equal sacrifice

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The principle that the tax burden should be allocated across individuals so that each makes an equal sacrifice. The difficulty with applying this principle is the definition and measurement of sacrifice. One possibility is that there should be an equal sacrifice of consumption but this could be in absolute or proportional terms. An alternative is that the sacrifice is measured in utility terms, but this raises difficult questions about interpersonal comparisons of utility. See also ability to pay.

Subjects: Economics.

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