On the possibility of an inverse relationship between tax rates and government revenues
When Arthur Laffer or other "supply side advocates" plot total tax revenue as a function of a particular tax rate, he draws an upward sloping segment called the normal range, followed by a downward sloping segment called the prohibitive range. Since a given revenue can be obtained with either of two tax rates, government would minimize total burden by choosing the lower rate of the normal range. A brief literature review indicates that tax rates on the prohibitive range in theoretical and empirical models have been the result of particularly high tax rates, high elasticity parameters, or both. Looking at labor tax rates and total revenue, for example, the tax rate which maximizes revenue will depend on the assumed labor supply elasticity. This paper introduces a new curve which summarizes the tax rate and elasticity combinations that result in maximum revenues, separating the "normal area" from the "prohibitive area." A general-purpose empirical U.S. general equilibrium model is used to plot the Laffer curve for several elasticities, and to plot the newly introduced curve using the labor tax example. Results indicate that the U.S. could conceivably be operating in the prohibitive area, but that the tax wedge and/or labor supply elasticity would have to be much higher than most estimates would suggest.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)
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.:
- Grieson, Ronald E. & Hamovitch, William & Levenson, Albert M. & Morgenstern, Richard D., 1977. "The effect of business taxation on the location of industry," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 170-185, April.
- T. Aldrich Finegan, 1962. "Hours of Work in the United States: A Cross-Sectional Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 70, pages 452-452.
- Grieson, Ronald E., 1980. "Theoretical analysis and empirical measurements of the effects of the Philadelphia income tax," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 123-137, July.
- Canto, Victor A. & Joines, Douglas H. & Laffer, Arthur B., 1978. "An income expenditure version of the wedge model," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue 2, pages 27-62.
- Rosen, Sherwin, 1969. "On the Interindustry Wage and Hours Structure," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 77(2), pages 249-273, March/Apr.
- Jane H. Leuthold, 1968. "An Empirical Study of Formula Income Transfers and the Work Decision of the Poor," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 3(3), pages 312-323.
- George J. Borjas & James J. Heckman, 1978. "Labor Supply Estimates For Public Policy Evaluation," NBER Working Papers 0299, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:19:y:1982:i:1:p:3-22. 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.