Uncertainty, Commitment, and Optimal Taxation
AbstractThis paper examines the optimal tax design problem in the presence of wage uncertainty. The wage has a continuous distribution, individuals are ex ante identical, preferences are separable in labor supply and goods, public policy aims at providing the population with social insurance, and the only restriction on the tax instruments is that emanating from lack of public observability of realized wages and labor supplies. We show that optimal tax structures depend crucially on whether it is labor supply or goods that consumers have to commit to before the resolution of uncertainty. Specifically, we prove that, in the absence of commitment, the social insurance problem collapses to the traditional optimal tax problem. Second, if labor supply is precommitted, it would be possible to effect a first-best outcome. Third, commitment to goods would make indirect taxation a useful instrument of tax policy even in the presence of a general income tax; it requires differential tax treatment of committed and noncommitted goods. Finally, if preferences are separable between the two types of goods, precommitted goods must be taxed at a uniform rate lower than that on the noncommitted goods. Copyright 1999 by Blackwell Publishing Inc.
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 Association for Public Economic Theory in its journal Journal of Public Economic Theory.
Volume (Year): 1 (1999)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=1097-3923
More information through EDIRC
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- Costa, Carlos Eugênio da, 2005.
"Yet Another Reason to Tax Goods,"
Economics Working Papers (Ensaios Economicos da EPGE)
596, FGV/EPGE Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).
- Dan Anderberg & Alessandro Balestrino, 2000. "Household Production and the Design of the Tax Structure," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 7(4), pages 563-584, August.
- Hsu, Minchung & Yang, C.C., 2013. "Optimal linear and two-bracket income taxes with idiosyncratic earnings risk," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 58-71.
- Jacobs, Bas & Schindler, Dirk, 2012.
"On the desirability of taxing capital income in optimal social insurance,"
Journal of Public Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 96(9-10), pages 853-868.
- Bas Jacobs & Dirk Schindler, 2012. "On the Desirability of Taxing Capital Income in Optimal Social Insurance," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2012-02, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.
- Jukka Pirttilä & Matti Tuomala, 2007. "Labour income uncertainty, taxation and public good provision," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(518), pages 567-582, 03.
- Bas Jacobs & Dirk Schindler, 2009. "On the Desirability of Taxing Capital Income to Reduce Moral Hazard in Social Insurance," CESifo Working Paper Series 2806, CESifo Group Munich.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing) or (Christopher F. Baum).
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.