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Is An Inequality-Neutral Flat Tax Reform Really Neutral?

Author

Listed:
  • Juan Prieto Rodríguez

    (Universidad de Oviedo and Instituto de Estudios Fiscales)

  • Juan Gabriel Rodríguez

    (Universidad Rey Juan Carlos de Madrid and Instituto de Estudios Fiscales)

  • Rafael Salas

    () (Universidad Complutense de Madrid and Instituto de Estudios Fiscales)

Abstract

. Let us assume a revenue- and inequality-neutral flat tax reform shifting from a graduated-rate tax. Is this reform really neutral in terms of the income distribution? Traditionally, there has been a bias toward the inequality analysis, forgetting other relevant aspects of the income distribution. This kind of reforms implies a set of composite transfers, both progressive and regressive, even though inequality remains unchanged. This paper shows that polarization is a useful tool for characterizing this set of transfers caused by inequality-neutral tax reforms. A simulation exercise illustrates how polarization can be used to discriminate between two inequality-neutral tax alternatives.

Suggested Citation

  • Juan Prieto Rodríguez & Juan Gabriel Rodríguez & Rafael Salas, "undated". "Is An Inequality-Neutral Flat Tax Reform Really Neutral?," Working Papers 29-04 Classification-JEL , Instituto de Estudios Fiscales.
  • Handle: RePEc:hpe:wpaper:y:2004:i:29
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Davies James & Hoy Michael, 1994. "The Normative Significance of Using Third-Degree Stochastic Dominance in Comparing Income Distributions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 520-530, December.
    2. Rolf Aaberge, 2009. "Ranking intersecting Lorenz curves," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 33(2), pages 235-259, August.
    3. Coulter, Fiona A E & Cowell, Frank A & Jenkins, Stephen P, 1992. "Differences in Needs and Assessment of Income Distributions," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(2), pages 77-124, April.
    4. Steven P. Cassou & Kevin J. Lansing, 2004. "Growth Effects of Shifting from a Graduated-rate Tax System to a Flat Tax," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 42(2), pages 194-213, April.
    5. Russell Davidson & Jean-Yves Duclos, 2000. "Statistical Inference for Stochastic Dominance and for the Measurement of Poverty and Inequality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(6), pages 1435-1464, November.
    6. Davies, James & Hoy, Michael, 1995. "Making Inequality Comparisons When Lorenz Curves Intersect," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(4), pages 980-986, September.
    7. Davies, James B. & Hoy, Michael, 2002. "Flat rate taxes and inequality measurement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 33-46, April.
    8. Cowell, Frank A. & Victoria-Feser, Maria-Pia, 1996. "Poverty measurement with contaminated data: A robust approach," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(9), pages 1761-1771, December.
    9. Buhmann, Brigitte, et al, 1988. "Equivalence Scales, Well-Being, Inequality, and Poverty: Sensitivity Estimates across Ten Countries Using the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS) Database," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 34(2), pages 115-142, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Juan Prieto-Rodríguez & Juan Gabriel Rodríguez & Rafael Salas, "undated". "Interactions Inequality-Polarization: Characterization Results(*)," Working Papers 15-05 Classification-JEL , Instituto de Estudios Fiscales.
    2. Francis Menjo Baye, 2010. "Exact Configuration of Poverty,Inequality and Polarization Trends in the Distribution of well-being in Cameroon," Research Papers RP_207, African Economic Research Consortium.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    polarization; inequality; flat tax.;

    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • D39 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Other
    • H30 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - General

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