IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article

Optimal linear and two-bracket income taxes with idiosyncratic earnings risk

  • Hsu, Minchung
  • Yang, C.C.

This paper quantitatively characterizes optimal linear and two-bracket income taxes. We consider a dynamic-stochastic-general-equilibrium model in which tax design involves redistributing income for both equity and social insurance. Substantive findings include: (i) a significant fraction of agents supply zero labor or hold zero assets at the optimum; (ii) neglecting tax distortion imposed on either of labor–leisure and consumption–saving decisions will lead to the prescription of tax codes that deviate substantially from the optimum; and (iii) the optimal two-bracket tax schedule will turn from regressivity to progressivity in the marginal tax rate once the volatility of idiosyncratic shocks becomes sufficiently large. The last finding is consistent with the results in Apps et al. (forthcoming), and it also reconciles the contradictory results regarding the optimal two-bracket tax schedule between Slemrod et al. (1994) and Strawczynski (1998).

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/S0047272713001308
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 Journal of Public Economics.

Volume (Year): 105 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 58-71

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:105:y:2013:i:c:p:58-71
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578

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. Heathcote, Jonathan, 2001. "Fiscal Policy with Heterogeneous Agents and Incomplete Markets," Working Papers 01-03, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  2. Carroll, Christopher D., 2006. "The method of endogenous gridpoints for solving dynamic stochastic optimization problems," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 91(3), pages 312-320, June.
  3. Chamley, Christophe, 1986. "Optimal Taxation of Capital Income in General Equilibrium with Infinite Lives," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 607-22, May.
  4. Robin Boadway & Motohiro Sato, 2011. "Optimal Income Taxation with Uncertain Earnings: A Synthesis," CESifo Working Paper Series 3654, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Blomquist, Sören & Micheletto, Luca, 2003. "Age Related Optimal Income Taxation," Working Paper Series 2003:7, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  6. Raj Chetty & Adam Guren & Day Manoli & Andrea Weber, 2011. "Are Micro and Macro Labor Supply Elasticities Consistent? A Review of Evidence on the Intensive and Extensive Margins," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 471-75, May.
  7. Albert Marcet & Francesc Obiols-Homs & Philippe Weil, 2003. "Incomplete Markets, Labor Supply and Capital Accumulation," Sciences Po publications 659, Sciences Po.
  8. Storesletten, Kjetil & Telmer, Chris & Yaron, Amir, 2002. "Consumption and Risk Sharing Over the Life Cycle," Seminar Papers 702, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  9. Tauchen, George, 1986. "Finite state markov-chain approximations to univariate and vector autoregressions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 177-181.
  10. Peter Sørensen, 1994. "From the global income tax to the dual income tax: Recent tax reforms in the Nordic countries," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 57-79, February.
  11. Pijoan-Mas, Josep, 2005. "Precautionary Savings or Working Longer Hours?," CEPR Discussion Papers 5322, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Low, Hamish & Maldoom, Daniel, 2004. "Optimal taxation, prudence and risk-sharing," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(3-4), pages 443-464, March.
  13. Ljungqvist, Lars & Sargent, Thomas J., 2012. "Recursive Macroeconomic Theory, Third Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 3, volume 1, number 0262018748.
  14. Raj Chetty, 2009. "Bounds on Elasticities with Optimization Frictions: A Synthesis of Micro and Macro Evidence on Labor Supply," NBER Working Papers 15616, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Glenn R. Hubbard & Jonathan Skinner & Stephen P. Zeldes, . "Precautionary Saving and Social Insurance," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 3-95, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  16. Jonathan Heathcote & Kjetil Storesletten & Giovanni L. Violante, 2009. "Quantitative macroeconomics with heterogeneous households," Staff Report 420, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  17. S. Rao Aiyagari, 1994. "Uninsured Idiosyncratic Risk and Aggregate Saving," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(3), pages 659-684.
  18. Matti Tuomala, 2003. "On Optimal Non-linear Income Taxation: Numerical Results Revisited," Working Papers 0317, University of Tampere, School of Management, Economics.
  19. Conesa, Juan Carlos & Krueger, Dirk, 2005. "On the optimal progressivity of the income tax code," CFS Working Paper Series 2005/10, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  20. Ravi Kanbur & Jukka Pirttilä & Matti Tuomala, 2004. "Moral Hazard, Income Taxation, and Prospect Theory," Working Papers 0430, University of Tampere, School of Management, Economics.
  21. Inman, Robert P., 1987. "Markets, governments, and the "new" political economy," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 12, pages 647-777 Elsevier.
