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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. Trabandt, Mathias & Uhlig, Harald, 2011. "The Laffer curve revisited," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(4), pages 305-327.
  2. Emanuel Gasteiger & Shoujian Zhang, 2013. "Anticipation, Learning and Welfare: the Case of Distortionary Taxation," CDMA Working Paper Series 201301, Centre for Dynamic Macroeconomic Analysis.
  3. Harald Uhlig & Mathias Trabandt, 2009. "How Far are We from the Slippery Slope? The Laffer Curve Revisited," Working Papers 2009-005, Becker Friedman Institute for Research In Economics.
  4. Strulik, Holger & Trimborn, Timo, 2010. "Anticipated tax reforms and temporary tax cuts: A general equilibrium analysis," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 34(10), pages 2141-2158, October.
  5. Almuth Scholl, 2013. "Debt Relief for Poor Countries: Conditionality and Effectiveness," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2013-23, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.

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