A New Look at the Laffer Curve and the Displacement Loss from Tax Evasion
AbstractThe two most prominent deadweight losses in public finance are the triangle loss from taxation and the rectangle loss from rent-seeking. This paper suggests that a third type of deadweight loss can rival these two in size and deserves detailed exploration. In the presence of the underground economy taxes give rise to a deadweight loss from displacement of efficient producers by inefficient producers. I consider an economy in which a producer faces two types of costs: the cost of production, and taxes. If good evaders are inefficient producers, tax evasion turns a flat tax into a tax based on ability to pay with the result that maximum government revenues possible under tax evasion may be larger than when no one evades taxes. Displacement deadweight loss is a subset of a larger class of losses that arise when productive and counterproductive features are bundled into the same economic agent and when that agent has no incentive or opportunity to specialize wholly in one or the other pursuit.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by EconWPA in its series Public Economics with number 0111006.
Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: 10 Nov 2001
Date of revision:
Note: Type of Document - PDF; prepared on IBM PC ; to print on HP/PostScript/; pages: 37; figures: included. PDF document. Can be viewed or printed.
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underground economy; tax evasion; deadweight loss; taxation;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion
- H43 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Project Evaluation; Social Discount Rate
- K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
- O17 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2001-11-21 (All new papers)
- NEP-LAW-2001-11-21 (Law & Economics)
- NEP-PBE-2001-11-21 (Public Economics)
- NEP-PUB-2001-11-21 (Public Finance)
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.:
- Filip Palda, 1998. "Evasive Ability and the Efficiency Cost of the Underground Economy," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 31(5), pages 1118-1138, November.
- Joel Slemrod & Shlomo Yitzhaki, 2000.
"Tax Avoidance, Evasion, and Administration,"
NBER Working Papers
7473, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Heckman, James J & Honore, Bo E, 1990. "The Empirical Content of the Roy Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(5), pages 1121-49, September.
- Jan Hanousek & Filip Palda, 2009.
"Is there a displacement deadweight loss from tax evasion? Estimates using firm surveys from the Czech Republic,"
Economic Change and Restructuring,
Springer, vol. 42(3), pages 139-158, August.
- Hanousek, Jan & Palda, Filip, 2007. "Is there a Displacement Deadweight Loss from Tax Evasion? Estimates Using Firm Surveys from the Czech Republic," MPRA Paper 3911, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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