Friday, 6 January 2017

Valentino Larcinese

Tony Atkinson was an almost mythical figure for me during my undergraduate studies in Bocconi, when I first came across his contributions to the theory of optimal taxation and later, when I decided to write my bachelor’s thesis on the effects of progressive taxation on inequality. His JET 1970 paper “On the measurement of inequality” remains one of the most inspiring papers I have ever read. The idea that positive analysis and normative views of inequality are inextricably linked (and that there exists no such thing as value-free measurement of inequality) is also extremely relevant for current economic and political debate. A few years after my encounters with his papers I was lucky enough to meet Tony in person and to appreciate in several occasions what an unassuming and generous person he was.    

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