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Canons of Just Taxation: Efficiency and Fairness in an Economy with a Public Good


  • Dennis Sullivan
  • Harris Schlesinger


This article analyzes the relationships among three canons of “just†taxation: Pareto optimality, individual rationality, and fairness (nonenvy). Using a helpful device called a Kolm triangle, the analysis shows that the fair and Pareto optimal point need not be individually rational, that it will involve progressive taxation, and that it bears no particular relationship to Lindahl equilibrium, but a rather close relationship to Rawlsian justice.

Suggested Citation

  • Dennis Sullivan & Harris Schlesinger, 1986. "Canons of Just Taxation: Efficiency and Fairness in an Economy with a Public Good," Public Finance Review, , vol. 14(4), pages 448-465, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:pubfin:v:14:y:1986:i:4:p:448-465

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