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Optimal Pre-Announced Tax Reform Revisited

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  • Mathias Trabandt

Abstract

Domeij and Klein (2005) have shown that the welfare gains of an optimal capital and labor income tax reform decline the longer the reform is pre-announced before its implementation. In other words, pre-announcement is costly in terms of welfare. I reexamine their claim by taking two additional features of government spending into account: public goods and public capital. In my baseline optimal reform, I show that valuable and productive government spending is likely to reduce the welfare costs of pre-announcement. Further, the baseline optimal pre-announced reform displays short-run confiscation and/or subsidy of capital and labor income. As a further contribution, I show that these short-run properties are not important for the welfare gains of pre-announced reforms with sufficiently long pre-announcement duration. In particular, a 4 years pre-announced suboptimal reform in which taxes move - without confiscation and subsidy - directly to their endogenous long-run values at the implementation date generates similar welfare gains as the 4 years preannounced baseline optimal reform. The underlying tax structure of both reforms, however, appears to be very different.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by European University Institute in its series Economics Working Papers with number ECO2007/52.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:eui:euiwps:eco2007/52

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Keywords: pre-announced optimal tax reform; public goods; public capital; confiscation; subsidy; welfare;

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Cited by:
  1. Strulik, Holger & Trimborn, Timo, 2008. "Anticipated Tax Reforms and Temporary Tax Cuts: A General Equilibrium Analysis," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-406, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
  2. Trabandt, Mathias & Uhlig, Harald, 2006. "How Far Are We From the Slippery Slope? The Laffer Curve Revisited," CEPR Discussion Papers 5657, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Gasteiger, Emanuel & Zhang, Shoujian, 2011. "Anticipation, learning and welfare: the case of distortionary taxation," MPRA Paper 30625, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Trabandt, Mathias & Uhlig, Harald, 2011. "The Laffer curve revisited," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(4), pages 305-327.

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