IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Welfare improving distributionally neutral tax reforms

Listed author(s):
  • Mathieu-Bolh, Nathalie
Registered author(s):

    In a new model with incomplete markets, I quantitatively determine tax reforms that are welfare improving, distributionally neutral, and leave the budget balance unchanged in the long run. I consider a new reform. I eliminate capital income taxation and replace it with progressive consumption taxation, consisting of taxing necessities and luxuries at different rates. I compare steady states under various tax regimes. I find that progressive rather than uniform consumption taxation generates higher welfare gains in the long run and during the transition to the steady state. While this type of reform achieves redistribution neutrality only in the long run, it generates welfare gains for the whole population during the transition. These results stay robust when non-homothetic preferences are considered and progressivity in consumption taxation is achieved by subsidizing consumption of the poor. With respect to long term objectives, the choice of a more progressive consumption or labor-income tax system depends on the modelization of preferences. During the transition, a tax reform involving more progressive labor-income taxation generates smaller redistribution effects than any consumption tax reform.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0264-9993(10)00036-2
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economic Modelling.

    Volume (Year): 27 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 5 (September)
    Pages: 1253-1268

    as
    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:eee:ecmode:v:27:y:2010:i:5:p:1253-1268
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/30411

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as
    in new window


    1. Poterba, James M, 1989. "Lifetime Incidence and the Distributional Burden of Excise Taxes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(2), pages 325-330, May.
    2. Erosa, Andres & Gervais, Martin, 2002. "Optimal Taxation in Life-Cycle Economies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 105(2), pages 338-369, August.
    3. Aiyagari, S Rao, 1995. "Optimal Capital Income Taxation with Incomplete Markets, Borrowing Constraints, and Constant Discounting," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(6), pages 1158-1175, December.
    4. Philippe Aghion & Abhijit Banerjee & Thomas Piketty, 1999. "Dualism and Macroeconomic Volatility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1359-1397.
    5. Floden, Martin, 2009. "Why Are Capital Income Taxes So High?," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(03), pages 279-304, June.
    6. Gertler, Mark, 1999. "Government debt and social security in a life-cycle economy," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 61-110, June.
    7. Conesa, Juan Carlos & Krueger, Dirk, 2006. "On the optimal progressivity of the income tax code," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(7), pages 1425-1450, October.
    8. Juan Carlos Conesa & Sagiri Kitao & Dirk Krueger, 2009. "Taxing Capital? Not a Bad Idea after All!," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 25-48, March.
    9. Heijdra, Ben J & Ligthart, Jenny E, 2000. "The Dynamic Macroeconomic Effects of Tax Policy in an Overlapping Generations Model," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(4), pages 677-701, October.
    10. David Domeij & Jonathan Heathcote, 2004. "On The Distributional Effects Of Reducing Capital Taxes," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(2), pages 523-554, 05.
    11. Blanchard, Olivier J, 1985. "Debt, Deficits, and Finite Horizons," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(2), pages 223-247, April.
    12. Roger H. Gordon & Joel Slemrod, 1988. "Do We Collect Any Revenue from Taxing Capital Income?," NBER Chapters,in: Tax Policy and the Economy: Volume 2, pages 89-130 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. S. Rao Aiyagari, 1994. "Uninsured Idiosyncratic Risk and Aggregate Saving," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(3), pages 659-684.
    14. Auerbach, Alan J. & Hines, James Jr., 2002. "Taxation and economic efficiency," Handbook of Public Economics,in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 21, pages 1347-1421 Elsevier.
    15. David E. Altig & Alan J. Auerbach & Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Kent Smetters & Jan Walliser, 1997. "Simulating U.S. tax reform," Working Paper 9712, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    16. Shinichi Nishiyama & Kent Smetters, 2005. "Consumption Taxes and Economic Efficiency with Idiosyncratic Wage Shocks," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(5), pages 1088-1115, October.
    17. R. Glenn Hubbard & Kenneth L. Judd, 1986. "Liquidity Constraints, Fiscal Policy, and Consumption," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 17(1), pages 1-60.
    18. Joel Slemrod, 2007. "Cheating Ourselves: The Economics of Tax Evasion," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(1), pages 25-48, Winter.
    19. James R. Hines Jr., 2007. "Taxing Consumption and Other Sins," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(1), pages 49-68, Winter.
    20. repec:pit:wpaper:227 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. Ben J. Heijdra & Jenny E. Ligthart, 2002. "Tax Policy, the Macroeconomy, and Intergenerational Distribution," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 49(1), pages 1-6.
    22. Fuster, Luisa & Imrohoroglu, Ayse & Imrohoroglu, Selahattin, 2008. "Altruism, incomplete markets, and tax reform," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 65-90, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:ecmode:v:27:y:2010:i:5:p:1253-1268. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.