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Optimal Non-Linear Income Tax when Highly Skilled Individuals Vote with their Feet

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  • Simula, L.
  • Trannoy, A.

Abstract

This paper examines how allowing individuals to emigrate to pay lower taxes changes the optimal non-linear income tax scheme in a Mirrleesian economy. Type-dependent participation constraints are borrowed from contract theory. An individual emigrates if his domestic utility is less than his utility abroad net of migration costs, utilities and costs both depending on productivity. Three social criteria are distinguished according to the agents whose welfare matters. Mobility significantly alters the closed-economy results qualitatively, but also quantitatively as veri.ed by simulations. A curse of the middle-skilled occurs in the first-best. In the second-best, the middle-skilled can support the highest average tax rates and the marginal tax rates can be negative. Moreover, preventing emigration of the highly-skilled is not necessarily optimal.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge in its series Cambridge Working Papers in Economics with number 0656.

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Length: 29
Date of creation: Oct 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cam:camdae:0656

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Keywords: Optimal Taxation; Income Tax; Emigration; Participation Constraints;

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  1. Laurent Simula & Alain Trannoy, 2006. "Optimal Linear Income Tax when Agents Vote with their Feet," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 62(3), pages 393-415, September.
  2. Wilson, John D., 1982. "Optimal income taxation and migration : A world welfare point of view," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 381-397, August.
  3. Chander, Parkash & Wilde, Louis L, 1998. "A General Characterization of Optimal Income Tax Enforcement," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(1), pages 165-83, January.
  4. Brito, Dagobert L & Oakland, William H, 1977. "Some Properties of the Optimal Income-Tax," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 18(2), pages 407-23, June.
  5. Borjas, George J., 1999. "The economic analysis of immigration," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 28, pages 1697-1760 Elsevier.
  6. Wilson, John D., 1982. "Optimal linear income taxation in the presence of emigration," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 363-379, August.
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Cited by:
  1. Felix Bierbrauer & Craig Brett & John A. Weymark, 2011. "Strategic Nonlinear Income Tax Competition with Perfect Labor Mobility," CESifo Working Paper Series 3329, CESifo Group Munich.

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