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Optimal grouping of commodities for indirect taxation

  • Belan, Pascal
  • Gauthier, Stéphane
  • Laroque, Guy

Indirect taxes contribute to a sizeable part of government revenues around the world. Typically there are few different tax rates, and the goods are partitioned into classes associated with each rate. The present paper studies how to group the goods in these few classes. We take as given the number of tax rates and study the optimal aggregation (or classification) of commodities of the fiscal authority in a second best setup. The results are illustrated on data from the United Kingdom.

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

Volume (Year): 92 (2008)
Issue (Month): 7 (July)
Pages: 1738-1750

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Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:92:y:2008:i:7:p:1738-1750
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  1. Cremer, Helmuth & Gahvari, Firouz, 1995. "Uncertainty and optimal taxation: In defense of commodity taxes," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 291-310, February.
  2. Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1982. "Self-selection and Pareto efficient taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 213-240, March.
  3. 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.
  4. Mirrlees, J. A., 1976. "Optimal tax theory : A synthesis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 327-358, November.
  5. Belan, Pascal & Gauthier, Stephane, 2006. "Optimal indirect taxation with a restricted number of tax rates," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(6-7), pages 1201-1213, August.
  6. Kaplow, Louis, 2006. "On the undesirability of commodity taxation even when income taxation is not optimal," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(6-7), pages 1235-1250, August.
  7. Gordon, James P. F., 1989. "Tax reform via commodity grouping," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 67-81, June.
  8. Emmanuel Saez, 2000. "The Desirability of Commodity Taxation under Non-Linear Income Taxation and Heterogeneous Tastes," NBER Working Papers 8029, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Emmanuel Saez, 2002. "Direct or Indirect Tax Instruments for Redistribution: Short-run versus Long-run," NBER Working Papers 8833, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. 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).
  11. Guy Laroque, 2004. "Indirect Taxation is Superfluous under Separability and Taste Homogeneity : A Simple Proof," Working Papers 2004-23, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  12. Blundell, Richard & Robin, Jean Marc, 1999. "Estimation in Large and Disaggregated Demand Systems: An Estimator for Conditionally Linear Systems," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(3), pages 209-32, May-June.
  13. Belan, Pascal & Gauthier, Stephane, 2004. "Optimal commodity grouping in a partial equilibrium framework," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 49-54, April.
  14. Kopczuk, Wojciech, 2003. "A note on optimal taxation in the presence of externalities," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 81-86, July.
  15. Browning, Martin & Meghir, Costas, 1991. "The Effects of Male and Female Labor Supply on Commodity Demands," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(4), pages 925-51, July.
  16. Naito, Hisahiro, 1999. "Re-examination of uniform commodity taxes under a non-linear income tax system and its implication for production efficiency," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 165-188, February.
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