Optimal Taxation of Top Labor Incomes: A Tale of Three Elasticities
AbstractThis paper derives optimal top tax rate formulas in a model where top earners respond to taxes through three channels: labor supply, tax avoidance, and compensation bargaining. The optimal top tax rate increases when there are zero-sum compensation-bargaining effects. We present empirical evidence consistent with bargaining effects. Top tax rate cuts are associated with top one percent pretax income shares increases but not higher economic growth. US CEO "pay for luck" is quantitatively more prevalent when top tax rates are low. International CEO pay levels are negatively correlated with top tax rates, even controlling for firms' characteristics and performance.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Economic Policy.
Volume (Year): 6 (2014)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Other versions of this item:
- Piketty, Thomas & Saez, Emmanuel & Stantcheva, Stefanie, 2011. "Optimal Taxation of Top Labor Incomes: A Tale of Three Elasticities," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 8675, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Stefanie Stantcheva & Emmanuel Saez & Thomas Piketty, 2012. "Optimal Taxation of Top Labor Incomes: A Tale of Three Elasticities," 2012 Meeting Papers, Society for Economic Dynamics 78, Society for Economic Dynamics.
- Thomas Piketty & Emmanuel Saez & Stefanie Stantcheva, 2011. "Optimal Taxation of Top Labor Incomes: A Tale of Three Elasticities," NBER Working Papers 17616, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
- H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
- H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
- H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion
- M12 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting - - Business Administration - - - Personnel Management; Executives; Executive Compensation
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.:
- Kleven, Henrik & Landais, Camille & Saez, Emmanuel, 2010.
"Taxation and International Migration of Superstars: Evidence from the European Football Market,"
CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers
8134, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Henrik Jacobsen Kleven & Camille Landais & Emmanuel Saez, 2013. "Taxation and International Migration of Superstars: Evidence from the European Football Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(5), pages 1892-1924, August.
- Henrik Kleven & Camille Landais & Emmanuel Saez, 2010. "Taxation and International Migration of Superstars: Evidence from the European Football Market," NBER Working Papers 16545, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- A B Atkinson & Andrew Leigh, 2010.
"The Distribution of Top Incomes in Five Anglo-Saxon Countries over the Twentieth Century,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
640, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
- Atkinson, Anthony B. & Leigh, Andrew, 2010. "The Distribution of Top Incomes in Five Anglo-Saxon Countries over the Twentieth Century," IZA Discussion Papers 4937, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Emmanuel Saez, 2002.
"Direct or Indirect Tax Instruments for Redistribution: Short-run versus Long-run,"
NBER Working Papers
8833, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Saez, Emmanuel, 2004. "Direct or indirect tax instruments for redistribution: short-run versus long-run," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(3-4), pages 503-518, March.
- Casey Rothschild & Florian Scheuer, 2012.
"Redistributive Taxation in the Roy Model,"
NBER Working Papers
18228, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Emmanuel Saez, 2000.
"Optimal Income Transfer Programs: Intensive Versus Extensive Labor Supply Responses,"
NBER Working Papers
7708, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Emmanuel Saez, 2002. "Optimal Income Transfer Programs: Intensive Versus Extensive Labor Supply Responses," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 117(3), pages 1039-1073, August.
- Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1982.
"Self-selection and Pareto efficient taxation,"
Journal of Public Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 213-240, March.
Blog mentionsAs found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
- Given the enormity of the short- and long-run fiscal challenges facing the US, the lack of policy detail from both presidential candidates is disappointing
by Blog Admin in British Politics and Policy at LSE on 2012-10-25 13:00:36
- Taxes & growth
by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2014-01-27 14:49:16
- Inequality: a missing perspective
by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2014-04-24 13:28:09
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