  22. Huggett, Mark & Ospina, Sandra, 2001. "Aggregate precautionary savings: when is the third derivative irrelevant?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 373-396, October.
  23. Young, Eric R., 2010. "Solving the incomplete markets model with aggregate uncertainty using the Krusell-Smith algorithm and non-stochastic simulations," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 36-41, January.
  24. Huggett, Mark, 1997. "The one-sector growth model with idiosyncratic shocks: Steady states and dynamics," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 385-403, August.
  25. 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.
  26. S. Rao Aiyagari, 1994. "Optimal capital income taxation with incomplete markets, borrowing constraints, and constant discounting," Working Papers 508, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  27. Mirrlees, J A, 1990. "Taxing Uncertain Incomes," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 42(1), pages 34-45, January.
  28. Robert J. Barro, 1989. "A Cross-Country Study of Growth, Saving, and Government," NBER Working Papers 2855, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  29. Conesa, Juan Carlos & Kitao, Sagiri & Krueger, Dirk, 2006. "Taxing capital? Not a bad idea after all!," CFS Working Paper Series 2006/21, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  30. Matthew Weinzierl, 2011. "The Surprising Power of Age-Dependent Taxes," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 78(4), pages 1490-1518.
  31. S. Rao Aiyagari & Ellen R. McGrattan, 1997. "The optimum quantity of debt," Staff Report 203, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  32. Kenneth L. Judd, 1982. "Redistributive Taxation in a Simple Perfect Foresight Model," Discussion Papers 572, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  33. 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.
  34. Fatih Guvenen, 2011. "Macroeconomics with hetereogeneity : a practical guide," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue 3Q, pages 255-326.
  35. David K. Levine & William Zame, 2001. "Does Market Incompleteness Matter," Levine's Working Paper Archive 78, David K. Levine.
  36. Bernard Salanié, 2003. "The Economics of Taxation," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262194864.
  37. Raj Chetty & Emmanuel Saez, 2010. "Optimal Taxation and Social Insurance with Endogenous Private Insurance," NBER Chapters, in: Income Taxation, Trans-Atlantic Public Economics Seminar (TAPES), pages 85-114 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  38. Tuomala, Matti, 1984. " Optimal Degree of Progressivity under Income Uncertainty," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 86(2), pages 184-93.
  39. Floden, M. & Linde, J., 1998. "Idiosyncratic Risk in the U.S. and Sweden: Is there a Role for Government Insurance?," Papers 654, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  40. Michael P. Keane & Richard Rogerson, 2012. "Reconciling Micro and Macro Labor Supply Elasticities: A Structural Perspective," Economics Papers 2012-W12, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  41. Strawczynski, Michel, 1998. "Social insurance and the optimum piecewise linear income tax," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 371-388, September.
  42. Ana Castaneda & Javier Diaz-Gimenez & Jose-Victor Rios-Rull, 2003. "Accounting for the U.S. Earnings and Wealth Inequality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(4), pages 818-857, August.
  43. Francisco Barillas & Jesús Fernández-Villaverde, 2006. "A Generalization of the Endogenous Grid Method," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000001200, UCLA Department of Economics.
  44. Diamond, P. A. & Helms, L. J. & Mirrlees, J. A., 1980. "Optimal taxation in a stochastic economy : A Cobb-Douglas example," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 1-29, August.
  45. 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.
  46. Slemrod, Joel & Yitzhaki, Shlomo & Mayshar, Joram & Lundholm, Michael, 1994. "The optimal two-bracket linear income tax," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 269-290, February.
  47. Stern, N. H., 1976. "On the specification of models of optimum income taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1-2), pages 123-162.
  48. Sheshinski, Eytan, 1989. "Note on the shape of the optimum income tax schedule," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 201-215, November.
  49. Varian, Hal R., 1980. "Redistributive taxation as social insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 49-68, August.
  50. Efraim Sadka, 1976. "On Income Distribution, Incentive Effects and Optimal Income Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 43(2), pages 261-267.
  51. Emmanuel Saez, 2001. "Using Elasticities to Derive Optimal Income Tax Rates," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 68(1), pages 205-229.
  52. Jonathan Eaton & Harvey S. Rosen, 1980. "Optimal Redistributive Taxation and Uncertainty," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 95(2), pages 357-364.
  53. Hamish Low, 2005. "Self-Insurance in a Life-Cycle Model of Labor Supply and Savings," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 8(4), pages 945-975, October.
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:pubeco:v:105:y:2013:i:c:p:58-71. 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: (Zhang, Lei)

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.