Re: AltInst: a "work spreading tax"

From: David Chapman <>
Date: Thu May 28 1998 - 12:21:29 PDT

>David Chapman has designed a proposal for a work spreading tax that would
>create an incentive for employers to hire more people rather than work
>existing employees longer hours. The most striking feature of the proposed
>tax is that it only makes explicit a feature of current progressive income
>taxation that employers appear to have overlooked. Chapman's proposal is at:
>I would describe Chapman's proposal as the "mirror image" of my own proposal
>for arbitraging free time. Chapman offers a public policy approach to
>reinforce a feature of the progressive income tax that employers appear not
>to have noticed. My proposal is for a market-driven response from employers
>to price signals that they are currently ignoring. I believe the two
>approaches are complementary.
>I will be posting my proposal, including a link to Chapman's proposal, to
>the timework web site:
>Tom Walker

Reply to Tom Walker by David Chapman


Many thanks for your comments on my paper, and for introducing it to
Altinst, which might bring some interesting responses.

I'm not sure whether I've properly understood your paper, but you seem to
be saying that in at least some instances employers would make more profit
if they employed more workers each working fewer hours, presumably for the
same pay per hour. For some reason I can't see, they don't realise this,
and they need to have it pointed out to them.

I have implicitly assumed (actually I never thought about it!) that under
the present system employers are NOT mistaken, and would in fact lose some
profit if they employed more workers each working fewer hours. But if WST
were introduced, they would gain considerably by employing more workers.
This would be good for the unemployed, who would get jobs, and also for
those of the employed who had been wanting to work shorter hours and earn
less, but had been working long hours because otherwise they might lose
their jobs.

Best wishes, David Chapman

Dr David Chapman
Democracy Design Forum
Coles House, Buxhall, Stowmarket, Suffolk IP14 3EB, UK
Tel: +44 (0) 1449 736 223
Fax: +44 (0) 1449 612 274

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Received on Thu May 28 12:39:30 1998

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