On Utilitarianism and Horizontal Equity as Welfare-Symmetry in Incomes
The principle of horizontal equity, that people with equal (full) incomes should be treated alike by the taxman, is widely regarded in the traditional public-finance literatures as one of the central guiding lights of good tax design, "called for by the principle of equal justice under the law" (Musgrave (1976; p.4)). Yet, very little attention has been given to the study of this principle, in particular its necessity or even admissibility within a more general welfare-theoretic framework.
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