The Progressivity of Equalization Payments in Federations
We investigate the conditions under which an inequality averse and additively separable welfarist constitution maker would always choose to set up a progressive equalization payments scheme in a federation with local public goods. A progressive equalization payments scheme is defined as a list of per capita net (possibly negative) subsidies — one such net subsidy for every jurisdiction — that are decreasing with respect to jurisdictions per capita wealth. We examine these questions in a setting in which the case for progressivity is a priori the strongest, namely, all citizens have the same utility function for the private and the public goods, inhabitants of a given jurisdiction are all identical, and they are not able to move across jurisdictions. We show that the constitution maker favors a progressive equalization payments scheme for all distributions of wealth and all population sizes if and only if its objective function is additively separable between each jurisdiction’s per capita wealth and number of inhabitants. When interpreted as a mean of order r social welfare function, this condition is shown to be equivalent to additive separability of the individual’s indirect utility function with respect to wealth and the price of the public good. Some implications of this restriction to the case where the individual’s direct utility function is additively separable are also derived.
|Date of creation:||2004|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: (514) 343-6557
Fax: (514) 343-7221
Web page: http://www.cireq.umontreal.ca
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Atkinson, Anthony B., 1970. "On the measurement of inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 244-263, September.
- Moyes, Patrick, 1987. "A new concept of Lorenz domination," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 203-207.
- Atkinson, Anthony B & Bourguignon, Francois, 1982. "The Comparison of Multi-Dimensioned Distributions of Economic Status," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(2), pages 183-201, April.
- Kolm, Serge-Christophe, 1976. "Unequal inequalities. II," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 82-111, August.
- Robin Boadway & Katherine Cuff & Maurice Marchand, 2003.
"Equalization and the Decentralization of Revenue-Raising in a Federation,"
Journal of Public Economic Theory,
Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 5(2), pages 201-228, 04.
- R. Boadway & K. Cuff & M. Marchand, 2001. "Equalization and the Decentralization of Revenue-Raising in a Federation," Department of Economics Working Papers 2001-04, McMaster University.
- Sen, Amartya, 1973. "On Economic Inequality," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198281931.
- Kolm, Serge-Christophe, 1976. "Unequal inequalities. I," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 416-442, June.
- Thon, Dominique, 1987. "Redistributive properties of progressive taxation," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 185-191, October.
- Jakobsson, Ulf, 1976. "On the measurement of the degree of progression," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(1-2), pages 161-168.
- Flatters, Frank & Henderson, Vernon & Mieszkowski, Peter, 1974. "Public goods, efficiency, and regional fiscal equalization," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 99-112, May.
- Wallace E. Oates, 1999. "An Essay on Fiscal Federalism," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(3), pages 1120-1149, September.
- Blackorby, Charles & Donaldson, David, 1982. "Ratio-Scale and Translation-Scale Full Interpersonal Comparability without Domain Restrictions: Admissible Social-Evaluation Functions," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 23(2), pages 249-68, June.
- Buhl, Hans Ulrich & Pfingsten, Andreas, 1990. "On the distribution of public funds," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 363-376, December.
- Robin W. Boadway & Frank R. Flatters, 1982. "Efficiency and Equalization Payments in a Federal System of Government: A Synthesis and Extension of Recent Results," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 15(4), pages 613-33, November.
- Eichhorn, Wolfgang & Funke, Helmut & Richter, Wolfram F., 1984. "Tax progression and inequality of income distribution," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 127-131, October.
- Moyes Patrick, 1994. "Inequality Reducing and Inequality Preserving Transformations of Incomes: Symmetric and Individualistic Transformations," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 271-298, August.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:mtl:montec:14-2004. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sharon BREWER)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.