### Abstract

In an influential article by Young (Journal of Economic Theory, 1988, 44, 321-335), it is shown that the traditional equal sacrifice principles in taxation can be justified from a non-utilitarian perspective by proving that equal sacrifice is, in fact, a consequence of more primitive concepts of distributive justice. This result is obtained in a distribution theoretic setting where total revenue to be raised is fixed. The present paper studies the same question in a setting where the basic problem is to determine a tax function without any reference to the total tax revenue (a setting which is familiar from the theory of progressive taxation) and shows that (i) there exists a utility function (which is continuous and strictly increasing) relative to which all agents sacrifice equally if and only if the tax function is incentive preserving; and (ii) any convex (hence progressive) and incentive preserving tax function equalizes sacrifice relative to a utility function which is continuous, strictly increasing and concave.

Original language | English (US) |
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Pages (from-to) | 453-467 |

Number of pages | 15 |

Journal | Journal of Public Economics |

Volume | 58 |

Issue number | 3 |

DOIs | |

State | Published - Nov 1995 |

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### Keywords

- Equal sacrifice
- Progressive taxation
- Vertical inequity

### ASJC Scopus subject areas

- Finance
- Economics and Econometrics

### Cite this

*Journal of Public Economics*,

*58*(3), 453-467. https://doi.org/10.1016/0047-2727(94)01481-3