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Inequality and Optimal Redistribution

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Part of Elements in Public Economics

  • Date Published: April 2019
  • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • format: Adobe eBook Reader
  • isbn: 9781108657594

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  • From the 1980s onward, income inequality increased in many advanced countries. It is very difficult to account for the rise in income inequality using the standard labour supply/demand explanation. Fiscal redistribution has become less effective in compensating increasing inequalities since the 1990s. Some of the basic features of redistribution can be explained through the optimal tax framework developed by J. A. Mirrlees in 1971. This Element surveys some of the earlier results in linear and nonlinear taxation and produces some new numerical results. Given the key role of capital income in the overall income inequality, it also considers the optimal taxation of capital income. It examines empirically the relationship between the extent of redistribution and the components of the Mirrlees framework. The redistributive role of factors such as publicly provided private goods, public employment, endogenous wages in the overlapping generations model and income uncertainty are analysed.

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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2019
    • format: Adobe eBook Reader
    • isbn: 9781108657594
    • contains: 12 b/w illus. 9 colour illus. 49 tables
    • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. Optimal linear labour income taxation
    3. The optimal nonlinear labour income tax
    4. Optimal top marginal rates and quasi-linear preferences in consumption
    5. Numerical optimal nonlinear tax schedules
    6. Optimal separable capital income and labour income taxation
    7. The empirical relationship between the extent of redistribution and the components of the Mirrlees framework
    8. Other considerations on redistribution
    9. Conclusions.

  • Authors

    Hannu Tanninen, University of Eastern Finland

    Matti Tuomala, University of Tampere, Finland

    Elina Tuominen, University of Tampere, Finland

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