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The optimal inflation tax when taxes are costly to collect

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  • De Fiore, Fiorella

Abstract

Tax collection costs have been advocated in the literature as a reason to deviate from the Friedman rule, in standard general equilibrium monetary models with flexible prices. This paper shows that there are conditions under which the Friedman rule is optimal despite the presence of collection costs. When these conditions are not satisfied, the optimal inflation tax depends upon the collection costs parameter and schedule, the interest and scale elasticity of money demand, and the compensated labor supply elasticity. Numerical results obtained by calibrating the model on US data suggest that collection costs do not justify substantial departures from Friedman's prescriptions. JEL Classification: E31, E41, E58, E62

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 0038.

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Date of creation: Nov 2000
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Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20000038

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  1. Fiorella de Fiore & Pedro Teles, 1999. "The Optimal Mix Of Taxes on Money, Consumption and Income," Working Papers w199902, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
  2. Chari, V. V. & Christiano, Lawrence J. & Kehoe, Patrick J., 1996. "Optimality of the Friedman rule in economies with distorting taxes," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(2-3), pages 203-223, April.
  3. Isabel Correia & Pedro Teles, 1997. "The optimal inflation tax," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 123, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  4. Joel Slemrod, 1985. "The Return to Tax Simplification: An Econometric Analysis," NBER Working Papers 1756, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Joel Slemrod & Nikki Sorum, 1985. "The Compliance Cost of the U.S. Individual Income Tax System," NBER Working Papers 1401, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Correia, Isabel & Teles, Pedro, 1996. "Is the Friedman rule optimal when money is an intermediate good?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 223-244, October.
  7. Casey B. Mulligan & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1995. "Adoption of financial technologies: Implications for money demand and monetary policy," Economics Working Papers 134, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  8. Mulligan, Casey B & Sala-I-Martin, Xavier X, 1997. "The Optimum Quantity of Money: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 29(4), pages 687-715, November.
  9. Mark M. Pitt & Joel Slemrod, 1988. "The Compliance Cost of Itemizing Deductions: Evidence from Individual Tax Returns," NBER Working Papers 2526, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Kimbrough, Kent P., 1986. "The optimum quantity of money rule in the theory of public finance," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 277-284, November.
  11. Nicolini, Juan Pablo, 1998. "Tax evasion and the optimal inflation tax," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 215-232, February.
  12. Vegh, Carlos A., 1989. "The optimal inflation tax in the presence of currency substitution," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 139-146, July.
  13. Robert E. Lucas, Jr., 2000. "Inflation and Welfare," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(2), pages 247-274, March.
  14. Stuart, Charles E, 1984. "Welfare Costs per Dollar of Additional Tax Revenue in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 352-62, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Tomat, Gian Maria, 2002. "Durable goods, price indexes and quality change: an application to automobile prices in Italy, 1988-1998," Working Paper Series 0118, European Central Bank.
  2. Klaeffling, Matt & López Pérez, Víctor, 2003. "Inflation targets and the liquidity trap," Working Paper Series 0272, European Central Bank.
  3. Arbex, Marcelo & Turdaliev, Nurlan, 2011. "Optimal monetary and audit policy with imperfect taxation," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 327-340, June.
  4. Rodriguez-Palenzuela, Diego & Camba-Méndez, Gonzalo & García, Juan Angel, 2003. "Relevant economic issues concerning the optimal rate of inflation," Working Paper Series 0278, European Central Bank.
  5. De Fiore, Fiorella, 2000. "Can indeterminacy explain the short-run non-neutrality of money?," Working Paper Series 0032, European Central Bank.
  6. Pinar Yesin, 2004. "Tax Collection Costs, Tax Evasion and Optimal Interest Rates," Working Papers 04.02, Swiss National Bank, Study Center Gerzensee.

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