VAT Base Broadening, Self Supply, and the Informal Sector
AbstractWe develop a general equilibrium tax model to evaluate the impacts of equal yield base broadening in indirect taxes from high rate narrow based (typically manufactures) taxes to broad based taxes (including services) such as a VAT. We capture differences in choice of mode of supply between market goods, such as manufactures, which cannot be supplied other than through the market, and self-suppliable services and informal sector supplied products. Using this formulation, we are able to provide numerical examples of welfare worsening VAT base broadening, which expands the tax base from market based manufactures, in which there are few (or no) non taxed supply possibilities, to all goods and services where such possibilities exist. We show that the usual presumption that there are welfare benefits from equal yield VAT base broadening breaks down once tax induced increases in self supply of previously non taxed goods and services and in informal sector activity (in small scale construction and other areas) are taken into account. Moreover, since untaxed informal sector supply is typically from lower income to higher income households, they gain as comparable informal sector activity is taxed under the base broadening change. We provide a calibrated version of the model, which captures Canadian base broadening accompanying the introduction of the Canadian VAT (GST) in 1990. Results show the change to have been welfare worsening in aggregate but progressive; opposite to conventional belief. Aggregate welfare losses increase sharply if pre-existing income taxes enter the analysis, since VAT induced supply side losses compound with the income tax, while consumption side tax rate variance reducing gains do not
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.
Volume (Year): 91 (2001)
Issue (Month): 4 (September)
Other versions of this item:
- John Piggott & John Whalley, 1998. "VAT Base Broadening, Self Supply, and The Informal Sector," NBER Working Papers 6349, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
- H32 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Firm
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Jung, Young H. & Snow, Arthur & Trandel, Gregory A., 1994. "Tax evasion and the size of the underground economy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 391-402, July.
- Rolf Mirus & Roger S. Smith & Vladimir Karoleff, 1994. "Canada's Underground Economy Revisited: Update and Critique," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 20(3), pages 235-252, September.
- Sadka, Efraim, 1977. "A theorem on uniform taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 387-391, June.
- Piggott, John & Whalley, John, 1996.
"The Tax Unit and Household Production,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(2), pages 398-418, April.
- Browning, Edgar K, 1978. "The Burden of Taxation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(4), pages 649-71, August.
- Lemieux, Thomas & Fortin, Bernard & Frechette, Pierre, 1994. "The Effect of Taxes on Labor Supply in the Underground Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 231-54, March.
- Gravelle, Jane G & Kotlikoff, Laurence J, 1989.
"The Incidence and Efficiency Costs of Corporate Taxation When Corporate and Noncorporate Firms Produce the Same Good,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(4), pages 749-80, August.
- Jane G. Gravelle & Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 1989. "The Incidence and Efficiency Costs of Corporate Taxation when Corporate and Noncorporate Firms Produce the Same Good," NBER Working Papers 2462, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Bob Hamilton & John Whalley, 1989. "Reforming Indirect Taxes in Canada: Some General Equilibrium Estimates," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 22(3), pages 561-75, August.
- Kesselman, Jonathan R., 1989. "Income tax evasion : An intersectoral analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 137-182, March.
- Deaton, Angus, 1981.
"Optimal Taxes and the Structure of Preferences,"
Econometric Society, vol. 49(5), pages 1245-60, September.
- Greenwood, J. & Rogerson, R. & Wright, R., 1993. "Household Production in Real Business Cycle Thoery," RCER Working Papers 347, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
- Shoven,John B. & Whalley,John, 1992.
"Applying General Equilibrium,"
Cambridge University Press, number 9780521319867.
- Dawkins, Christina & Srinivasan, T.N. & Whalley, John, 2001. "Calibration," Handbook of Econometrics, in: J.J. Heckman & E.E. Leamer (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 58, pages 3653-3703 Elsevier.
- Lars Peter Hansen & James J. Heckman, 1996. "The Empirical Foundations of Calibration," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 87-104, Winter.
- Barnett, William A & Lee, Yul W, 1985. "The Global Properties of the Miniflex Laurent, Generalized Leontief, and Translog Flexible Functional Forms," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(6), pages 1421-37, November.
- Allingham, Michael G. & Sandmo, Agnar, 1972. "Income tax evasion: a theoretical analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(3-4), pages 323-338, November.
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statistics
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jane Voros) or (Michael P. Albert).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.