indirect Tax Reforms on Poverty with Limited Data: Niger," MPRA Paper 11074, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Branko Milanovic, 2008. "Qat Expenditures in Yemen and Djibouti: An Empirical Analysis," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 17(5), pages 661-687, November.
    11. Araar, Abdelkrim, 2002. "L’impact des variations des prix sur les niveaux d’inégalité et de bien-être : une application à la Pologne durant la période de transition," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 78(2), pages 221-242, Juin.

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