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Negative Marginal Tax Rates and Heterogeneity

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  • Philippe Chone
  • Guy Laroque

Abstract

Heterogeneity is an important determinant of the shape of optimal tax schemes. This is shown here in a model a la Mirrlees. The agents differ in their productivities and opportunity costs of work, but their labor supplies depend only on a given unidimensional combination of these two characteristics. Conditions are provided under which marginal tax rates are everywhere nonnegative. This is the case when work opportunity costs are distributed independently of income. But one can also get negative marginal tax rates, in particular at the bottom of the income distribution. A numerical illustration is given, based on UK data. (JEL H21, H24, H31, J22)

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 100 (2010)
Issue (Month): 5 (December)
Pages: 2532-47

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:100:y:2010:i:5:p:2532-47

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References

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  1. Katherine Cuff, 1998. "Optimality of Workfare with Heterogeneous Preferences," Working Papers 968, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  2. Paul Beaudry & Charles Blackorby & Dezs� Szalay, 2009. "Taxes and Employment Subsidies in Optimal Redistribution Programs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 216-42, March.
  3. BOADWAY, R. & MARCHAND, M. & PESTIEAU, P. & del MAR RACIONERO, M., 2001. "Optimal redistribution with heterogeneous preferences for leisure," CORE Discussion Papers 2001025, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  4. Craig Brett & John A. Weymark, 2000. "Financing Education Using Optimal Redistributive Taxation," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0038, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics, revised May 2001.
  5. Rochet, Jean-Charles, 1987. "A necessary and sufficient condition for rationalizability in a quasi-linear context," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 191-200, April.
  6. J. A. Mirrlees, 1976. "Optimal Tax Theory: A Synthesis," Working papers 176, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  7. Emmanuel Saez, 2000. "Optimal Income Transfer Programs: Intensive Versus Extensive Labor Supply Responses," NBER Working Papers 7708, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1981. "Self-Selection and Pareto Efficient Taxation," NBER Working Papers 0632, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Mirrlees, James A, 1971. "An Exploration in the Theory of Optimum Income Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(114), pages 175-208, April.
  10. Martin Hellwig, 2007. "A Contribution to the Theory of Optimal Utilitarian Income Taxation," Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2007_2, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
  11. Diamond, P., 1980. "Income taxation with fixed hours of work," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 101-110, February.
  12. Aaron S. Edlin & Chris Shannon, 1998. "Strict Single Crossing and the Strict Spence-Mirrlees Condition: A Comment on Monotone Comparative Statics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(6), pages 1417-1426, November.
  13. Seade, J. K., 1977. "On the shape of optimal tax schedules," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 203-235, April.
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Cited by:
  1. Abraham, Arpad & Koehne, Sebastian & Pavoni, Nicola, 2012. "Optimal income taxation with asset accumulation," MPRA Paper 38629, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Jacquet, Laurence & Lehmann, Etienne & Van der Linden, Bruno, 2010. "Optimal Redistributive Taxation with Both Extensive and Intensive Responses," IZA Discussion Papers 4837, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Benjamin B. Lockwood & Matthew C. Weinzierl, 2012. "De Gustibus non est Taxandum: Heterogeneity in Preferences and Optimal Redistribution," NBER Working Papers 17784, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Ooghe, Erwin & Peichl, Andreas, 2014. "Fair and efficent taxation under partial control," ZEW Discussion Papers 14-002, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  5. Ruggero Paladini, 2014. "Da Bentham alla tassazione ottimale," Public Finance Research Papers 2, Istituto di Economia e Finanza, DIGEF, Sapienza University of Rome.
  6. Brigitte Baalen & Tobias Müller, 2014. "Social welfare effects of tax-benefit reform under endogenous participation and unemployment: an ordinal approach," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 21(2), pages 198-227, April.
  7. Florian Scheuer & Casey Rothschild, 2011. "Rent Seeking and Optimal Taxation," 2011 Meeting Papers 1262, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  8. Laurence Jacquet & Etienne lehmann & Bruno Van Der Linden, 2012. "Signing distortions in optimal tax or other adverse selection models with random participation," THEMA Working Papers 2012-27, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
  9. Laurence Jacquet & Etienne Lehmann & Bruno Van der Linden, 2012. "Signing Distortions in Optimal Tax and other Adverse Selection Problems with Random Participation," CESifo Working Paper Series 3766, CESifo Group Munich.
  10. Giacomo Valletta, 2014. "Health, fairness and taxation," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 43(1), pages 101-140, June.
  11. VALLETTA, Giacomo, 2012. "Health, fairness and taxation," CORE Discussion Papers 2012016, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  12. Scheuer, Florian, 2013. "Adverse selection in credit markets and regressive profit taxation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 148(4), pages 1333-1360.
  13. Matthew C. Weinzierl, 2012. "The Promise of Positive Optimal Taxation," NBER Working Papers 18599, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Valletta Giacomo, 2012. "Health, Fairness and Taxation," Research Memorandum 017, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).

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