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Taxes and Employment Subsidies in Optimal Redistribution Programs

  • 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: 216-42

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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. Steven Matthews & John Moore, 1985. "Monopoly Provision of Quality and Warranties: An Exploration in the Theory of Multidimensional Screening," Discussion Papers 661, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
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  9. 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.
  10. Maderner, Nina & Rochet, Jean-Charles, 1995. " Is It Legitimate to Encourage Work Sharing?," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 97(4), pages 621-33, December.
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  12. 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..
  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. 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 607-22, October.
  15. Timothy Besley & Stephen Coate, 1995. "The Design of Income Maintenance Programmes," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 62(2), pages 187-221.
  16. 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.
  17. Dasgupta, Partha & Hammond, Peter, 1980. "Fully progressive taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 141-154, April.
  18. Jean-Charles Rochet & Philippe Chone, 1998. "Ironing, Sweeping, and Multidimensional Screening," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(4), pages 783-826, July.
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