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The efficiency and welfare effects of tax reform: are fewer tax brackets better than more?

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  • David Altig
  • Charles T. Carlstrom

Abstract

A comparison of a simple two-bracket income tax code with an approximation to traditional structures that entail steeply rising marginal tax rates, showing that the simpler rate structures are not necessarily more efficient than alternatives with many, highly progressive brackets.

Suggested Citation

  • David Altig & Charles T. Carlstrom, 1994. "The efficiency and welfare effects of tax reform: are fewer tax brackets better than more?," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue Q IV, pages 30-42.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedcer:y:1994:i:qiv:p:30-42:n:v.30no.4
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Auerbach, Alan J & Kotlikoff, Laurence J & Skinner, Jonathan, 1983. "The Efficiency Gains from Dynamic Tax Reform," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 24(1), pages 81-100, February.
    2. Eichenbaum, Martin & Hansen, Lars Peter, 1990. "Estimating Models with Intertemporal Substitution Using Aggregate Time Series Data," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 8(1), pages 53-69, January.
    3. Benveniste, L M & Scheinkman, J A, 1979. "On the Differentiability of the Value Function in Dynamic Models of Economics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(3), pages 727-732, May.
    4. Paul Beaudry & Eric van Wincoop, 1992. "Alternative specifications for consumption and the estimation of the intertemporal elasticity of substitution," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 69, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    5. MaCurdy, Thomas E, 1981. "An Empirical Model of Labor Supply in a Life-Cycle Setting," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(6), pages 1059-1085, December.
    6. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-1370, November.
    7. Slemrod, Joel, 1990. "Optimal Taxation and Optimal Tax Systems," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 4(1), pages 157-178, Winter.
    8. Killingsworth, Mark R. & Heckman, James J., 1987. "Female labor supply: A survey," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & R. Layard (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 103-204 Elsevier.
    9. Pencavel, John, 1987. "Labor supply of men: A survey," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & R. Layard (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 1, pages 3-102 Elsevier.
    10. Rogerson, Richard & Rupert, Peter, 1991. "New estimates of intertemporal substitution : The effect of corner solutions for year-round workers," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 255-269, April.
    11. Hansen, Lars Peter & Singleton, Kenneth J, 1982. "Generalized Instrumental Variables Estimation of Nonlinear Rational Expectations Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1269-1286, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Arindam Das-Gupta & Ira Gang, 2000. "Decomposing Revenue Effects of Tax Evasion and Tax Structure Changes," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 7(2), pages 177-194, March.

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