Teach a Man to Fish? Education vs. Optimal Taxation
University of Alberta
February 27, 2012
In models of redistribution, differences in human capital are often the relevant source of heterogeneity amongst individuals. Presumably, the distribution of human capital can be manipulated through education spending. This paper examines the use of education as a redistributive tool when there is a nonlinear tax system in place. The results show that taxation, whether under full or asymmetric information, substantially reduces the redistributive role of education spending in maximizing social welfare. This points to a conflict between the equalization of utility and human capital outcomes.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 27
Keywords: Optimal Taxation, Redistribution, Equality of Opportunity
JEL Classification: D63, D82, H21, I22, I28working papers series
Date posted: May 5, 2011 ; Last revised: April 19, 2012
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