Argument: Progressive taxation can help combat crime
Nick Netzer. "Bribing Thieves. A Theory of Crime and Progressive Taxation" - The level of crime is often claimed to be correlated with the degree of inequality in a society, and redistribution is suggested as a remedy. This paper analyzes a producer-predator model of theft in large heterogeneous societies and examines the e�ect of public redistribution on individual incentives and consumption levels. It turns out that redistribution of income by moving from a linear to a progressive tax schedule can be Pareto improving under a large variety of circumstances. If the ratio of high-skilled to low-skilled individuals is small, progressive taxation acts as a substitute for direct law enforcement. Otherwise, redistribution and law enforcement are complements, in the sense that the introduction of progressive taxation should go along with stricter law enforcement. Altogether, the existence of crime is never Pareto e�cient as soon as progressive taxation is admitted.