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The undesirability of randomized income taxation under decreasing risk aversion

  • Hellwig, Martin F.

For the standard specification of the utilitarian optimal income tax problem with hidden characteristics, the paper shows that randomized tax schemes are undesirable if preferences exhibit a property of weakly decreasing risk aversion according to the multidimensional risk aversion concept of Hellwig (2004). The property of decreasing risk aversion also implies uniqueness of the optimal income tax schedule and continuity in cases where the type distribution has a continuous density.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6V76-4MVDVD7-1/2/eab3d473a5aeac414c728b8652cde17f
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Public Economics.

Volume (Year): 91 (2007)
Issue (Month): 3-4 (April)
Pages: 791-816

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Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:91:y:2007:i:3-4:p:791-816
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578

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  1. Maskin, Eric S & Riley, John G, 1984. "Optimal Auctions with Risk Averse Buyers," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(6), pages 1473-1518, November.
  2. Steven Matthews & John Moore, 1985. "Monopoly Provision of Quality and Warranties: An Exploration in the Theory of Multidimensional Screening," Discussion Papers 661, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  3. Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1987. "Pareto efficient and optimal taxation and the new new welfare economics," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 15, pages 991-1042 Elsevier.
  4. Dagobert L. Brito & Jonathan H. Hamilton & Steven M. Slutsky & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1990. "Randomization in Optimal Income Tax Schedules," NBER Working Papers 3289, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1982. "Self-selection and Pareto efficient taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 213-240, March.
  6. Martin Hellwig, 2005. "A Contribution to the Theory of Optimal Utilitarian Income Taxation," Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2005_23, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
  7. Hammond, Peter J, 1979. "Straightforward Individual Incentive Compatibility in Large Economies," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(2), pages 263-82, April.
  8. Weibull, Jorgen W., 1989. "A note on the continuity of incentive schedules," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 239-243, July.
  9. Weiss, Laurence, 1976. "The Desirability of Cheating Incentives and Randomness in the Optimal Income Tax," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(6), pages 1343-52, December.
  10. Mirrlees, J. A., 1976. "Optimal tax theory : A synthesis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 327-358, November.
  11. Milgrom, P. & Shannon, C., 1991. "Monotone Comparative Statics," Papers 11, Stanford - Institute for Thoretical Economics.
  12. Kihlstrom, Richard E. & Mirman, Leonard J., 1974. "Risk aversion with many commodities," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 361-388, July.
  13. Mirrlees, James A, 1971. "An Exploration in the Theory of Optimum Income Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(114), pages 175-208, April.
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