Inequality: Why equity and fairness should be part of tax policy and governance

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Abstract

The theoretical literature on inequality and tax policy contains compelling and competing arguments for and against the inclusion of inequality measures and metrics into tax policy. Some tax policy arguments reflect equity-efficiency tradeoffs. Other tax policy arguments reflect attempts at achieving greater equity (fairness) through further inclusion of inequality over efficiency. The third school of thought seeks a middle ground, with arguments for achieving both lower income inequality and higher economic growth. Thus, the research question analyzed in this article and present in all three aforementioned policy views is whether inequality should be included in tax policy and design. This article implements an interpretivist methodological approach relating to tax policy, augmenting and complementing the relevant research and seminal scholarship of Saez and Zucman (2019), Mirrlees (1971) and Akerlof (1978), among others. This article argues that in balancing the current research literature and evidence, inequality measures incorporating equity and fairness should be part of tax policy and governance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110-121
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Governance and Regulation
Volume9
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Author.

Keywords

  • Equity
  • Fairness
  • Gini Coefficient
  • Inequality
  • Tax Policy

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