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Socially-Improving Tax Reforms

  • Jean-Yves Duclos
  • Paul Makdissi
  • Quentin Wodon

This paper proposes graphical methods to determine whether commodity-tax changes are "socially improving", in the sense of improving social welfare or decreasing poverty for large classes of social welfare and poverty indices. It also derives estimators of critical poverty lines and economic efficiency ratios which can be used to characterize socially-improving tax reforms. The statistical properties of the various estimators are derived in order to make the method implementable using survey data. The methodology is illustrated using a recently-proposed reform of the Mexican Valued Added Tax system.

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Paper provided by CIRPEE in its series Cahiers de recherche with number 0401.

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Date of creation: 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:lvl:lacicr:0401
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  1. Christiansen, Vidar & Jansen, Eilev S., 1978. "Implicit social preferences in the Norwegian system of indirect taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 217-245, October.
  2. Duclos, Jean-Yves & Makdissi, Paul & Wodon, Quentin, 2002. "Poverty-Reducing Tax Reforms with Heterogeneous Agents," Cahiers de recherche 0202, Université Laval - Département d'économique.
  3. Yitzhaki, Shlomo & Lewis, Jeffrey D, 1996. "Guidelines on Searching for a Dalton-Improving Tax Reform: An Illustration with Data from Indonesia," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 10(3), pages 541-62, September.
  4. Duclos, Jean-Yves & Makdissi, Paul, 2000. "Restricted and Unrestricted Dominance for Welfare, Inequality and Poverty Orderings," Cahiers de recherche 0001, Université Laval - Département d'économique.
  5. Wildasin, David E, 1984. "On Public Good Provision with Distortionary Taxation," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 22(2), pages 227-43, April.
  6. Aaberge, Rolf, 2008. "Ranking Intersecting Lorenz Curves," IZA Discussion Papers 3852, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Makdissi, Paul & Wodon, Quentin, 2002. "Consumption dominance curves: testing for the impact of indirect tax reforms on poverty," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 227-235, April.
  8. Douglas Lundin, 2001. "Welfare-Improving Carbon Dioxide Tax Reform Taking Externality and Location into Account," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 8(5), pages 815-835, November.
  9. Kakwani, Nanak, 1980. "On a Class of Poverty Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(2), pages 437-46, March.
  10. Yitzhaki, Shlomo & Slemrod, Joel, 1991. "Welfare Dominance: An Application to Commodity Taxation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(3), pages 480-96, June.
  11. Shorrocks, Anthony F & Foster, James E, 1987. "Transfer Sensitive Inequality Measures," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(3), pages 485-97, July.
  12. Besley, Timothy J & Kanbur, S M Ravi, 1988. "Food Subsidies and Poverty Alleviation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 98(392), pages 701-19, September.
  13. Clark, Stephen & Hemming, Richard & Ulph, David, 1981. "On Indices for the Measurement of Poverty," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 91(362), pages 515-26, June.
  14. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521397421 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Davidson, R. & Duclos, J.-Y., 1998. "Statistical Inference for Stochastic Dominance and for the Measurement of Poverty and Inequality," G.R.E.Q.A.M. 98a14, Universite Aix-Marseille III.
  16. Blackorby, Charles & Donaldson, David, 1978. "Measures of relative equality and their meaning in terms of social welfare," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 59-80, June.
  17. Fishburn, Peter C. & Willig, Robert D., 1984. "Transfer principles in income redistribution," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 323-328, December.
  18. Guesnerie Roger, 1976. "On the direction of tax reform," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 7603, CEPREMAP.
  19. Claudio Zoli, 1999. "Intersecting generalized Lorenz curves and the Gini index," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 16(2), pages 183-196.
  20. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521265638 is not listed on IDEAS
  21. Paolo Liberati, 2003. "Poverty Reducing Reforms and Subgroup Consumption Dominance Curves," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 49(4), pages 589-601, December.
  22. Yitzhaki, Shlomo & Thirsk, Wayne, 1990. "Welfare dominance and the design of excise taxation in the Cote d'ivoire," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 1-18, July.
  23. King, Mervyn A., 1983. "Welfare analysis of tax reforms using household data," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 183-214, July.
  24. Thistle, Paul D., 1993. "Negative Moments, Risk Aversion, and Stochastic Dominance," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 28(02), pages 301-311, June.
  25. Dasgupta, Partha & Sen, Amartya & Starrett, David, 1973. "Notes on the measurement of inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 180-187, April.
  26. Feldstein, Martin S & Taylor, Amy, 1976. "The Income Tax and Charitable Contributions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(6), pages 1201-22, November.
  27. Deaton, Angus, 1977. "Equity, efficiency, and the structure of indirect taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 299-312, December.
  28. Ahmad, Ehtisham & Stern, Nicholas, 1984. "The theory of reform and indian indirect taxes," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 259-298, December.
  29. Chakravarty, Satya R., 1983. "A new index of poverty," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 307-313, December.
  30. Mayshar, Joram, 1990. "On measures of excess burden and their application," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 263-289, December.
  31. 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.
  32. Foster, James & Greer, Joel & Thorbecke, Erik, 1984. "A Class of Decomposable Poverty Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 761-66, May.
  33. Mayshar, Joram & Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 1995. "Dalton-Improving Indirect Tax Reform," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(4), pages 793-807, September.
  34. Donaldson, David, 1992. "On The Aggregation Of Money Measures Of Well-Being In Applied Welfare Economics," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 17(01), July.
  35. Buhong Zheng, 1999. "On the power of poverty orderings," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 16(3), pages 349-371.
  36. Shorrocks, Anthony F, 1983. "Ranking Income Distributions," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 50(197), pages 3-17, February.
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