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Optimal tax reform in the presence of adjustment costs


  • Zodrow, George R.


The optimal implementation of an efficiency-enhancing capital taxation reform is examined when the government is concerned about arbitrary reform-induced redistributions and investment causes firms to incur adjustment costs. Theoretical results indicate that immediate partial enactment of reform is optimal with concave adjustment costs, while with convex adjustment costs, the optimal reform implementation policy is either (i) immediate partial enactment with sufficiently low adjustment costs, (ii) phased-in partial enactment with intermediate adjustment costs, or (iii) postponed partial enactment with sufficiently high adjustment costs. Numerical results suggest that, relative to the optimal one-step implementation policy, little is gained by phasing-in reform.
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Suggested Citation

  • Zodrow, George R., 1985. "Optimal tax reform in the presence of adjustment costs," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 211-230, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:27:y:1985:i:2:p:211-230

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    Cited by:

    1. Wen-ya Chang & Hsueh-fang Tsai, 2006. "On Dynamic Tax Reform with Regime Switching," Public Finance Review, , vol. 34(3), pages 306-327, May.
    2. Carlos Eduardo Vélez, 1997. "Eficiencia, Equidad y Reestructuración Sectorial del Gasto Público Social," Borradores de Economia 080, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    3. Vollebergh, Herman & van der Werf, Edwin & Vogel, Johanna, 2023. "A descriptive framework to evaluate instrument packages for the low-carbon transition," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 205(C).
    4. David F. Bradford, 1998. "Transition to and Tax-Rate Flexibility in a Cash-Flow-Type Tax," NBER Chapters, in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 12, pages 151-172, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Roberton C. Williams III, 2011. "Setting the Initial Time-Profile of Climate Policy: The Economics of Environmental Policy Phase-Ins," NBER Chapters, in: The Design and Implementation of US Climate Policy, pages 245-254, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Pezzey, John C.V., 2001. "Distributing the Value of a Country’s Tradeable Carbon Permits," 2001 Conference (45th), January 23-25, 2001, Adelaide, Australia 125832, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
    7. Roger D. Congleton, 1988. "An Overview of the Contractarian Public Finance of James Buchanan," Public Finance Review, , vol. 16(2), pages 131-157, April.
    8. Louis Kaplow, 2003. "Transition Policy: A Conceptual Framework," NBER Working Papers 9596, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Louis Kaplow, 1989. "Government Relief for Risk Associated with Government Action," NBER Working Papers 3006, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Kenneth A. Lewis & Laurence S. Seidman, 2002. "Funding Social Security: The Transition in a Life-Cycle Growth Model," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 28(2), pages 159-180, Spring.

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