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The Average Tax Burden and the Welfare Implications of Global Tax Progressivity

Author

Listed:
  • John P. Formby

    (University of Alabama)

  • W. James Smith

    (University of Colorado, Denver)

  • Paul D. Thistle

    (University of Alabama)

Abstract

The measurement of global tax progressivity has been extensively debated over the last decade. We find that the debate stems from a failure to fully recognize the role of the average tax burden. We demonstrate that, once the effect of the average tax burden is controlled for, the two major approaches to global progressivity measurement, which have been long thought to be fundamentally different, must rank tax systems the same way. We show that valid welfare inferences can be drawn from global progressivity comparisons only under these same conditions.

Suggested Citation

  • John P. Formby & W. James Smith & Paul D. Thistle, 1990. "The Average Tax Burden and the Welfare Implications of Global Tax Progressivity," Public Finance Review, , vol. 18(1), pages 3-24, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:pubfin:v:18:y:1990:i:1:p:3-24
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    Cited by:

    1. Duclos, Jean-Yves, 1998. "Social evaluation functions, economic isolation and the Suits index of progressivity," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 103-121, July.
    2. Duclos, J.Y., 1995. "Economic Isolation, Inequality, and the Suits Index of Progressivity," Papers 9510, Laval - Recherche en Politique Economique.
    3. Caminada, Koen & Goudswaard, Kees, 1999. "Social policy and income distribution: An empirical analysis for the Netherlands," MPRA Paper 20183, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Koen Caminada & Kees Goudswaard, 2001. "International Trends in Income Inequality and Social Policy," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 8(4), pages 395-415, August.
    5. André DECOSTER & Guy VAN CAMP, 2000. "Redistributive Effects of the Shift from Personal Income Taxes to Indirect Taxes: Belgium 1988-1993," Working Papers of Department of Economics, Leuven ces0007, KU Leuven, Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB), Department of Economics, Leuven.
    6. Koen Caminada & Kees Goudswaard, 1996. "Progression and revenue effects of income tax reform," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 3(1), pages 57-66, January.
    7. Caminada, Koen & Goudswaard, Kees, 1997. "Distributional effects of a flat tax: An empirical analysis for the Netherlands," MPRA Paper 20184, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. André Decoster & Isabelle Standaert & Christian Valenduc & Guy Van Camp, 2002. "What makes personal income taxes progressive? The case of Belgium," Brussels Economic Review, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles, vol. 45(3), pages 91-112.
    9. Andrá Decoster & Guy Van Camp, 2001. "Redistributive effects of the shift from personal income taxes to indirect taxes: Belgium 1988-93," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 22(1), pages 79-106, March.
    10. Russell Davidson & Jean-Yves Duclos, 1997. "Statistical Inference for the Measurement of the Incidence of Taxes and Transfers," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(6), pages 1453-1466, November.
    11. John Bishop & K. Chow & John Formby & Chih-Chin Ho, 1997. "Did Tax Reform Reduce Actual US Progressivity? Evidence from the Taxpayer Compliance Measurement Program," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 4(2), pages 177-197, May.

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