Antonietti R., Farina F., Fontini F. (2016)

A Rational Explanation for the Redistribution Paradox. Theory and Empirical Evidence. Scottish Journal of Political Economy63(5), 539-555.

 

Abstract:

The paper provides a rational explanation for the redistribution paradox, whereby low‐income individuals seeking more social security prefer a lower taxation although this might imply a reduced welfare. A simple model of tax transfer and redistribution is presented, with various agents facing two different unemployment probabilities. We investigate how the preferred tax rate changes with the probability of being unemployed. We show that, when the probability of unemployment for the less‐skilled correlates negatively with that of the highly skilled, the relationship with the tax rate is not monotonic and depends on the level of risk aversion. This theoretical framework is confirmed in an empirical investigation based on microeconomic data, and in a robustness test based on macroeconomic data.