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Taxes and Employment Subsidies in Optimal Redistribution Programs

Listed author(s):
  • Paul Beaudry
  • Charles Blackorby
  • Dezsö Szalay

This paper explores how to optimally set taxes and transfers when taxation authorities are uninformed about individuals' value of time in both market and nonmarket activities; and can observe both market-income and time allocated to market employment. We show that optimal redistribution in this environment involves a cutoff wage whereby workers above the cutoff are taxed as they increase their income, while workers earning a wage below the cutoff receive an income supplement as they increase their income. Finally, we show that the optimal program transfers zero income to individuals who choose not to work. 1JEL D31, H21, H23, H242

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.99.1.216
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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aer/data/mar09/20050003_app.pdf
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 99 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 216-242

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:99:y:2009:i:1:p:216-42
Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.99.1.216
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  1. Armstrong, Mark, 1996. "Multiproduct Nonlinear Pricing," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(1), pages 51-75, January.
  2. Kanbur, Ravi & Keen, Michael & Tuomala, Matti, 1994. "Optimal non-linear income taxation for the alleviation of income-poverty," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(8), pages 1613-1632, October.
  3. Katherine Cuff, 2000. "Optimality of workfare with heterogeneous preferences," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 33(1), pages 149-174, February.
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  7. Weymark, John A, 1987. "Comparative Static Properties of Optimal Nonlinear Income Taxes," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(5), pages 1165-1185, September.
  8. Jean-Charles Rochet & Philippe Chone, 1998. "Ironing, Sweeping, and Multidimensional Screening," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(4), pages 783-826, July.
  9. Diamond, Peter A, 1998. "Optimal Income Taxation: An Example with a U-Shaped Pattern of Optimal Marginal Tax Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 83-95, March.
  10. Boadway, Robin & Keen, Michael, 2000. "Redistribution," Handbook of Income Distribution, in: A.B. Atkinson & F. Bourguignon (ed.), Handbook of Income Distribution, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 12, pages 677-789 Elsevier.
  11. David Card & Philip Robins, 1996. "Do Financial Incentives Encourage Welfare Recipients to Work? Early Findings from the Canadian Self Sufficiency Project," Working Papers 738, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  12. Timothy Besley & Stephen Coate, 1995. "The Design of Income Maintenance Programmes," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 62(2), pages 187-221.
  13. Marceau, Nicolas & Boadway, Robin, 1994. " Minimum Wage Legislation and Unemployment Insurance as Instruments for Redistribution," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 96(1), pages 67-81.
  14. Brett, Craig, 1998. "Who Should Be on Workfare? The Use of Work Requirements as Part of an Optimal Tax Mix," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(4), pages 607-622, October.
  15. Weymark, John A., 1986. "A reduced-form optimal nonlinear income tax problem," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 199-217, July.
  16. Dasgupta, Partha & Hammond, Peter, 1980. "Fully progressive taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 141-154, April.
  17. Kesselman, Jonathan R., 1973. "A comprehensive approach to income maintenance: swift," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 59-88, February.
  18. Jonathan R. Kesselman, 1977. "Tax Instruments and Economic Equality," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 10(2), pages 289-299, May.
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