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Optimal observability in a linear income tax

Author

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  • Slemrod, Joel
  • Traxler, Christian

Abstract

We study the optimal observability of the tax base within the standard linear income tax problem, where observability is determined by the government's investment into the accurate measurement of the tax base.

Suggested Citation

  • Slemrod, Joel & Traxler, Christian, 2010. "Optimal observability in a linear income tax," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 108(2), pages 105-108, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:108:y:2010:i:2:p:105-108
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Emmanuel Saez & Joel Slemrod & Seth H. Giertz, 2012. "The Elasticity of Taxable Income with Respect to Marginal Tax Rates: A Critical Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, pages 3-50.
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    3. J. A. Mirrlees, 1971. "An Exploration in the Theory of Optimum Income Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(2), pages 175-208.
    4. Hellwig, Martin F., 2007. "The undesirability of randomized income taxation under decreasing risk aversion," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(3-4), pages 791-816, April.
    5. Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1982. "Utilitarianism and horizontal equity : The case for random taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 1-33, June.
    6. Kopczuk, Wojciech, 2001. "Redistribution when avoidance behavior is heterogeneous," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 51-71, July.
    7. Henrik Jacobsen Kleven & Wojciech Kopczuk, 2011. "Transfer Program Complexity and the Take-Up of Social Benefits," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 54-90, February.
    8. Scotchmer, Suzanne, 1989. "Who profits from taxpayer confusion?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 49-55.
    9. Kaplow, Louis, 1998. "Accuracy, Complexity, and the Income Tax," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 14(1), pages 61-83, April.
    10. Brito, Dagobert L. & Hamilton, Jonathan H. & Slutsky, Steven M. & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1995. "Randomization in optimal income tax schedules," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 189-223.
    11. Weiss, Laurence, 1976. "The Desirability of Cheating Incentives and Randomness in the Optimal Income Tax," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(6), pages 1343-1352, December.
    12. Dixit, Avinash K & Sandmo, Angar, 1977. " Some Simplified Formulae for Optimal Income Taxation," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 79(4), pages 417-423.
    13. Jennifer F. Reinganum & Louis L. Wilde, 1988. "A Note on Enforcement Uncertainty and Taxpayer Compliance," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 103(4), pages 793-798.
    14. Stern, Nicholas, 1982. "Optimum taxation with errors in administration," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 181-211, March.
    15. Pestieau, Pierre & Possen, Uri M. & Slutsky, Steven M., 1998. "The value of explicit randomization in the tax code," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 87-103, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Traxler, Christian, 2012. "Majority voting and the welfare implications of tax avoidance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(1), pages 1-9.
    2. Gauthier, Stéphane & Laroque, Guy, 2014. "On the value of randomization," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 151(C), pages 493-507.
    3. Mirco Tonin, 2014. "Reporting import tariffs (and other taxes)," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 21(1), pages 153-173, February.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Optimal linear income taxation Observability Tax enforcement;

    JEL classification:

    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty
    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation

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