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The Pareto-Frontier in a Simple Mirrleesian Model of Income Taxation

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  • Pierre C. Boyer
  • Felix J. Bierbrauer

Abstract

We characterize the Pareto-frontier in a simple Mirrleesian model of income taxation. We show how the second-best frontier which incorporates incentive constraints due to private information on productive abilities relates to the first-best frontier which takes only resource constraints into account. In particular, we argue that the second-best frontier can be interpreted as a Laffer-curve. We also use this second-best frontier for a comparative statics analysis of how optimal income tax rates vary with the degree of inequity aversion, and for a characterization of optimal public-good provision. We show that a more inequity averse policy maker chooses tax schedules that are more redistributive and involve higher marginal tax rates, while simultaneously providing less public good.

Suggested Citation

  • Pierre C. Boyer & Felix J. Bierbrauer, 2014. "The Pareto-Frontier in a Simple Mirrleesian Model of Income Taxation," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 113-114, pages 185-206.
  • Handle: RePEc:adr:anecst:y:2014:i:113-114:p:185-206
    DOI: 10.15609/annaeconstat2009.113-114.185
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    References listed on IDEAS

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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.
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    13. Weymark, John A., 1986. "A reduced-form optimal nonlinear income tax problem," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 199-217, July.
    14. Sandmo, Agnar, 1998. "Redistribution and the marginal cost of public funds," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(3), pages 365-382, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Andrea Attar & Thomas Mariotti & François Salanié, 2020. "The Social Costs of Side Trading," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 130(630), pages 1608-1622.
    2. Bierbrauer, Felix J. & Boyer, Pierre C., 2013. "Political competition and Mirrleesian income taxation: A first pass," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 1-14.
    3. Soldatos, Gerasimos T., 2015. "An Anti-Austerity Policy Recipe against Debt Accumulation in the Presence of Hidden Economy," MPRA Paper 69911, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Rafael Aigner, 2014. "Environmental Taxation and Redistribution Concerns," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 70(2), pages 249-277, June.
    5. Felix J. Bierbrauer, 2014. "Optimal Tax and Expenditure Policy with Aggregate Uncertainty," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(1), pages 205-257, February.
    6. Alain Trannoy, 2019. "Talent, equality of opportunity and optimal non-linear income tax," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 17(1), pages 5-28, March.
    7. Felix Bierbrauer, 2010. "On the Optimality of Optimal Income Taxation," CESifo Working Paper Series 3163, CESifo.
    8. Felix Bierbrauer & Pierre Boyer & Emanuel Hansen, 2020. "Pareto-improving tax reforms and the Earned Income Tax Credit," ECONtribute Discussion Papers Series 001, University of Bonn and University of Cologne, Germany.
    9. Soldatos, Gerasimos T., 2015. "Tax Aversion, Laffer Curve, and the Self-financing of Tax Cuts," MPRA Paper 62470, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Alain Trannoy, 2019. "Talent, equality of opportunity and optimal non-linear income tax," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 17(1), pages 5-28, March.
    11. Felix Bierbrauer, 2016. "Effizienz oder Gerechtigkeit? Ungleiche Einkommen, ungleiche Vermögen und die Theorie der optimalen Besteuerung," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2016_03, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods

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