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Labor and capital income taxation, fiscal competition, and the distribution of wealth

  • Fuest, Clemens
  • Huber, Bernd

This paper studies optimum income taxation in a small open economy where households differ with respect to their endowments with wealth. The government raises taxes on income from labor and wealth and a source tax on capital used in domestic production. To avoid taxes, households may, at some cost, shift capital to labor income and vice versa. The government can only observe income after shifting has taken place. It turns out that the optimal source tax on capital is negative. The optimal income tax is characterized by a positive marginal tax rate for the wealthy households, which is equal for labor income and income from wealth. For the poor households, the marginal tax rate on capital income is higher than that on labor income. We also study international tax coordination and show that a reduction in the source subsidy on capital raises welfare.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Public Economics.

Volume (Year): 79 (2001)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 71-91

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Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:79:y:2001:i:1:p:71-91
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578

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  1. BOADWAY, Robin & MARCHAND, Maurice & PESTIEAU, Pierre, 1992. "Towards a theory of the direct-indirect tax mix," CORE Discussion Papers 1992026, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  2. Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1981. "Self-Selection and Pareto Efficient Taxation," NBER Working Papers 0632, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Huizinga, Harry & Nielsen, Soren Bo, 1997. "Capital income and profit taxation with foreign ownership of firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1-2), pages 149-165, February.
  4. Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1987. "Pareto Efficient and Optimal Taxation and the New New Welfare Economics," NBER Working Papers 2189, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Roger H. Gordon & Jeffrey K. MacKie-Mason, 1995. "Why Is There Corporate Taxation in a Small Open Economy? The Role of Transfer Pricing and Income Shifting," NBER Chapters, in: The Effects of Taxation on Multinational Corporations, pages 67-94 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Armstrong, Mark, 1996. "Multiproduct Nonlinear Pricing," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(1), pages 51-75, January.
  7. Fischer, Stanley, 1980. "Dynamic inconsistency, cooperation and the benevolent dissembling government," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 93-107, May.
  8. Nava, Mario & Schroyen, Fred & Marchand, Maurice, 1996. "Optimal fiscal and public expenditure policy in a two-class economy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 119-137, July.
  9. Bucovetsky, Sam & Wilson, John Douglas, 1991. "Tax competition with two tax instruments," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 333-350, November.
  10. Roger H. Gordon, 1998. "Can High Personal Tax Rates Encourage Entrepreneurial Activity?," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 45(1), pages 49-80, March.
  11. 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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