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On measuring violations of the progressive principle in income tax systems

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  • Simone Pellegrino
  • Achille Vernizzi

Abstract

Kakwani and Lambert (Eur J Polit Econ 14(2):369–380, 1998 ) state three axioms which should be respected by an equitable tax system. Using the Atkinson–Plotnick–Kakwani re-ranking indexes of taxes, tax rates, and post-tax incomes, calculated with respect to the ranking of pre-tax income distribution, they then propose a measurement system to evaluate the negative influences that axiom violations exert on the redistributive effect of taxes. In this paper, we reconsider the way Kakwani and Lambert measure violations of their second axiom, which concerns the re-ranking of tax rates. We construct a non-negative index which is strictly faithful to Kakwani and Lambert’s commands; we show that the Authors’ measure does not exactly fit the statements made in their second axiom. Both Kakwani and Lambert’s original measurement system and the modified one are then applied to Italian personal income tax in 2008. According to the modified measurement system, the average tax rate seems to play a smaller role than that suggested by the results gained using Kakwani and Lambert’s original methodology. Copyright Springer-Verlag 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Simone Pellegrino & Achille Vernizzi, 2013. "On measuring violations of the progressive principle in income tax systems," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 45(1), pages 239-245, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:empeco:v:45:y:2013:i:1:p:239-245
    DOI: 10.1007/s00181-012-0613-1
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Achille Vernizzi, 2009. "Playing with the Hadamard product in decomposing Gini, concentration, redistribution and re-ranking indexes," UNIMI - Research Papers in Economics, Business, and Statistics unimi-1085, Universitá degli Studi di Milano.
    2. Andrea Brandolini, 1999. "The Distribution of Personal Income in Post-War Italy: Source Description, Data Quality, and the Time Pattern of Income Inequality," Giornale degli Economisti, GDE (Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia), Bocconi University, vol. 58(2), pages 183-239, September.
    3. McCloskey, Donald N, 1985. "The Loss Function Has Been Mislaid: The Rhetoric of Significance Tests," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 201-205, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Simone Pellegrino & Guido Perboli & Giovanni Squillero, 2019. "Balancing the equity-efficiency trade-off in personal income taxation: an evolutionary approach," Economia Politica: Journal of Analytical and Institutional Economics, Springer;Fondazione Edison, vol. 36(1), pages 37-64, April.
    2. Ivica Urban, 2016. "Impact of Taxes and Benefits on Inequality among Groups of Income Units," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 62(1), pages 120-144, March.
    3. Daniela Mantovani & Simone Pellegrino & Achille Vernizzi, 2020. "A note on the maximum value of the Kakwani index," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 58(2), pages 869-874, February.
    4. Simone Pellegrino & Achille Vernizzi, 2018. "Decomposing the Redistributive Effect of Taxation to Reveal Axiom Violations," Working papers 049, Department of Economics and Statistics (Dipartimento di Scienze Economico-Sociali e Matematico-Statistiche), University of Torino.
    5. Maria Giovanna Monti & Simone Pellegrino & Achille Vernizzi, 2015. "On Measuring Inequity in Taxation Among Groups of Income Units," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 61(1), pages 43-58, March.
    6. Edyta MAZUREK & Achille VERNIZZI, 2015. "Some Considerations on Measuring the Progressive Principle Violations and the Potential Equity in Income Tax Systems," Departmental Working Papers 2015-14, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
    7. Achille Vernizzi & Edyta Mazurek, 2013. "Some Considerations on Measuring the Progressive Principle Violations and the Potential Equity in Income Tax Systems," Statistics in Transition new series, Główny Urząd Statystyczny (Polska), vol. 14(3), pages 467-486, September.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Microsimulation models; Personal income tax; Progressive principle; Redistributive effect; Re-ranking; C81; H23; H24;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C81 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data; Data Access
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies

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