Tax Progressivity and Income Inequality

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Should the rich bear the brunt of the tax burden, or should it be shared proportionately among the population? This issue has dominated recent public debates over the tax system, and is a controversial issue among economists. This book contains nine essays by economists on tax progressivity--how the tax burden is borne across income classes--and how the tax system affects the inequality of income. It presents the basic facts about how tax progressivity in the U.S. has changed in the 1980s, and assesses its role in exacerbating or offsetting the overall trend toward increased income inequality.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The papers provide sufficient detail on methodology to be valuable to others wanting to work in the area, and are also accessible to a broader audience. The comments of the discussants add considerable value to the volume by providing alternative perspectives. The inclusion of discussant comments and a summary of frequently insightful comments of attendees bring to mind Brookings volumes on public policy issues. This volume should be of interest to a similar audience." Gerald E. Austen, Journal of Economic Literature
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521465434
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 7/28/1994
  • Pages: 375
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 1.02 (d)

Table of Contents

1. Introduction Joel Slemrod; 2. Trends in Federal tax progressivity, 1980–93 Richard Kasten, Frank Sammartino and Eric Toder; Comments William G. Gale; 3. The lifetime incidence of state and local taxes: measuring changes during the 1980s Gilbert Metcalf; Comments Robert P. Inman; 4. Trends in income inequality: the impact of, and implications for, tax policy Lynn A. Karoly; Comments David M. Cutler; 5. The efficiency cost of increased progressivity Robert K. Triest; Comments Gary Burtless; 6. On the high-income Laffer curve Joel Slemrod; Comments C. Eugene Steuerle; 7. Tax progressivity and household portfolios: descriptive evidence from the surveys of consumer finances John Karl Scholz; Comments Roger H. Gordon; 8. Progressivity of capital gains taxation with optimal portfolio selection Michael Haliassos and Andrew B. Lyon; Comments James M. Poterba; 9. Perceptions of fairness in the crucible of tax policy Steven M. Sheffrin; Comments Jane G. Gravelle; 10. Progressive taxation, equity and tax design Richard A. Musgrave; Index.
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