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Should the Rich Be Taxed More? The Fiscal Inequality Coefficient

Author

Listed:
  • Hatgioannides, John

    (City University London)

  • Karanassou, Marika

    (Queen Mary, University of London)

  • Sala, Hector

    (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)

Abstract

This paper holistically addresses the effective (relative) income tax contribution of a given in-come (or, wealth) group. The widely acclaimed standard in public policy is the absolute benefaction of a given income group in filling up the fiscal coffers. Instead, we focus on the ratio of the average income tax rate of an income group divided by the percentage of national income (or wealth) appropriated by the same income group. In turn, we develop the Fiscal Inequality Coefficient which compares the effective percentage income tax payments of pairs of income (or wealth) groups. Using data for the US, we concentrate on pairs such as the Bottom 90% versus Top 10%, Bottom 99% versus Top 1%, and Bottom 99.9% versus Top 0.1%. We conclude that policy makers with a strong social conscience should re-evaluate the progressivity of the income tax system and make the richest echelons of the income and wealth distributions pay a fairer and higher tax.

Suggested Citation

  • Hatgioannides, John & Karanassou, Marika & Sala, Hector, 2017. "Should the Rich Be Taxed More? The Fiscal Inequality Coefficient," IZA Discussion Papers 10978, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10978
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Thomas Piketty & Emmanuel Saez & Gabriel Zucman, 2018. "Distributional National Accounts: Methods and Estimates for the United States," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 133(2), pages 553-609.
    2. Jon D. Wisman & James F. Smith, 2011. "Legitimating Inequality: Fooling Most of the People All of the Time," American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(4), pages 974-1013, October.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    effective income tax rate; inequality; progressive income taxation; fiscal policy; fiscal inequality coefficient;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • H30 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - General
    • E64 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Incomes Policy; Price Policy

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