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The theory of optimal taxation: what is the policy relevance?

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  • Peter Sørensen

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    Abstract

    The paper discusses the implications of optimal tax theory for the debates on uniform commodity taxation and neutral capital income taxation. While strong administrative and political economy arguments in favor of uniform and neutral taxation remain, recent advances in optimal tax theory suggest that the information needed to implement the differentiated taxation prescribed by optimal tax theory may be easier to obtain than previously believed. The paper also points to the strong similarity between optimal commodity tax rules and the rules for optimal source-based capital income taxation. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10797-007-9024-1
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Springer in its journal International Tax and Public Finance.

    Volume (Year): 14 (2007)
    Issue (Month): 4 (August)
    Pages: 383-406

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    Handle: RePEc:kap:itaxpf:v:14:y:2007:i:4:p:383-406

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    Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=102915

    Related research

    Keywords: Optimal taxation; Uniform taxation; Tax neutrality; H21; H25;

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    References

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    1. Robin Boadway & Firouz Gahvari, 2006. "Optimal Taxation with Consumption Time as a Leisure or Labor Substitute," Working Papers 1068, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
    2. Naito, Hisahiro, 1999. "Re-examination of uniform commodity taxes under a non-linear income tax system and its implication for production efficiency," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 165-188, February.
    3. 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.
    4. Chamley, Christophe, 1986. "Optimal Taxation of Capital Income in General Equilibrium with Infinite Lives," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 607-22, May.
    5. John Piggott & John Whalley, 1998. "VAT Base Broadening, Self Supply, and The Informal Sector," NBER Working Papers 6349, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. P. B. Sørensen, 1997. "Public finance solutions to the European unemployment problem?," Economic Policy, CEPR & CES & MSH, vol. 12(25), pages 221-264, October.
    7. A. Lans Bovenberg & Lawrence H. Goulder, 1994. "Optimal Environmental Taxation in the Presence of Other Taxes: General Equilibrium Analyses," NBER Working Papers 4897, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Atkinson, A. B. & Stiglitz, J. E., 1972. "The structure of indirect taxation and economic efficiency," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 97-119, April.
    9. Sandmo, Agnar, 1976. "Optimal taxation : An introduction to the literature," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1-2), pages 37-54.
    10. Judd, Kenneth L., 1985. "Redistributive taxation in a simple perfect foresight model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 59-83, October.
    11. Auerbach, Alan J. & Hines, James Jr., 2002. "Taxation and economic efficiency," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 21, pages 1347-1421 Elsevier.
    12. Sandmo, Agnar, 1974. "A Note on the Structure of Optimal Taxation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(4), pages 701-06, September.
    13. Osmundsen, P. & Hagen, K. P. & Schjelderup, G., 1998. "Internationally mobile firms and tax policy1," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 97-113, June.
    14. Kleven, Henrik Jacobsen, 2004. "Optimum taxation and the allocation of time," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(3-4), pages 545-557, March.
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    Cited by:
    1. Geys, Benny & Konrad, Kai A. & Qari, Salmai, 2009. "Patriotism, Taxation and International Mobility," CEPR Discussion Papers 7216, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Katri Kosonen & Gaëtan Nicodème, 2009. "The role of fiscal instruments in environmental policy," Working Papers CEB 09-026.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    3. Ruud Mooij, 2008. "Reinventing the Dutch tax-benefit system: exploring the frontier of the equity-efficiency trade-off," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 87-103, February.
    4. Claudio Agostini, 2013. "Una Reforma Eficiente y Equitativa del Impuesto al Ingreso en Chile," Working Papers wp_028, Adolfo Ibáñez University, School of Government.

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