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Excess Burden of an Income Tax: What do mainstream economists really measure?
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Real Estate and Construction Management, Building and Real Estate Economics.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4841-5056
2005 (English)In: The Review of Radical Political Economics, ISSN 0486-6134, E-ISSN 1552-8502, Vol. 37, no 4, 453-470 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

An income tax can have side effects like decreased labor supply and lower effort levels. These side effects are important to consider in the decision of whether to introduce the tax. The terms deadweight loss and excess burden are used by mainstream economists in this context. In this article, it is argued that according to the measures they use, an excess burden is registered, even if there are no actual side effects. The explanation is that they actually measure the difference between the situation with the income tax and a situation with a hypothetical lump sum tax. Because lump sum taxes are not realistic alternatives, for administrative and political reasons, the conventional measurements are irrelevant from a policy perspective.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2005. Vol. 37, no 4, 453-470 p.
Keyword [en]
excess burden, deadweight loss, income taxes
National Category
Economics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-58706DOI: 10.1177/0486613405280788Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-28444455607OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-58706DiVA: diva2:473825
Note
QC 20120112Available from: 2012-01-07 Created: 2012-01-07 Last updated: 2017-12-08Bibliographically approved

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Lind, Hans

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