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Louis Kaplow, Income Taxation and Optimal Government Policy (Harv. L. & Econ. Discussion Paper No. 518, Oct. 12, 2005).

Abstract: Various economic literatures address the question whether first-best prescriptions for government policy require modification because redistributive income taxation distorts labor supply and cannot achieve the distributive ideal. Perhaps second-best rules for public goods provision, corrective taxation, public sector pricing, and other government activity should reflect concerns about distribution and labor supply distortion. Recent work demonstrates, however, that in basic cases first-best principles remain applicable. Demonstrations make use of income tax adjustments that preserve not only budget balance but also the pre-reform distribution of utility.