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Journal Articles

Inequality

2019

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The Law And Economics Of Redistribution, Matthew Dimick Oct 2019

The Law And Economics Of Redistribution, Matthew Dimick

Journal Articles

Should legal rules be used to redistribute income? Or should income taxation be the exclusive means for reducing income inequality? This article reviews the legal scholarship on this question. First, it traces how the most widely cited argument in favor of using taxes exclusively--Kaplow & Shavell's (1994) double-distortion argument--evolved from previous debates about whether legal rules could even be redistributive and whether law and economics should be concerned exclusively with efficiency or with distribution as well. Next, it surveys the responses to the double-distortion argument. These responses appear to have had only limited success in challenging the sturdy reputation of …