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Optimal Linear Income Tax when Agents Vote with their Feet

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Author Info

  • Laurent Simula
  • Alain Trannoy

Abstract

Individuals, initially living in a Mirrleesian economy A, have outside options consisting in settling down in a laissez-faire country B while paying positive migration costs. We first examine the effect of the threat of migration, assuming participation constraints are taken into account for all individuals, and show that optimal linear income taxes are obtained as corner solutions. We then consider a social criterion allowing emigration of the highest-skilled individuals and show by means of an example that social welfare may rise following an increase in income redistribution, despite this resulting in the departure of the most productive individuals. Numerical simulations on French data illustrate the lack of degrees of freedom offered by linear taxation when agents can vote with their feet, which may be regarded as an argument against linear taxes.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen in its journal FinanzArchiv.

Volume (Year): 62 (2006)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 393-415

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Handle: RePEc:mhr:finarc:urn:sici:0015-2218(200609)62:3_393:olitwa_2.0.tx_2-l

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Related research

Keywords: optimal linear income taxation; participation constraints; individual mobility;

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Cited by:
  1. Olivier Bargain & Mathias Dolls & Dirk Neumann & Andreas Peichl & Sebastian Siegloch, 2011. "Tax-Benefit Systems in Europe and the US: Between Equity and Efficiency," Working Papers 201102, School Of Economics, University College Dublin.
  2. Alain Trannoy, Laurent Simula and, 2009. "Optimal Income Tax under the Threat of Migration by Top-Income Earners," Working Paper Series, Center for Fiscal Studies 2009:8, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  3. Laurent Simula & Alain Trannoy, 2012. "Shall we keep the highly skilled at home? The optimal income tax perspective," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 39(4), pages 751-782, October.
  4. Backlund, Kenneth & Sjögren, Tomas & Stage, Jesper, 2008. "Optimal Tax and Expenditure Policy in the Presence of Migration - Are Credit Restrictions Important?," UmeÃ¥ Economic Studies 749, Umeå University, Department of Economics.
  5. Laurent Simula & Alain Trannoy, 2006. "Optimal Non-Linear Income Tax when Highly Skilled Individuals Vote with their Feet," IDEP Working Papers 0606, Institut d'economie publique (IDEP), Marseille, France, revised Sep 2006.

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