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Individual welfare, social deprivation and income taxation

  • Satya R. Chakravarty
  • Patrick Moyes

In a homogeneous framework where individuals can only be distinguished on the basis of their incomes, we examine the incidence of taxation on the amount of deprivation felt in the society. We conceive deprivation in terms of utility or well-being rather than just in terms of income and we measure it by comparing the deprivation profiles arising in the different situations. We identify the restrictions to be imposed on the utility function which guarantee that a more progressive system of taxes always results in less social deprivation. We show that, in general, it is not possible to get an equivalence and realize a social improvement in terms of social deprivation by substituting a more progressive system of taxes for a less progressive one. Copyright Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2003

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00199-002-0276-9
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Article provided by Springer in its journal Economic Theory.

Volume (Year): 21 (2003)
Issue (Month): 4 (06)
Pages: 843-869

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Handle: RePEc:spr:joecth:v:21:y:2003:i:4:p:843-869
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