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Optimal dynamic nonlinear income taxes: facing an uncertain future with a sluggish government

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  • Berliant, Marcus
  • Fujishima, Shota

Abstract

We consider the optimal nonlinear income taxation problem in a dynamic, stochastic environment when the government is sluggish in the sense that it cannot change the tax rule as uncertainty resolves. We show that the sluggish government cannot allow saving or borrowing regardless of the utility function. Moreover, we argue that the zero top marginal tax rate result in static models is of little practical importance because it is actually relevant only when the top earner in the initial period receives the highest shock in every period.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 55088.

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Date of creation: 04 Apr 2014
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:55088

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Keywords: Optimal income taxation; New dynamic public finance;

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  1. Marcus Berliant & John Ledyard, 2004. "Optimal Dynamic Nonlinear Income Taxes with No Commitment," Public Economics 0403004, EconWPA, revised 21 Jun 2005.
  2. Stefania Albanesi & Christopher Sleet, 2004. "Dynamic optimal taxation with private information," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 140, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  3. 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.
  4. Narayana R. Kocherlakota, 2004. "Wedges and Taxes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 109-113, May.
  5. Weymark, John A, 1987. "Comparative Static Properties of Optimal Nonlinear Income Taxes," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(5), pages 1165-85, September.
  6. Emmanuel Farhi, 2013. "Insurance and Taxation over the Life Cycle," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 80(2), pages 596-635.
  7. Peter A. Diamond & Emmanuel Saez, 2011. "The Case for a Progressive Tax: From Basic Research to Policy Recommendations," CESifo Working Paper Series 3548, CESifo Group Munich.
  8. Marco Battaglini & Stephen Coate, 2003. "Pareto Efficient Income Taxation with Stochastic Abilities," NBER Working Papers 10119, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Marek Kapicka, 2006. "Optimal Income Taxation with Human Capital Accumulation and Limited Record Keeping," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 9(4), pages 612-639, October.
  10. Narayana Kocherlakota, 2004. "Zero Expected Wealth Taxes: A Mirrlees Approach to Dynamic Optimal Taxation," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000729, UCLA Department of Economics.
  11. Dagobert L. Brito & Jonathan H. Hamilton & Steven M. Slutsky & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1990. "Dynamic Optimal Income Taxation with Government Commitment," NBER Working Papers 3265, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. 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.
  13. Sun, Yeneng, 2006. "The exact law of large numbers via Fubini extension and characterization of insurable risks," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 126(1), pages 31-69, January.
  14. Hammond, Peter J, 1979. "Straightforward Individual Incentive Compatibility in Large Economies," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(2), pages 263-82, April.
  15. Judd, Kenneth L., 1985. "The law of large numbers with a continuum of IID random variables," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 19-25, February.
  16. Berliant, Marcus & Page, Frank H, Jr, 2001. "Income Taxes and the Provision of Public Goods: Existence of an Optimum," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(3), pages 771-84, May.
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  1. Uncertainty, slow government and optimal taxes
    by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2013-06-20 14:00:00

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