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Economics is not what you think: A defense of the economic approach to taxation

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  • Marc Fleurbaey

    () (Economic Theory Center - Princeton University , Le Collège d'études mondiales/FMSH - Fondation Maison des sciences de l'homme)

Abstract

In The Myth of Ownership - Taxes and Justice, Liam Murphy and Thomas Nagel (2002) launch an attack against a straw man, the economist who believes that taxation should minimally interfere with property rights and should seek to preserve the market distribution of wealth and income. Instead they propose an approach that focuses on the consequences of any form of public intervention for the distribution of welfare, without any particular ethical concern for the values emerging from the market. In fact, such an approach has been long developed by Mirrlees (1971), whose approach has been dominating the economics of taxation for the last forty years. But more recently the fairness approach to taxation goes beyond welfare consequentialism and attributes some value to market allocations, in line with the theories of justice proposed by Rawls and Dworkin.

Suggested Citation

  • Marc Fleurbaey, 2012. "Economics is not what you think: A defense of the economic approach to taxation," Working Papers halshs-00698575, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:halshs-00698575
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00698575
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Fleurbaey,Marc & Maniquet,François, 2011. "A Theory of Fairness and Social Welfare," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521715348, April.
    2. Fleurbaey, Marc, 2012. "Fairness, Responsibility, and Welfare," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199653591.
    3. Emmanuel Saez, 2002. "Optimal Income Transfer Programs: Intensive versus Extensive Labor Supply Responses," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(3), pages 1039-1073.
    4. Guilhem Fabre & Stéphane Grumbach, 2012. "The World upside down, China's R&D and innovation strategy," Working Papers halshs-00686389, HAL.
    5. Diamond, Peter A, 1998. "Optimal Income Taxation: An Example with a U-Shaped Pattern of Optimal Marginal Tax Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 83-95, March.
    6. Emmanuel Saez, 2001. "Using Elasticities to Derive Optimal Income Tax Rates," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 68(1), pages 205-229.
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    Cited by:

    1. Xavier Richet, 2013. "L'internationalisation des firmes chinoises : croissance, motivations, stratégies," Working Papers halshs-00796197, HAL.
    2. Byasdeb Dasgupta, 2013. "Financialization, Labour Market Flexibility, Global Crisis and New Imperialism - A Marxist Perspective," Working Papers halshs-00840831, HAL.
    3. repec:dau:papers:123456789/10490 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Byasdeb Dasgupta, 2013. "Some Aspects of External Dimensions of Indian Economy in the Age of Globalisation," Working Papers halshs-00820294, HAL.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    taxation; welfare; property rights; fairness; Mirrlees; fiscalité; bien-être; droits de propriété; équité;

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