IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Da Bentham alla tassazione ottimale

  • Ruggero Paladini
Registered author(s):

    This paper describes the rebirth of the utilitarian approach, with the social welfare function a là Bentham, after the crisis due to the emergence of the ordinalist microeconomic analysis. It is shown that Vickrey in 1945 had already anticipated the themes developed earlier by Harsanyi and later by Mirrlees. After a description of Mirrlees’s work, the paper discusses the situation in which you can use personalized lump-sum taxes, showing that there are critical consequences. The paper criticizes Mankiw’s thesis against the utilitarian approach, concluding with some policy prescriptions.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by Istituto di Economia e Finanza, DIGEF, Sapienza University of Rome in its series Public Finance Research Papers with number 2.

    in new window

    Length: 60 pages
    Date of creation: May 2014
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:gfe:pfrp00:0002
    Contact details of provider: Postal: Piazza A. Moro 5, 00185 Roma
    Phone: +39 06 49910392
    Fax: +39 06 49910648
    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as in new window
    1. N. Gregory Mankiw & Matthew Weinzierl & Danny Yagan, 2009. "Optimal Taxation in Theory and Practice," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(4), pages 147-74, Fall.
    2. Boskin, Michael J. & Sheshinski, Eytan, 1983. "Optimal tax treatment of the family: Married couples," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 281-297, April.
    3. Erosa, Andres & Gervais, Martin, 2002. "Optimal Taxation in Life-Cycle Economies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 105(2), pages 338-369, August.
    4. Robin Boadway & Maurice Marchand & Pierre Pestieau & María del Mar Racionero, 2002. "Optimal Redistribution with Heterogeneous Preferences for Leisure," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 4(4), pages 475-498, October.
    5. Thomas Aronsson & Tomas Sjögren, 2010. "Optimal income taxation and social norms in the labor market," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 67-89, February.
    6. Diamond, Peter A & Mirrlees, James A, 1971. "Optimal Taxation and Public Production II: Tax Rules," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(3), pages 261-78, June.
    7. Beaudry, Paul & Blackorby, Charles, 2004. "Taxes And Employment Subsidies In Optimal Redistribution Programs," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 708, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    8. N. Gregory Mankiw & Matthew C. Weinzierl, 2009. "The Optimal Taxation of Height: A Case Study of Utilitarian Income Redistribution," Harvard Business School Working Papers 09-139, Harvard Business School.
    9. Kanbur, R. & Keen, M. & Tuomala, M., 1990. "Optimal Non-Linear Income Taxation for the Alleviation of Income Poverty," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 368, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    10. Sadka, Efraim, 1976. "On Progressive Income Taxation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(5), pages 931-35, December.
    11. Alesina, Alberto & Ichino, Andrea & Karabarbounis, Loukas, 2007. "Gender Based Taxation and the Division of Family Chores," IZA Discussion Papers 3233, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    12. Hammond, Peter J, 1990. "Theoretical Progress in Public Economics: A Provocative Assessment," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 42(1), pages 6-33, January.
    13. Robert Moffitt, 2006. "Welfare Work Requirements with Paternalistic Government Preferences," NBER Working Papers 12366, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Ritva Tarkiainen & Matti Tuomala, 2004. "On Optimal Income Taxation with Heterogenous Work Preferences," Working Papers 0432, University of Tampere, School of Management, Economics.
    15. George J. Stigler, 1950. "The Development of Utility Theory. I," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58, pages 307.
    16. Blomquist, Sören & Micheletto, Luca, 2003. "Age Related Optimal Income Taxation," Working Paper Series 2003:7, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    17. Katherine Cuff, 1998. "Optimality of Workfare with Heterogeneous Preferences," Working Papers 968, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
    18. Mikhail Golosov & Maxim Troshkin & Aleh Tsyvinski, 2011. "Optimal Dynamic Taxes," NBER Working Papers 17642, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Gervais, Martin, 2012. "On the optimality of age-dependent taxes and the progressive U.S. tax system," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 682-691.
    20. Scheve, Kenneth & Stasavage, David, 2010. "The Conscription of Wealth: Mass Warfare and the Demand for Progressive Taxation," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 64(04), pages 529-561, October.
    21. Atkinson, A. B. & Stiglitz, J. E., 1976. "The design of tax structure: Direct versus indirect taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1-2), pages 55-75.
    22. Samuelson, Paul A, 1974. "Complementarity-An Essay on the 40th Anniversary of the Hicks-Allen Revolution in Demand Theory," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 12(4), pages 1255-89, December.
    23. John C. Harsanyi, 1953. "Cardinal Utility in Welfare Economics and in the Theory of Risk-taking," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 61, pages 434.
    24. Mirrlees, James A, 1971. "An Exploration in the Theory of Optimum Income Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(114), pages 175-208, April.
    25. Agnar Sandmo, 1999. "Asymmetric Information and Public Economics: The Mirrlees-Vickrey Nobel Prize," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(1), pages 165-180, Winter.
    26. Ruggero Paladini, 2005. "Alcuni aspetti del dibattito sui principi del sacrificio tra gli autori italiani," STUDI ECONOMICI, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2005(87).
    27. Tuomala, Matti, 1990. "Optimal Income Tax and Redistribution," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198286059.
    28. De Vincenti Claudio & Paladini Ruggero, 2009. "Personal Income Tax Design for Italy: Lessons from the Theory," Rivista italiana degli economisti, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 1, pages 7-46.
    29. Diamond, P., 1994. "Optimal Income Taxation: An Exemple with a U-Shaped Pattern of Optimal Marginal Tax Rates," Working papers 94-14, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    30. Arrow, Kenneth J, 1977. "Extended Sympathy and the Possibility of Social Choice," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(1), pages 219-25, February.
    31. Hahn, Frank H., 1973. "On optimum taxation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 96-106, February.
    32. Varian, Hal R., 1980. "Redistributive taxation as social insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 49-68, August.
    33. Philippe Choné & Guy Laroque, 2009. "Negative marginal tax rates and heterogeneity," IFS Working Papers W09/12, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    34. Dasgupta, Partha & Hammond, Peter, 1980. "Fully progressive taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 141-154, April.
    35. Matthew Weinzierl, 2011. "The Surprising Power of Age-Dependent Taxes," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 78(4), pages 1490-1518.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:gfe:pfrp00:0002. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Valeria De Bonis)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.