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Tagging and Income Taxation: Theory and an Application

  • Helmuth Cremer
  • Firouz Gahvari
  • Jean-Marie Lozachmeur

We derive a set of analytical results for optimal income taxation with tags using quasilinear preferences and a Rawlsian social welfare function. Secondly, assuming a constant elasticity of labor supply and log-normality of the skills distribution, we analytically identify the winners and losers of tagging. Third, we prove that if the skills distribution in one group first-order stochastically dominates the other, tagging calls for redistribution from the former to the latter group. Finally, we calibrate our model to the US workers using gender as tag. Welfare implications are dramatic. Only male high-wage earners lose. Everyone else gains, some substantially. (JEL H21, H23, H24)

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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Economic Policy.

Volume (Year): 2 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 31-50

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejpol:v:2:y:2010:i:1:p:31-50
Note: DOI: 10.1257/pol.2.1.31
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  1. Alesina, Alberto F & Ichino, Andrea & Karabarbounis, Loukas, 2007. "Gender Based Taxation and the Division of Family Chores," CEPR Discussion Papers 6591, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Viard, Alan D, 2001. " Optimal Categorical Transfer Payments: The Welfare Economics of Limited Lump-Sum Redistribution," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 3(4), pages 483-500.
  3. Boadway, Robin & Jacquet, Laurence, 2008. "Optimal marginal and average income taxation under maximin," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 143(1), pages 425-441, November.
  4. Stern, Nicholas, 1982. "Optimum taxation with errors in administration," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 181-211, March.
  5. N. Gregory Mankiw & Matthew C. Weinzierl, 2009. "The Optimal Taxation of Height: A Case Study of Utilitarian Income Redistribution," Harvard Business School Working Papers 09-139, Harvard Business School.
  6. Alan D. Viard, 2001. "Some Results on the Comparative Statics of Optimal Categorical Transfer Payments," Public Finance Review, , vol. 29(2), pages 148-180, March.
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