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The Undesirability of Randomized Income Taxation under Decreasing Risk Aversion

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  • Martin Hellwig

    ()
    (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn)

Abstract

For the standard specification of the utilitarian optimal income tax problem with hidden characteristics, the paper shows that randomized tax schemes are undesirable if preferences exhibit a property of weakly decreasing risk aversion according to the multidimensional risk aversion concept of Hellwig (2004). The property of decreasing risk aversion also implies uniqueness of the optimal income tax schedule and continuity in cases where the type distribution has a continuous density.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods in its series Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods with number 2005_27.

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Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mpg:wpaper:2005_27

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Keywords: Optimal Income Taxation; Randomized Incentive Schemes; Nonincreasing Risk Aversion;

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References

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  1. Hellwig, Martin F., 2007. "A contribution to the theory of optimal utilitarian income taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(7-8), pages 1449-1477, August.
  2. Mirrlees, J. A., 1976. "Optimal tax theory : A synthesis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 327-358, November.
  3. Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1982. "Self-selection and Pareto efficient taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 213-240, March.
  4. Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1987. "Pareto efficient and optimal taxation and the new new welfare economics," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 15, pages 991-1042 Elsevier.
  5. Maskin, Eric S & Riley, John G, 1984. "Optimal Auctions with Risk Averse Buyers," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(6), pages 1473-1518, November.
  6. Dagobert L. Brito & Jonathan H. Hamilton & Steven M. Slutsky & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1990. "Randomization in Optimal Income Tax Schedules," NBER Working Papers 3289, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Weibull, Jorgen W., 1989. "A note on the continuity of incentive schedules," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 239-243, July.
  8. Steven Matthews & John Moore, 1985. "Monopoly Provision of Quality and Warranties: An Exploration in the Theory of Multidimensional Screening," Discussion Papers 661, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  9. Milgrom, Paul & Shannon, Chris, 1994. "Monotone Comparative Statics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(1), pages 157-80, January.
  10. Kihlstrom, Richard E. & Mirman, Leonard J., 1974. "Risk aversion with many commodities," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 361-388, July.
  11. 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.
  12. Weiss, Laurence, 1976. "The Desirability of Cheating Incentives and Randomness in the Optimal Income Tax," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(6), pages 1343-52, December.
  13. Hammond, Peter J, 1979. "Straightforward Individual Incentive Compatibility in Large Economies," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(2), pages 263-82, April.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Miller, Nolan & Wagner, Alexander Florian & Zeckhauser, Richard Jay, 2012. "Solomonic Separation: Risk Decisions as Productivity Indicators," Scholarly Articles 9946786, Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
  2. Hendrik Hakenes & Isabel Schnabel, 2006. "The Threat of Capital Drain: A Rationale for Public Banks?," Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2006_11, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
  3. Martin Hellwig, 2009. "Utilitarian Mechanism Design for an Excludable Public Good," Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2009_12, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
  4. repec:hal:cesptp:hal-00969344 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Felix Bierbrauer, 2010. "On the Optimality of Optimal Income Taxation," CESifo Working Paper Series 3163, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. 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.
  7. Nolan Miller & Alexander Wagner & Richard Zeckhauser, 2013. "Solomonic separation: Risk decisions as productivity indicators," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 46(3), pages 265-297, June.
  8. Stéphane Gauthier & Guy Laroque, 2014. "On the value of randomization," PSE - Labex "OSE-Ouvrir la Science Economique" hal-00969344, HAL.
  9. Laurent Simula, 2010. "Optimal nonlinear income tax and nonlinear pricing: optimality conditions and comparative static properties," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 35(2), pages 199-220, July.
  10. Stéphane Gauthier & Guy Laroque, 2011. "On the value of randomization," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 11062r, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne, revised Sep 2012.
  11. Joel Slemrod & Christian Traxler, 2010. "Optimal observability in a linear income tax," Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2010_04, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
  12. Felix J., Bierbrauer, 2011. "On the optimality of optimal income taxation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 146(5), pages 2105-2116, September.
  13. Johanna Hey & Ulrich Schreiber & Fabian Pönnighaus & Felix Bierbrauer, 2013. "Steueroasen und »legale Steuervermeidung«: Wie kann größere Steuergerechtigkeit erreicht werden?," Ifo Schnelldienst, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 66(11), pages 03-13, 06.
  14. Martin Hellwig, 2008. "A Maximum Principle for Control Problems with Monotonicity Constraints," Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2008_04, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
  15. Laurence Ales & Kurnaz Musab & Sleet Christopher, . "Task, Talent, and Taxes," GSIA Working Papers 2014-E16, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
  16. Laurence Ales & Soo-Haeng Cho & Ersin Korpeoglu, . "Innovation Tournaments with Multiple Contributors," GSIA Working Papers 2014-E17, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.

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