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Optimal nonlinear income taxation with learning-by-doing

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  • Krause, Alan

Abstract

This paper examines a two-period model of optimal nonlinear income taxation with learning-by-doing, in which second-period wages are an increasing function of first-period labour supply. We consider the cases when the government can and cannot commit to its second-period tax policy. In both cases, the canonical Mirrlees/Stiglitz results regarding optimal marginal tax rates generally no longer apply. In particular, if the government cannot commit and each consumer's skill-type is revealed, it is optimal to distort the high-skill type's labour supply downwards through a positive marginal tax rate to relax an incentive-compatibility constraint. Our analysis therefore identifies a setting in which a positive marginal tax rate on the highest-skill individual can be justified, despite its depressing effect on both labour supply and wages.

Suggested Citation

  • Krause, Alan, 2009. "Optimal nonlinear income taxation with learning-by-doing," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(9-10), pages 1098-1110, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:93:y:2009:i:9-10:p:1098-1110
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. O'Donoghue, Ted & Rabin, Matthew, 2006. "Optimal sin taxes," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(10-11), pages 1825-1849, November.
    2. Brett, Craig & Weymark, John A., 2008. "The impact of changing skill levels on optimal nonlinear income taxes," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(7), pages 1765-1771, July.
    3. Marcus Berliant & John O. Ledyard, 2014. "Optimal Dynamic Nonlinear Income Taxes with No Commitment," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 16(2), pages 196-221, April.
    4. 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.
    5. Auerbach, Alan J., 2006. "Budget windows, sunsets, and fiscal control," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1-2), pages 87-100, January.
    6. Laurent Simula, 2007. "Optimality conditions and comparative static properties of non-linear income taxes revisited," PSE Working Papers halshs-00588074, HAL.
    7. Martin, Philippe & Rogers, Carol Ann, 2000. " Optimal Stabilization Policy in the Presence of Learning by Doing," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 2(2), pages 213-241.
    8. Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1982. "Self-selection and Pareto efficient taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 213-240, March.
    9. Thomas Gaube, 2007. "Optimum Taxation of Each Year's Income," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 9(1), pages 127-150, February.
    10. Craig Brett & John A. Weymark, 2008. "Public Good Provision And The Comparative Statics Of Optimal Nonlinear Income Taxation," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 49(1), pages 255-290, February.
    11. Weymark, John A, 1987. "Comparative Static Properties of Optimal Nonlinear Income Taxes," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(5), pages 1165-1185, September.
    12. J. A. Mirrlees, 1971. "An Exploration in the Theory of Optimum Income Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(2), pages 175-208.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Jang-Ting Guo & Alan Krause, 2018. "Changing social preferences and optimal redistributive taxation," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(1), pages 73-92.
    2. Guo, Jang-Ting & Krause, Alan, 2015. "Dynamic nonlinear income taxation with quasi-hyperbolic discounting and no commitment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 101-119.
    3. Alan Krause, 2015. "On Redistributive Taxation under the Threat of High-Skill Emigration," Discussion Papers 15/21, Department of Economics, University of York.
    4. repec:bla:scandj:v:119:y:2017:i:4:p:910-938 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Guo, Jang-Ting & Krause, Alan, 2015. "Dynamic income taxation without commitment: Comparing alternative tax systems," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 319-326.
    6. repec:ebl:ecbull:eb-17-00175 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Shigeo Morita, 2014. "Optimal income taxation without commitment: policy implications of durable goods," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 14-32, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP).
    8. 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.
    9. William Peterman, 2016. "The effect of endogenous human capital accumulation on optimal taxation," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 21, pages 46-71, July.
    10. Craig Brett & John Weymark, 2008. "Optimal Nonlinear Taxation of Income and Savings without Commitment," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0805, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
    11. Shigeo Morita, 2014. "The time consistent public goods provision," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 14-31, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP).

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