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Title: An investigation into the elasticity of marginal utility
Author: Libardi de Carvalho, Mateus
ISNI:       0000 0004 7426 2329
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 2018
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Prioritizing public investments is arguably one of the most important and complex tasks Governments face. In this thesis, I contribute to such a task by examining the Elasticity of the Marginal Utility (EMU). This parameter is central to the determination of the Social Discount Rate, which is the discount rate used for Cost-Benefit Analysis in the public sector. I estimate the EMU using an unprecedentedly large dataset and test variants of the estimation technique which include National Insurance Contributions and Supernumerary Income. I also test the robustness of the estimates obtained. I further investigate the validity of the estimates by testing for the first time the key assumption underlying the estimation technique that the degree of progressivity of the income tax schedule represents society's inequality aversion. Next, I examine causality between tax progressivity and income inequality, which is a theme that emerges from testing the assumption mentioned. Finally, I estimate the EMU in different contexts, relating the estimated values and their context-sensitivity to psychological traits. Overall, the results suggest an EMU of 1.5 and that the estimation methodology implemented is acceptable. They also show bidirectional causality between progressivity and inequality, and that the EMU values vary significantly with psychological traits.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HB Economic Theory