Choosing The Tax Rate in a Linear Income Tax Structure: An Introduction
AbstractThis paper provides an introduction to modelling the choice of linear income tax rate in both majority voting and social welfare maximising contexts. Although the basic problem in each case — of finding the most preferred tax for the median voter and the welfare maximising tax for an independent judge or decision-maker — can be simply stated, it is usually not possible to obtain explicit solutions even for simple assumptions about preferences and population heterogeneity. The present paper instead gives special attention to a formulation of the required conditions in terms of easily interpreted magnitudes, the elasticity of average earnings with respect to the tax rate and a measure of inequality. The inequality measure takes the same basic form in each model (depending either on median earnings or a weighted average of earnings, where the weights depend on value judgements regarding inequality aversion. The approach enables the comparative static effects of a range of parameter changes to be considered. The results are reinforced using numerical examples based on the constant elasticity of substitution utility function.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by The University of Melbourne in its series Department of Economics - Working Papers Series with number 1006.
Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Department of Economics, The University of Melbourne, 5th Floor, Economics and Commerce Building, Victoria, 3010, Australia
Phone: +61 3 8344 5289
Fax: +61 3 8344 6899
Web page: http://www.economics.unimelb.edu.au
More information through EDIRC
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Rainald Borck, 2007.
"Voting, Inequality And Redistribution,"
Journal of Economic Surveys,
Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(1), pages 90-109, 02.
- Tuomala, Matti, 1985. " Simplified Formulae for Optimal Linear Income Taxation," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 87(4), pages 668-72.
- 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.
- 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.
- Gans, Joshua S. & Smart, Michael, 1996. "Majority voting with single-crossing preferences," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 219-237, February.
- 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.
- James Banks & Richard Blundell & Arthur Lewbel, 1994.
"Tax reform and welfare measurement: do we need demand system estimation?,"
IFS Working Papers
W94/11, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
- Banks, James & Blundell, Richard & Lewbel, Arthur, 1996. "Tax Reform and Welfare Measurement: Do We Need Demand System Estimation?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(438), pages 1227-41, September.
- Jean Hindriks & Gareth D. Myles, 2006. "Intermediate Public Economics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262083442.
- Roberts, Kevin W. S., 1977. "Voting over income tax schedules," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 329-340, December.
- Creedy, John & Francois, Patrick, 1993. "Voting over income tax progression in a two-period model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 291-298, February.
- Creedy, John, 1998. "Means-Tested versus Universal Transfers: Alternative Models and Value Judgements," The Manchester School of Economic & Social Studies, University of Manchester, vol. 66(1), pages 100-117, January.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Marisa Cerantola).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.