IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/rut/rutres/201603.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Inequality Reducing Properties of Progressive Income Tax Schedules: The Case of Endogenous Income

Author

Listed:
  • Oriol Carbonell-Nicolau

    () (Rutgers University)

  • Humberto Llavador

    () (Universitat Pompeu Fabra)

Abstract

The case for progressive income taxation is often based on the classic result of Jakobsson (1976) and Fellman (1976), according to which progressive and only progressive income taxes—in the sense of increasing average tax rates on income—ensure a reduction in income inequality. This result has been criticized on the ground that it ignores the possible disincentive effect of taxation on work effort, and the resolution of this critique has been a long-standing problem in public finance. This paper provides a normative rationale for progressivity that takes into account the effect of an income tax on labor supply. It shows that a tax schedule is inequality reducing only if it is progressive—in the sense of in- creasing marginal tax rates on income, and identifies a necessary and sufficient condition on primitives under which progressive and only progressive taxes are inequality reducing.

Suggested Citation

  • Oriol Carbonell-Nicolau & Humberto Llavador, 2016. "Inequality Reducing Properties of Progressive Income Tax Schedules: The Case of Endogenous Income," Departmental Working Papers 201603, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:rut:rutres:201603
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sas.rutgers.edu/virtual/snde/wp/2016-03.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Marhuenda, Francisco & Ortuno-Ortin, Ignacio, 1995. "Popular support for progressive taxation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 48(3-4), pages 319-324, June.
    2. Francisco Marhuenda & Ignacio Ortuño Ortín, 1995. "Popular Support For Progressive Taxation," Working Papers. Serie AD 1995-15, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
    3. Robert McClelland & Shannon Mok, 2012. "A Review of Recent Research on Labor Supply Elasticities: Working Paper 2012-12," Working Papers 43675, Congressional Budget Office.
    4. Biung-Ghi Ju & Juan Moreno-Ternero, 2008. "On the equivalence between progressive taxation and inequality reduction," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 30(4), pages 561-569, May.
    5. John E. Roemer, 1999. "The Democratic Political Economy of Progressive Income Taxation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(1), pages 1-20, January.
    6. John P. Formby & W. James Smith & David Sykes, 1986. "Income Redistribution and Local Tax Progressivity: A Reconsideration," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 19(4), pages 807-811, November.
    7. Rothschild, Michael & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1973. "Some further results on the measurement of inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 188-204, April.
    8. Jorge Onrubia & Rafael Salas & José Sanz, 2005. "Redistribution and labour supply," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 3(2), pages 109-124, August.
    9. Carbonell-Nicolau, Oriol & Klor, Esteban F., 2003. "Representative democracy and marginal rate progressive income taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(9-10), pages 2339-2366, September.
    10. Mitra, Tapan & Ok, Efe A, 1996. "Personal Income Taxation and the Principle of Equal Sacrifice Revisited," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 37(4), pages 925-948, November.
    11. Austan Goolsbee, 2000. "What Happens When You Tax the Rich? Evidence from Executive Compensation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(2), pages 352-378, April.
    12. Thistle, Paul D., 1988. "Uniform progressivity, residual progression, and single-crossing," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 121-126, October.
    13. Snyder, James M. & Kramer, Gerald H., 1988. "Fairness, self-interest, and the politics of the progressive income tax," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 197-230, July.
    14. Young, H Peyton, 1990. "Progressive Taxation and Equal Sacrifice," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 253-266, March.
    15. Fellman, J, 1976. "The Effect of Transformations on Lorenz Curves," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(4), pages 823-824, July.
    16. Pak-Wai Liu, 1985. "Lorenz Domination and Global Tax Progressivity," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 18(2), pages 395-399, May.
    17. Kakwani, Nanak C, 1977. "Applications of Lorenz Curves in Economic Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(3), pages 719-727, April.
    18. Le Breton, Michel & Moyes, Patrick & Trannoy, Alain, 1996. "Inequality Reducing Properties of Composite Taxation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 71-103, April.
    19. Raj Chetty, 2012. "Bounds on Elasticities With Optimization Frictions: A Synthesis of Micro and Macro Evidence on Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 80(3), pages 969-1018, May.
    20. Ok, Efe A., 1995. "On the principle of equal sacrifice in income taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 453-467, November.
    21. Berliant, Marcus & Gouveia, Miguel, 1993. "Equal sacrifice and incentive compatible income taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 219-240, June.
    22. Myles,Gareth D., 1995. "Public Economics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521497695.
    23. 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.
    24. Jesus Seade, 1982. "On the Sign of the Optimum Marginal Income Tax," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(4), pages 637-643.
    25. Latham, Roger, 1988. "Lorenz-Dominating Income Tax Functions," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 29(1), pages 185-200, February.
    26. J. A. Mirrlees, 1971. "An Exploration in the Theory of Optimum Income Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(2), pages 175-208.
    27. R. A. Musgrave & Tun Thin, 1948. "Income Tax Progression, 1929-48," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56, pages 498-498.
    28. Ebert, Udo & Moyes, Patrick, 2000. "Consistent Income Tax Structures When Households Are Heterogeneous," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 90(1), pages 116-150, January.
    29. Shorrocks, Anthony F, 1983. "Ranking Income Distributions," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 50(197), pages 3-17, February.
    30. Allingham, Michael, 1979. "Inequality and progressive taxation : An example," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 273-274, March.
    31. Hemming, R. & Keen, M. J., 1983. "Single-crossing conditions in comparisons of tax progressivity," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 373-380, April.
    32. Bradley T. Heim, 2009. "The effect of recent tax changes on taxable income: Evidence from a new panel of tax returns," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(1), pages 147-163.
    33. Michael Keane & Richard Rogerson, 2015. "Reconciling Micro and Macro Labor Supply Elasticities: A Structural Perspective," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 7(1), pages 89-117, August.
    34. Thon, Dominique, 1987. "Redistributive properties of progressive taxation," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 185-191, October.
    35. Greenwood, Jeremy & Hercowitz, Zvi & Huffman, Gregory W, 1988. "Investment, Capacity Utilization, and the Real Business Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(3), pages 402-417, June.
    36. Michael Keane & Richard Rogerson, 2015. "Reconciling Micro and Macro Labor Supply Elasticities: A Structural Perspective," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 7(1), pages 89-117, 08.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    progressive taxation; income inequality; incentive effects of taxation;

    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:rut:rutres:201603. 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: (). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/derutus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.