IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/pubeco/v91y2007i7-8p1449-1477.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

A contribution to the theory of optimal utilitarian income taxation

Author

Listed:
  • Hellwig, Martin F.

Abstract

The paper provides a new proof of the positivity of the optimal marginal income tax, in a more general model, under weaker assumptions. The analysis focusses on the (weakly) relaxed problem in which upward incentive constraints are replaced by a monotonicity condition on consumption. Without upward incentive constraints, nonnegativity of the optimal marginal income tax is straightforward; strict positivity follows from an assumption on the desirability of redistributing leisure. The resulting allocation is incentive compatible, and is optimal for the original income tax problem. The argument is the same for distributions with finitely many types and for a continuous type distribution.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Hellwig, Martin F., 2007. "A contribution to the theory of optimal utilitarian income taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(7-8), pages 1449-1477, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:91:y:2007:i:7-8:p:1449-1477
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0047-2727(07)00029-1
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Hellwig, Martin F., 2007. "A contribution to the theory of optimal utilitarian income taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(7-8), pages 1449-1477, August.
    2. Matthews, Steven & Moore, John, 1987. "Monopoly Provision of Quality and Warranties: An Exploration in the Theory of Multidimensional Screening," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(2), pages 441-467, March.
    3. Guesnerie,Roger, 1998. "A Contribution to the Pure Theory of Taxation," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521629560, November.
    4. Guy Laroque, 2005. "Income Maintenance and Labor Force Participation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(2), pages 341-376, March.
    5. Seade, J. K., 1977. "On the shape of optimal tax schedules," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 203-235, April.
    6. Brunner, Johann K., 1993. "A note on the optimum income tax," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 445-451, March.
    7. Martin Hellwig, 2008. "A Maximum Principle for Control Problems with Monotonicity Constraints," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2008_04, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
    8. Emmanuel Saez, 2002. "Optimal Income Transfer Programs: Intensive versus Extensive Labor Supply Responses," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 117(3), pages 1039-1073.
    9. Stefan Homburg, 2001. "The Optimal Income Tax: Restatement and Extensions," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 58(4), pages 363-395, November.
    10. Milgrom, Paul & Shannon, Chris, 1994. "Monotone Comparative Statics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(1), pages 157-180, January.
    11. Ebert, Udo, 1992. "A reexamination of the optimal nonlinear income tax," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 47-73, October.
    12. Timothy Besley & Stephen Coate, 1995. "The Design of Income Maintenance Programmes," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 62(2), pages 187-221.
    13. Hellwig, Martin F., 2007. "The undesirability of randomized income taxation under decreasing risk aversion," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(3-4), pages 791-816, April.
    14. Jesus Seade, 1982. "On the Sign of the Optimum Marginal Income Tax," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 49(4), pages 637-643.
    15. Guesnerie, Roger & Seade, Jesus, 1982. "Nonlinear pricing in a finite economy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 157-179, March.
    16. Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1982. "Self-selection and Pareto efficient taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 213-240, March.
    17. Philippe Choné & Guy Laroque, 2006. "Should Low Skilled Work be Subsidized ?," Working Papers 2006-08, Center for Research in Economics and Statistics.
    18. Mirrlees, J. A., 1976. "Optimal tax theory : A synthesis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 327-358, November.
    19. J. A. Mirrlees, 1971. "An Exploration in the Theory of Optimum Income Taxation," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 38(2), pages 175-208.
    20. Peter J. Hammond, 1979. "Straightforward Individual Incentive Compatibility in Large Economies," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 46(2), pages 263-282.
    21. Weymark, John A., 1986. "A reduced-form optimal nonlinear income tax problem," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 199-217, July.
    22. Guesnerie, Roger & Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 1984. "A complete solution to a class of principal-agent problems with an application to the control of a self-managed firm," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 329-369, December.
    23. Christiansen, Vidar, 1983. "Some Important Properties of the Social Marginal Utility of Income," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 85(3), pages 359-371.
    24. Hellwig, Martin F., 1986. "The optimal linear income tax revisited," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 163-179, November.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Martin Hellwig, 2004. "Optimal Income Taxation, Public-Goods Provision and Public-Sector Pricing: A Contribution to the Foundations of Public Economics," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2004_14, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
    2. Robin Boadway & Zhen Song & Jean‐François Tremblay, 2017. "Optimal Income Taxation and Job Choice," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 119(4), pages 910-938, October.
    3. Jacquet, Laurence & Lehmann, Etienne & Van der Linden, Bruno, 2013. "Optimal redistributive taxation with both extensive and intensive responses," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 148(5), pages 1770-1805.
    4. Oztek, Abdullah Selim, 2019. "A Characterization for Marginal Income Tax Schedules," MPRA Paper 103046, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 02 Dec 2019.
    5. Louis Kaplow, 2007. "Optimal income transfers," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 14(3), pages 295-325, June.
    6. Hellwig, Martin F., 2007. "The undesirability of randomized income taxation under decreasing risk aversion," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(3-4), pages 791-816, April.
    7. Craig Brett, 2007. "Optimal nonlinear taxes for families," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 14(3), pages 225-261, June.
    8. Laurence Jacquet & Etienne lehmann & Bruno Van Der Linden, 2012. "Signing distortions in optimal tax or other adverse selection models with random participation," THEMA Working Papers 2012-27, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
    9. Laurent Simula & Alain Trannoy, 2023. "Bunching in rank-dependent optimal income tax schedules," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 60(1), pages 237-263, January.
    10. Boadway, Robin & Jacquet, Laurence, 2008. "Optimal marginal and average income taxation under maximin," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 143(1), pages 425-441, November.
    11. Martin Hellwig, 2010. "Utilitarian mechanism design for an excludable public good," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 44(3), pages 361-397, September.
    12. Fleurbaey, Marc & Gary-Bobo, Robert J. & Maguain, Denis, 2002. "Education, distributive justice, and adverse selection," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 113-150, April.
    13. Lehmann, Etienne & Parmentier, Alexis & Van Der Linden, Bruno, 2011. "Optimal income taxation with endogenous participation and search unemployment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(11), pages 1523-1537.
    14. Choné, Philippe & Laroque, Guy, 2011. "Optimal taxation in the extensive model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 146(2), pages 425-453, March.
    15. Brett, Craig & Weymark, John A., 2017. "Voting over selfishly optimal nonlinear income tax schedules," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 172-188.
    16. Carlos E. da Costa, 2009. "Yet Another Reason to Tax Goods," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 12(2), pages 363-376, April.
    17. Stefan Homburg, 2001. "The Optimal Income Tax: Restatement and Extensions," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 58(4), pages 363-395, November.
    18. Simula, Laurent & Trannoy, Alain, 2010. "Optimal income tax under the threat of migration by top-income earners," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(1-2), pages 163-173, February.
    19. Konishi, Hideo, 1995. "A Pareto-improving commodity tax reform under a smooth nonlinear income tax," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 413-446, March.
    20. Laurent Simula, 2010. "Optimal nonlinear income tax and nonlinear pricing: optimality conditions and comparative static properties," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 35(2), pages 199-220, July.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:91:y:2007:i:7-8:p:1449-1477. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    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 CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Catherine Liu (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578 .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.