Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Tax the Tall

I know most people who read this blog are not economic geeks like me, but I had to post something about Greg Mankiw's new econ paper at Harvard. Here's the abstract:

Should the income tax system include a tax credit for short taxpayers and a tax surcharge for tall ones? This paper shows that the standard utilitarian framework for tax policy analysis answers this question in the affirmative. This result has two possible interpretations. One interpretation is that individual attributes correlated with wages, such as height, should be considered more widely for determining tax liabilities. Alternatively , if policies such as a tax on height are rejected, then the standard utilitarian framework must in some way fail to capture our intuitive notions of distributive justice.

What's the conclusion? Well, I haven't finished reading it yet so I'll have to let you know, but so far this is the funniest serious economic paper I've ever read.

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