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Optimal Nonlinear Income Tax and Nonlinear Pricing: Optimality Conditions and Comparative Static Properties

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  • Simula, Laurent

    ()
    (Uppsala Center for Fiscal Studies)

Abstract

Using the Mirrlees optimal income tax model, with no income effects on labour supply, this article shows that the discrete population approach provides new insights into the characterization of the optimal tax system, which complements the previous findings. The analysis is based on the "Spence-Mirrlees wedge" which corresponds, at each observed gross income level, to a ratio between the marginal tax rate of the individual for whom the bundle is designed and that of his nearest more productive neighbour if he chooses to mimic. Using this wedge, a necessary and sufficient condition for bunching to be optimal is obtained in terms of the primitives of the model, separating optima are characterized geometrically, and comparative statics properties derived, notably with respect to skill levels and individual social weights. It is then shown that the analysis extends to adverse-selection problems where participation constraints replace the tax revenue constraint.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Uppsala University, Department of Economics in its series Working Paper Series, Center for Fiscal Studies with number 2009:11.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: 12 Oct 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:uufswp:2009_011

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Postal: Department of Economics, Uppsala University, P. O. Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden
Phone: + 46 18 471 25 00
Fax: + 46 18 471 14 78
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Web page: http://www.nek.uu.se/
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Keywords: Optimal Tax; Income Tax; Nonlinear Pricing; Adverse-Selection; Comparative Statics;

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References

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  1. Brett, Craig & Weymark, John A., 2008. "The impact of changing skill levels on optimal nonlinear income taxes," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(7), pages 1765-1771, July.
  2. BOADWAY, Robin & CUFF, Katherine & MARCHAND, Maurice, . "Optimal income taxation with quasi-linear preferences revisited," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1466, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Guesnerie, Roger & Seade, Jesus, 1982. "Nonlinear pricing in a finite economy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 157-179, March.
  6. Martin Hellwig, 2005. "The Undesirability of Randomized Income Taxation under Decreasing Risk Aversion," Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2005_27, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
  7. Menegatti, Mario, 2001. "On the Conditions for Precautionary Saving," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 98(1), pages 189-193, May.
  8. Jean-Jacques Laffont, 1989. "The Economics of Uncertainty and Information," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262121360, December.
  9. Diamond, Peter A, 1998. "Optimal Income Taxation: An Example with a U-Shaped Pattern of Optimal Marginal Tax Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 83-95, March.
  10. Weymark, John A., 1986. "A reduced-form optimal nonlinear income tax problem," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 199-217, July.
  11. HAMILTON, Jonathan & PESTIEAU, Pierre, 2002. "Optimal income taxation and the ability distribution: implications for migration equilibria," CORE Discussion Papers 2002036, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  12. Tuomala, Matti, 1990. "Optimal Income Tax and Redistribution," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198286059.
  13. Weymark, John A, 1987. "Comparative Static Properties of Optimal Nonlinear Income Taxes," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(5), pages 1165-85, September.
  14. Miles S. Kimball, 1989. "Precautionary Saving in the Small and in the Large," NBER Working Papers 2848, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1981. "Self-Selection and Pareto Efficient Taxation," NBER Working Papers 0632, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Seade, J. K., 1977. "On the shape of optimal tax schedules," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 203-235, April.
  17. Jan Boone & Lans Bovenberg, 2007. "The Simple Economics of Bunching: Optimal Taxation with Quasi-Linear Preferences," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 9(1), pages 89-105, 02.
  18. Ebert, Udo, 1992. "A reexamination of the optimal nonlinear income tax," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 47-73, October.
  19. Richard Blundell, 1992. "Labour supply and taxation: a survey," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 13(3), pages 15-40, January.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Laurent Simula & Alain Trannoy, 2012. "Shall we keep the highly skilled at home? The optimal income tax perspective," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 39(4), pages 751-782, October.
  2. Craig Brett, 2012. "The effects of population aging on optimal redistributive taxes in an overlapping generations model," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 19(6), pages 777-799, December.
  3. Alan Krause, 2012. "Nonlinear Income Tax Reforms," Discussion Papers 12/03, Department of Economics, University of York.
  4. Bierbrauer, F.J. & Boyer, F.J., 2011. "Political competition and Mirrleesian income taxation: A first pass," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1108, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  5. Laurent Simula, 2013. "Tax Competition and Migration," 2013 Meeting Papers 1126, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  6. Bastani, Spencer, 2013. "Using the Discrete Model to Derive Optimal Income Tax Rates," Working Paper Series, Center for Fiscal Studies 2013:11, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.

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