Taxation and Redistribution

Field course 2nd year

Graduate School of Economics, Finance and Management (GSEFM)

Lecturer: Klaus Wälde

Properties of the distributions of income, consumption or wealth for a certain country have always received a lot of public interest. This is equally true for research in labour economics, public economics and macroeconomics. While the rise in wage inequality has been a very much studied topic at least since the 1990s, understanding the distribution of wealth and consumption has interested macroeconomists also for a very long time.

When thinking about taxation and redistribution, one needs to first understand why there are distributions in the first place. Afterwards, one needs to understand how economic policy affects these distributions. While some papers try to work both with endogenous distributions and then study the effects of redistributive policies, this is rarely the case. Most papers in the literature treat one or the other issue. The following references therefore mostly refer to either the first or the second of these points. The references are not comprehensive and students are welcome to add papers they find of interest.

It is the objective of this course to understand how distributions of income or wealth can be influenced by economic policy measures. In their term papers, students can survey the literature or develop own ideas. In any case, students are strongly encouraged to combine two or three papers from the literature such that one paper analyses the emergence of distributions of income or wealth and the other analyses distributional issues. When students read papers, the question they should ask when reading these papers is: How can we redistribute income at the lowest efficiency costs possible? The result of a term paper would then be to discuss a framework that would allow combining an analysis of distribution with an analysis of redistribution.

See the outline for more details.

First meeting: Thursday 14 April, 12:15, room HoF 1.27/Dubai