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The Optimal Income Tax: Restatement and Extensions

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  • Homburg, Stefan

Abstract

The paper presents an axiomatic restatement of the standard approach to nonlinear income taxation. It assumes a finite number of taxpayers rather than an uncountable infinity. Analytical tools are developed which facilitate proving the existence of tax schedules that are continuous, differentiable almost everywhere and possess left- and right-derivatives at every point of non-differentiability. These tax schedules even become differentiable in the limit. Numerical examples are provided.

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File URL: http://diskussionspapiere.wiwi.uni-hannover.de/pdf_bib/dp-252.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät in its series Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) with number dp-252.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: May 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:han:dpaper:dp-252

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Keywords: Optimal income taxation; contract theory; incentives; welfare;

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References

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  1. John C. Harsanyi, 1955. "Cardinal Welfare, Individualistic Ethics, and Interpersonal Comparisons of Utility," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 63, pages 309.
  2. Robin Boadway & Michael Keen, 1991. "Public Goods, Self-Selection and Optimal Income Taxation," Working Papers 828, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  3. Diamond, P., 1994. "Optimal Income Taxation: An Exemple with a U-Shaped Pattern of Optimal Marginal Tax Rates," Working papers 94-14, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  4. Joel Slemrod & Shlomo Yitzhaki & Joram Mayshar, 1991. "The Optimal Two-Bracket Linear Income Tax," NBER Working Papers 3847, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  7. Wane, Waly, 2000. "The optimal income tax when poverty is a public"bad"," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2270, The World Bank.
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  10. Ebert, Udo, 1992. "A reexamination of the optimal nonlinear income tax," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 47-73, October.
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  12. Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1982. "Self-selection and Pareto efficient taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 213-240, March.
  13. Dagobert L. Brito & Jonathan H. Hamilton & Steven M. Slutsky & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1991. "Pareto Efficient Tax Structures," NBER Working Papers 3288, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Sadka, Efraim, 1976. "On Income Distribution, Incentive Effects and Optimal Income Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(2), pages 261-67, June.
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  16. Roell, Ailsa A., 1985. "A note on the marginal tax rate in a finite economy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 267-272, November.
  17. Seade, Jesus, 1982. "On the Sign of the Optimum Marginal Income Tax," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(4), pages 637-43, October.
  18. Lollivier, Stefan & Rochet, Jean-Charles, 1983. "Bunching and second-order conditions: A note on optimal tax theory," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 392-400, December.
  19. Diamond, P., 1980. "Income taxation with fixed hours of work," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 101-110, February.
  20. Guesnerie Roger & Seade Jesus, 1981. "Nonlinear pricing in a finite economy," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 8118, CEPREMAP.
  21. Brito, Dagobert L, et al, 1990. "Pareto Efficient Tax Structures," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 42(1), pages 61-77, January.
  22. Mirrlees, James A, 1971. "An Exploration in the Theory of Optimum Income Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(114), pages 175-208, April.
  23. Dixit, Avinash & Seade, Jesus, 1979. "Utilitarian versus egalitarian redistributions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 121-124.
  24. Christiansen, Vidar, 1983. " Some Important Properties of the Social Marginal Utility of Income," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 85(3), pages 359-71.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Homburg, Stefan, 2004. "Coping With Rational Prodigals: A Theory Of Social Security And Savings Subsidies," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-293, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
  2. Lohse, Tim & Lutz, Peter F. & Thomann, Christian, 2011. "Investments in the human capital of the socially disadvantaged children: Effects on redistribution," Discussion Papers, Research Professorship & Project "The Future of Fiscal Federalism" SP II 2011-107, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  3. Martin Hellwig, 2007. "A Contribution to the Theory of Optimal Utilitarian Income Taxation," Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2007_2, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
  4. Kessing, Sebastian G. & Konrad, Kai A., 2005. "Union Strategy and Optimal Income Taxation," IZA Discussion Papers 1545, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Homburg, Stefan, 2010. "Allgemeine Steuerlehre," EconStor Books, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, number 92547.
  6. Stefan Homburg & Tim Lohse, 2005. "Optimal Taxes and Transfers under Partial Information," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics, vol. 225(6), pages 622-629, November.
  7. Johann K. Brunner, 2003. "Optimale direkte und indirekte Steuern bei unterschiedlicher Anfangsausstattung," Economics working papers 2003-10, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  8. Homburg, Stefan, 2002. "Optimal Marginal Tax Rates for Low Incomes: Positive, Negative, or Zero?," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-255, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
  9. Tim Lohse & Peter Lutz & Christian Thomann, 2013. "Redistributional consequences of early childhood intervention," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 373-381, June.
  10. Kessing, Sebastian G. & Konrad, Kai A., 2006. "Union strategy and optimal direct taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1-2), pages 393-402, January.
  11. Breyer, Friedrich & Franz, Wolfgang & Homburg, Stefan & Schnabel, Reinhold & Wille, Eberhard, 2004. "Reform der sozialen Sicherung," EconStor Books, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, number 92399.

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