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Optimal linear commodity taxation under optimal non-linear income taxation

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  • Jacobs, Bas
  • Boadway, Robin

Abstract

This paper analyzes optimal linear commodity taxes joint with non-linear income taxes. We provide optimal tax rules based on empirically observable elasticities, earnings and commodity demands. We demonstrate that commodities should be taxed/subsidized if – conditional on earnings – doing so boosts labor supply as the critical role of commodity taxation is to alleviate distortions on labor supply caused by income taxation. We extend the standard formula for optimal non-linear income taxation for the presence of optimal linear commodity taxes. We correct parts of the literature by showing that the optimal second-best allocations derived by Atkinson and Stiglitz (1976, 1980) cannot be supported by linear commodity taxes.

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  • Jacobs, Bas & Boadway, Robin, 2014. "Optimal linear commodity taxation under optimal non-linear income taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 201-210.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:117:y:2014:i:c:p:201-210
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2014.04.012
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    1. Gordon, Roger H. & Kopczuk, Wojciech, 2014. "The choice of the personal income tax base," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 97-110.
    2. Kaplow, Louis, 2006. "On the undesirability of commodity taxation even when income taxation is not optimal," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(6-7), pages 1235-1250, August.
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    20. Emmanuel Saez, 2001. "Using Elasticities to Derive Optimal Income Tax Rates," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 68(1), pages 205-229.
    21. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. X. Ruiz del Portal, 2017. "Optimal mixed taxation, public goods and the problem of high-skilled emigration," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 122(2), pages 97-119, October.
    2. Spencer Bastani & Sören Blomquist & Luca Micheletto, 2020. "Pareto efficient income taxation without single-crossing," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 55(3), pages 547-594, October.
    3. Bachas, Pierre & Gadenne, Lucie & Jensen, Anders, 2020. "Informality, Consumption Taxes and Redistribution," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 1277, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    4. John Burbidge, 2018. "Using distance functions to derive optimal progressive earnings tax and commodity tax structures," Working Papers 1808, University of Waterloo, Department of Economics, revised 12 Nov 2018.
    5. Bas Jacobs & Rick van der Ploeg, 2017. "Should Pollution Taxes be Targeted at Income Redistribution?," CESifo Working Paper Series 6599, CESifo.
    6. Junichi Minagawa & Thorsten Upmann, 2018. "Optimal taxation under a consumption target," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 50(4), pages 663-676, April.
    7. Boadway, Robin & Song, Zhen, 2016. "Indirect taxes for redistribution: Should necessity goods be favored?," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 64-88.
    8. Thomas Aronsson & Olof Johansson-Stenman & Ronald Wendner, 2021. "Charity, Status, and Optimal Taxation: Welfarist and Non-Welfarist Approaches," Graz Economics Papers 2021-06, University of Graz, Department of Economics.
    9. Xavier Ruiz del Portal, 2020. "Two reasons for not using commodity taxation in the presence of an optimal income tax," Hacienda Pública Española / Review of Public Economics, IEF, vol. 232(1), pages 9-28, March.
    10. Jacobs, Bas & Boadway, Robin, 2014. "Optimal linear commodity taxation under optimal non-linear income taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 201-210.
    11. Jacobs, Bas & de Mooij, Ruud A., 2015. "Pigou meets Mirrlees: On the irrelevance of tax distortions for the second-best Pigouvian tax," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 90-108.
    12. Obara Takuya & Tsugawa Shuichi, 2019. "Public Good Provision Financed by Nonlinear Income Tax Under Reduction of Envy," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 19(4), pages 1-16, October.
    13. Hunt Allcott & Benjamin B Lockwood & Dmitry Taubinsky, 2019. "Regressive Sin Taxes, with an Application to the Optimal Soda Tax," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 134(3), pages 1557-1626.
    14. Huang, Jason & Rios, Juan, 2016. "Optimal tax mix with income tax non-compliance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 144(C), pages 52-63.
    15. Odd E. Nygård & John T. Revesz, 2015. "Optimal indirect taxation and the uniformity debate: A review of theoretical results and empirical contributions," Discussion Papers 809, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
    16. Bas Jacobs, 2018. "The marginal cost of public funds is one at the optimal tax system," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 25(4), pages 883-912, August.
    17. Junichi Minagawa & Thorsten Upmann, 2016. "Optimal Taxation under a Consumption Target," CESifo Working Paper Series 6067, CESifo.
    18. Jacobs, Bas & van der Ploeg, Frederick, 2019. "Redistribution and pollution taxes with non-linear Engel curves," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 198-226.
    19. Bas Jacobs & Alexandra Victoria Rusu, 2017. "Why is the Long-Run Tax on Capital Income Zero? Explaining the Chamley-Judd Result," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 17-011/VI, Tinbergen Institute.
    20. Robin Boadway, 2017. "Second-Best Theory: Ageing well at Sixty," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(2), pages 249-270, May.
    21. Aart Gerritsen & Bas Jacobs & Alexandra Victoria Rusu & Kevin Spiritus, 2020. "Optimal Taxation of Capital Income with Heterogeneous Rates of Return," CESifo Working Paper Series 8395, CESifo.
    22. John T. Revesz, 2014. "A Numerical Model of Optimal Differentiated Indirect Taxation," Hacienda Pública Española / Review of Public Economics, IEF, vol. 211(4), pages 9-66, December.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Atkinson–Stiglitz theorem; Optimal non-linear income taxation; Optimal linear and non-linear indirect taxation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue

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