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Udo Ebert and Patrick Moyes
''The Difficulty of Income Redistribution with Labour Supply''
( 2003, Vol. 8 No.2 )
Two common principles in distributional analysis are that (i) a progressive transfer moves the Lorenz curve upwards, and (ii) progressive [neutral] taxation reduces [leaves unchanged] inequality. In order to establish these results it is currently assumed that the distribution of income is exogenously given. The relevance of these results is therefore limited in practice where incomes are determined by the working decisions of the agents in the economy. Considering a simple economy with two goods and two agents we indicate sufficient conditions for inequality in net income to decrease as a result of rich to poor transfers or progressive taxation. By means of simple examples we show that, when one incorporates labour supply responses, the fulfillment of these conditions is highly hypothetical and that everything can happen.
Keywords: Endogenous labour supply
JEL: H2 - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue: General
D6 - Welfare Economics: General
Manuscript Received : Jan 09 2003 Manuscript Accepted : Jan 09 2003

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