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Labour income uncertainty, taxation and public good provision

  • Jukka Pirttilä
  • Matti Tuomala

This article examines optimal nonlinear income taxation, commodity taxation and public good provision under income uncertainty in a moral hazard framework. Uniform commodity taxation and the Samuelson rule for public good provision are desirable under similar conditions as in the conventional tax model. Deviations from these rules is warranted if one can encourage effort by subsidising certain goods and overproviding public goods. We also determine a rule for the optimal marginal income tax rate and provide some numerical simulations. Conditions for the validity of the solution procedure used in this class of models, the first-order approach, are also explored. Copyright 2007 The Author(s). Journal compilation Royal Economic Society 2007.

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File URL: http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1468-0297.2007.02030.x
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Article provided by Royal Economic Society in its journal The Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 117 (2007)
Issue (Month): 518 (03)
Pages: 567-582

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Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:117:y:2007:i:518:p:567-582
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  1. Jewitt, Ian, 1988. "Justifying the First-Order Approach to Principal-Agent Problems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(5), pages 1177-90, September.
  2. Arnott, Richard & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1986. "Moral hazard and optimal commodity taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 1-24, February.
  3. Anderberg, Dan & Andersson, Fredrik, 2003. "Investments in human capital, wage uncertainty, and public policy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(7-8), pages 1521-1537, August.
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  8. Thomas Gaube, 2005. "Financing Public Goods with Income Taxation: Provision Rules vs. Provision Level," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 12(3), pages 319-334, May.
  9. Helmuth Cremer & Pierre Pestieau, 1996. "Redistributive taxation and social insurance," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 3(3), pages 281-295, July.
  10. Cremer, Helmuth & Gahvari, Firouz, 1999. " Uncertainty, Commitment, and Optimal Taxation," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 1(1), pages 51-70.
  11. Varian, Hal R., 1980. "Redistributive taxation as social insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 49-68, August.
  12. Tuomala, Matti, 1984. " Optimal Degree of Progressivity under Income Uncertainty," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 86(2), pages 184-93.
  13. Rothschild, Michael & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1976. "Equilibrium in Competitive Insurance Markets: An Essay on the Economics of Imperfect Information," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 90(4), pages 630-49, November.
  14. Atkinson, A. B. & Stiglitz, J. E., 1976. "The design of tax structure: Direct versus indirect taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1-2), pages 55-75.
  15. Robin Boadway & Michael Keen, 1991. "Public Goods, Self-Selection and Optimal Income Taxation," Working Papers 828, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  16. Christiansen, Vidar, 1981. "Evaluation of Public Projects under Optimal Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(3), pages 447-57, July.
  17. Cremer, Helmuth & Gahvari, Firouz, 1995. "Uncertainty and optimal taxation: In defense of commodity taxes," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 291-310, February.
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