Direct versus Indirect Taxation: The Design of the Tax Structure Revisted
AbstractThis article studies the optimal direct/indirect tax mix problem when individuals differ in several unobservable characteristics (productivity and endowments). It presents general expressions for the optimal commodity tax rates and proves that contrary to Atkinson and Stiglitz's (1976) result, differential commodity taxation remains a useful instrument of tax policy even if preferences are separable between labor and produced goods. When cross substitution effects are zero, the expressions resemble traditional many households Ramsey rules. In a Cobb-Douglas illustration, where endowments differ only in good 1 (interpreted as "wealth"), the tax on good 2 provides an indirect way to tax the unobservable wealth.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association in its journal International Economic Review.
Volume (Year): 42 (2001)
Issue (Month): 3 (August)
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Other versions of this item:
- CREMER, Helmuth & PESTIEAU , Pierre & ROCHET, Jean-Charles, . "Direct versus indirect taxation: the design of the tax structure revisited," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1528, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
- CREMER, Helmuth & PESTIEAU, Pierre & ROCHET, Jean-Charles, 1999. "Direct versus indirect taxation: the design of the tax structure revisited," CORE Discussion Papers 1999010, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
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.:
- A. B. Atkinson, 1977.
"Optimal Taxation and the Direct versus Indirect Tax Controversy,"
Canadian Journal of Economics,
Canadian Economics Association, vol. 10(4), pages 590-606, November.
- Anthony B. Atkinson, 1976. "Optimal Taxation and the Direct versus Indirect Tax Controversy," Working Papers 247, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
- J. A. Mirrlees, 1976.
"Optimal Tax Theory: A Synthesis,"
176, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1987.
"Pareto Efficient and Optimal Taxation and the New New Welfare Economics,"
NBER Working Papers
2189, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1987. "Pareto efficient and optimal taxation and the new new welfare economics," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 15, pages 991-1042 Elsevier.
- Cremer, Helmuth & Gahvari, Firouz, 1995. "Uncertainty, Optimal Taxation and the Direct versus Indirect Tax Controversy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(432), pages 1165-79, September.
- Atkinson, A. B. & Stiglitz, J. E., 1976. "The design of tax structure: Direct versus indirect taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1-2), pages 55-75.
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