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Department of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) Discussion Paper Series in Economics, Department of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics (NHH)

No 3/2012:
Tax policy and fair inequality.

Alexander W. Cappelen () and Bertil Tungodden ()

Abstract: The standard economic approach to tax policy has to a large extent relied on welfarist theories of justice, in particular the utilitarian view that the government should try to maximize the sum of individual welfare. This welfarist framework has proved a productive point of departure for much economic analysis, but it has an important limitation in its inability to take into account considerations of personal responsibility. Welfarist theories evaluate policies solely on the basis of their consequences for individual welfare, and thus do not assign any intrinsic importance to how a specific situation came about.

Keywords: Tax policy; Income inequality; Fairness.; (follow links to similar papers)

JEL-Codes: D31; D63; J31; (follow links to similar papers)

17 pages, February 15, 2012

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