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Tax policy and fair inequality

Author

Listed:
  • Cappelen, Alexander W.

    () (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration)

  • Tungodden, Bertil

    () (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration)

Abstract

The standard economic approach to tax policy has to a large extent relied on welfarist theories of justice, in particular the utilitarian view that the government should try to maximize the sum of individual welfare. This welfarist framework has proved a productive point of departure for much economic analysis, but it has an important limitation in its inability to take into account considerations of personal responsibility. Welfarist theories evaluate policies solely on the basis of their consequences for individual welfare, and thus do not assign any intrinsic importance to how a specific situation came about.

Suggested Citation

  • Cappelen, Alexander W. & Tungodden, Bertil, 2012. "Tax policy and fair inequality," Discussion Paper Series in Economics 3/2012, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:nhheco:2012_003
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    File URL: http://www.nhh.no/Admin/Public/DWSDownload.aspx?File=%2fFiles%2fFiler%2finstitutter%2fsam%2fDiscussion+papers%2f2012%2f03.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bossert W., 1996. "Redistribution mechanisms based on individual characteristics," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 51-51, February.
    2. repec:dau:papers:123456789/1552 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Alexander W. Cappelen & Astri Drange Hole & Erik Ø Sørensen & Bertil Tungodden, 2007. "The Pluralism of Fairness Ideals: An Experimental Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 818-827, June.
    4. Roemer, John E. & Aaberge, Rolf & Colombino, Ugo & Fritzell, Johan & Jenkins, Stephen P. & Lefranc, Arnaud & Marx, Ive & Page, Marianne & Pommer, Evert & Ruiz-Castillo, Javier, 2003. "To what extent do fiscal regimes equalize opportunities for income acquisition among citizens?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(3-4), pages 539-565, March.
    5. François Bourguignon & Francisco H. G. Ferreira & Marta Menéndez, 2007. "Inequality Of Opportunity In Brazil," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 53(4), pages 585-618, December.
    6. James Konow, 2000. "Fair Shares: Accountability and Cognitive Dissonance in Allocation Decisions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 1072-1091, September.
    7. Wulf Gaertner & Lars Schwettmann, 2007. "Equity, Responsibility and the Cultural Dimension," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 74(296), pages 627-649, November.
    8. Konow, James, 1996. "A positive theory of economic fairness," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 13-35, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Georg Meran & Christian von Hirschhausen, 2014. "Increasing Block Tariffs in the Water Sector: An Interpretation in Terms of Social Preferences," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1434, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Tax policy; Income inequality; Fairness.;

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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