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To what extent do fiscal regimes equalize opportunities for income acquisition among citizens?

Author

Listed:
  • John Roemer

    (Yale University [New Haven])

  • Rolf Aaberge

    (UiO - University of Oslo)

  • Ugo Colombino
  • Johan Fritzell
  • Stephen P Jenkins
  • Arnaud Lefranc

    (THEMA - Théorie économique, modélisation et applications - UCP - Université de Cergy Pontoise - Université Paris-Seine - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Ive Marx
  • Marianne Page
  • Evert Pommer
  • Javier Ruiz-Castillo
  • Maria Jesus San Segundo
  • Torben Tranaes
  • Alain Trannoy

    (EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales)

  • Gert G Wagner

    (German Institute for Economic Research Berlin)

  • Ignacio Zubiri

Abstract

This paper employs the theory of equality of opportunity, described in Roemer's book (Equality of Opportunity, Harvard University Press, 1998), to compute the extent to which tax-and-transfer regimes in 11 countries equalize opportunities among citizens for income acquisition. Roughly speaking, equality of opportunity for incomes has been achieved in a country when it is the case that the distributions of post-fisc income are the same for different types of citizen, where a citizen's type is defined by the socioeconomic status of his parents. Intuitively, a country will have equalized opportunity if the chances of earning high (or low) income are equal for citizens from all family backgrounds. Of course, pre-fisc income distributions, by type, will not be identical, as long as the educational system does not entirely make up for the disadvantage that children, who come from poor families face, but the tax-and-transfer system can play a role in rectifying that inequality. We include, in our computation, two numbers that summarize the extent to which each country's current fiscal regime achieves equalization of opportunities for income, and the deadweight loss that would be incurred by moving to the regime that does.

Suggested Citation

  • John Roemer & Rolf Aaberge & Ugo Colombino & Johan Fritzell & Stephen P Jenkins & Arnaud Lefranc & Ive Marx & Marianne Page & Evert Pommer & Javier Ruiz-Castillo & Maria Jesus San Segundo & Torben Tra, 2003. "To what extent do fiscal regimes equalize opportunities for income acquisition among citizens?," Post-Print hal-01651129, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-01651129
    DOI: 10.1016/S0047-2727(01)00145-1
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01651129
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    Keywords

    H00; Fiscal regimes; Equal opportunities; Income acquisition JEL classification: D63;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • H00 - Public Economics - - General - - - General

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