We study fair and effcient tax-benefit schemes based on income and non-income factors under partial control. Partial control means that each factor is a specific mixture of unobserved ability (randomly drawn by nature) and effort (chosen by individuals who differ in tastes). Factors differ in the degree of control, ranging from no control (if only ability matters) to full control (if only effort matters). Fairness requires to compensate individuals for differences in well-being caused by differences in abilities, while at the same time preserving well-being differences caused by taste differences. We discuss first the general properties of fair and efficient tax-benefit schemes. Next, we study two special cases-income taxation and tagging-in detail. Finally, we derive testable conditions for the general case and discuss the empirical implementation.
Ooghe, Erwin and Andreas Peichl (2015), Fair and Efficient Taxation Under Partial Control: Theory and Evidence, Economic Journal Volume 125, Issue 589, pages 2024–2051. Download