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Pareto Efficient Tax Structures

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  • Dagobert L. Brito
  • Jonathan H. Hamilton
  • Steven M. Slutsky
  • Joseph E. Stiglitz

Abstract

Most analyses of optimal income taxation make restrictive technical assumptions on preferences (such as single-crossing) and only derive properties of welfare-maximizing tax schedules. Here, for an economy with any finite numbers of groups and commodities, Pareto efficient tax structures are described assuming only continuity and monotonicity of preferences. Most results follow directly from a property of self-selection: at an optimum, one group will never envy the bundle of another group which pays a larger total tax. The bundle of a group paying the largest total tax is undistorted. Assuming normality, undistorted outcomes for a group form a connected segment on the constrained utility possibility frontier. The tax structure at distorted outcomes is also described.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 3288.

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Date of creation: Mar 1990
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Publication status: published as Oxford Economic Papers, Vol. 42, pp. 61-77, (1990).
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3288

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  1. 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.
  2. Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1981. "Self-Selection and Pareto Efficient Taxation," NBER Working Papers 0632, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Guesnerie Roger & Seade Jesus, 1981. "Nonlinear pricing in a finite economy," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 8118, CEPREMAP.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Diamond, Peter A & Mirrlees, James A, 1971. "Optimal Taxation and Public Production: I--Production Efficiency," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(1), pages 8-27, March.
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Cited by:
  1. CREMER, Helmuth & LOZACHMEUR, Jean-Marie & PESTIEAU, Pierre, 2007. "Income taxation of couples and the tax unit choice," CORE Discussion Papers 2007013, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  2. Henrik Jordahl & Luca Micheletto, 2003. "Optimal Utilitarian Taxation and Horizontal Equity," CESifo Working Paper Series 977, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Stefan Homburg, 2001. "The Optimal Income Tax: Restatement and Extensions," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 58(4), pages 363-395, November.
  4. Bierbrauer, Felix & Brett, Craig & Weymark, John A., 2013. "Strategic nonlinear income tax competition with perfect labor mobility," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 292-311.
  5. Thomas Gaube, 2000. "Efficient Public Good Provision with Nonlinear Income Taxation," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0850, Econometric Society.
  6. Craig Brett & John A. Weymark, 2005. "Optimal Nonlinear Taxation of Income and Savings in a Two Class Economy," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0525, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  7. Kokovin, Sergey & Nahata, Babu & Zhelobodko, Evgeny, 2010. "All solution graphs in multidimensional screening," MPRA Paper 30025, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Cremer, H. & Marchand, M. & Pestieau, P., . "Interregional redistribution through tax surcharge," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1218, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  9. Yukihiro Nishimura, 2008. "Envy Minimization in the Optimal Tax Context," Working Papers 1178, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  10. Thomas Gaube, 2005. "Financing Public Goods with Income Taxation: Provision Rules vs. Provision Level," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 12(3), pages 319-334, May.
  11. Craig Brett & John Weymark, 2008. "Optimal Nonlinear Taxation of Income and Savings without Commitment," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0805, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  12. Craig Brett, 2007. "Optimal nonlinear taxes for families," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 225-261, June.

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