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The Efficiency Case of Universality

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Abstract

The paper analyzes the replacement of universal social programs with targeted social benefits. We define "universality" as separability of tax/transfer system in income and other non-monetary attributes, and introduce the concept of "parallel equity" - a requirement that like differences in needs should be treated alike. We develop a model which shows that under specificed assumptions universality is efficient as well as equitable; "clawback" results in an inefficient structure of net marginal tax rate.

Suggested Citation

  • Nicholas Rowe & Frances Woolley, 1996. "The Efficiency Case of Universality," Carleton Economic Papers 96-05, Carleton University, Department of Economics, revised May 1999.
  • Handle: RePEc:car:carecp:96-05
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    File URL: http://www1.carleton.ca/economics/research/working-papers/carleton-economic-papers-cep-1991-2000/
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    Cited by:

    1. Pierre Pestieau & Maria Racionero, 2015. "Tagging with leisure needs," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 45(4), pages 687-706, December.
    2. Robin Boadway & Pierre Pestieau, 2006. "Tagging and redistributive taxation," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 83-84, pages 123-147.
    3. Stuart Adam, 2005. "Measuring the marginal efficiency cost of redistribution in the UK," IFS Working Papers W05/14, Institute for Fiscal Studies.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    SOCIAL PROGRAMS; SOCIAL WELFARE; TAX POLICY; UNIVERSALITY;

    JEL classification:

    • H51 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Health
    • H53 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Welfare Programs

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