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Does Egalitarianism Have a Future?


  • Giacomo Bonanno
  • John Roemer
  • Louis Putterman
  • Wen Hai
  • Shunli Yao

    (Department of Economics, University of California Davis)


This paper surveys the evidence, theoretical and empirical, relating to the possibility of achieving more egalitarian distributions of income than are typical in modern societies. The first four parts of the paper (Introduction, Improving efficiency an equality, The ownership of firms, and Taxation) are mainly concerned with the probably extent of the equality-efficiency trade-off, where the instruments that could be used to effect an increase in equality are property rights in firms and taxation (personal income, profit, and wealth). The fifth part (The political economy of equality) discusses the political feasibility of effecting redistribution, and in particular, why redistribution has not been more dramatic in democracies.""

Suggested Citation

  • Giacomo Bonanno & John Roemer & Louis Putterman & Wen Hai & Shunli Yao, 2003. "Does Egalitarianism Have a Future?," Working Papers 969, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:cda:wpaper:96-9

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