Flat Tax Reforms: Investment Expensing and Progressivity
AbstractIn this article we quantify the aggregate, distributional and welfare consequences of investment expensing and progressivity in flat-tax reforms of the United States economy. We find that investment expensing as in the Hall and Rabushka type of reform brings about sizable output gains and a non-trivial increase in after-tax income inequality. But we also find that it results in large aggregate welfare gains in steady-state. Two additional flat-tax reforms with full investment expensing and varying degrees of progressivity reveal that the distributional role of the tax-exemption in the labor income tax is limited. But we also find that the progressivity of the reforms matters for welfare: economies with more progressive consumption-based flat-taxes are good for the very poor and are ultimately preferred by a Benthamite social planner because they allow households to do more consumption and leisure smoothing. Our findings suggest that moving towards a progressive consumption-based flat tax scheme could achieve the goals of raising government income, stimulating the economy and providing a safety net for the households that have been hit the hardest by the recession
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 8238.
Date of creation: Feb 2011
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Other versions of this item:
- Javier Díaz-Giménez & Josep Pijoan-Mas, 2011. "Flat Tax Reforms: Investment Expensing And Progressivity," Working Papers wp2011_1101, CEMFI.
- D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
- E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
- H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
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