Journal of Undergraduate Research


redistributional tax policy, dynamic tax scoring model, wealth tax


Family, Home, and Social Sciences




In 2013 French economist Thomas Piketty, one of the leading experts on inequality, published a book titled Capital in the Twenty-First Century. This book quickly became a bestseller and received worldwide attention. In his book Piketty described data that he had carefully collected on income and wealth inequality over a few hundred years. From the data he noted that inequality has been on the rise in the U.S. for the last forty years, and he predicted it would continue to rise. He gave several policy proposals to combat this inequality. Among these proposals was a progressive wealth tax. My research aimed to build a rigorous mathematical model of the U.S. economy that could actually estimate the effect a wealth tax would have and compare it to other redistributional taxes. For this project we specifically compared the effects of a progressive wealth tax, and a progressive increase to the income tax that raises the same revenue.

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