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The Theory of Taxation and Public Economics


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Table of Contents

Preface xvii CHAPTER 1: Introduction 1 PART I: FRAMEWORK CHAPTER 2: An Integrated View 13 CHAPTER 3: The Social Objective 35 PART II: OPTIMAL TAXATION CHAPTER 4: Optimal Income Taxation 53 CHAPTER 5: Elaboration and Extensions 80 CHAPTER 6: Income and Commodity Taxation 122 PART III: GOVERNMENT EXPENDITURES CHAPTER 7: Transfer Payments 151 CHAPTER 8: Goods and Services 179 PART IV: ADDITIONAL ASPECTS OF TAXATION CHAPTER 9: Taxation of Capital 221 CHAPTER 10: Taxation of Transfers 249 CHAPTER 11: Taxation and Social Security 275 CHAPTER 12: Taxation of Families 315 PART V: DISTRIBUTIVE JUSTICE AND SOCIAL WELFARE CHAPTER 13: Welfare 347 CHAPTER 14: Social Welfare Function 370 CHAPTER 15: Other Normative Criteria 391 CHAPTER 16: Conclusion 407 References 417 Index 455

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Louis Kaplow brings innovative ideas to the difficult issues of income taxation and other fiscal instruments. The clarity of his writing and the novelty of his analysis make this book a pleasure to read. -- Martin Feldstein, Harvard University This clear and insightful examination of income taxation and its link to analyzing other government policies will be informative and valuable for students and researchers alike. -- Peter Diamond, "Massachusetts Institute of Technology" This rigorous book illuminates current policy issues in government taxation and spending, exposes the logical flaws in many common arguments, and nicely clarifies the interaction between equity and efficiency in taxes and transfers. It will serve well as a text and reference for advanced students of public economics, and it will also reward a close reading by their teachers. -- Joel Slemrod, University of Michigan Louis Kaplow's Theory of Taxation and Public Economics is a terrific text full of insight and new approaches to examining old issues in public finance. Kaplow, a brilliant economist with a great talent for exposition, looks at things from fresh angles and explains them in new ways. -- Laurence J. Kotlikoff, Boston University

About the Author

Louis Kaplow is the Finn M. W. Caspersen and Household International Professor of Law and Economics at Harvard, a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has published widely on the theory of taxation and public economics.


"This is a very ambitious project which has the quality of proposing a unified view of all these topics. Moreover, on the various aspects of taxation, the reader will find an interesting critical survey and a valuable source of information about the literature and the pending questions."--Marc Fleurbaey, Social Choice and Welfare

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