IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/oup/qjecon/v129y2014i4p1995-2030.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Tax me if you can! Optimal Nonlinear Income Tax Between Competing Governments

Author

Listed:
  • Etienne Lehmann
  • Laurent Simula
  • Alain Trannoy

Abstract

We investigate how potential tax-driven migrations modify the Mirrlees income tax schedule when two countries play Nash. The social objective is the maximin and preferences are quasi-linear in consumption. Individuals differ both in skills and migration costs, which are continuously distributed. We derive the optimal marginal income tax rates at the equilibrium, extending the Diamond-Saez formula. We show that the level and the slope of the semi-elasticity of migration (on which we lack empirical evidence) are crucial to derive the shape of optimal marginal income tax. JEL Codes: D82, H21, H87, F22.

Suggested Citation

  • Etienne Lehmann & Laurent Simula & Alain Trannoy, 2014. "Tax me if you can! Optimal Nonlinear Income Tax Between Competing Governments," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 129(4), pages 1995-2030.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:qjecon:v:129:y:2014:i:4:p:1995-2030
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/qje/qju027
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.
    ---><---

    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. Charles M. Tiebout, 1956. "A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 416-416.
    2. Tomer Blumkin & Efraim Sadka & Yotam Shem-Tov, 2012. "International Tax Competition: Zero Tax Rate at the Top Re-established," CESifo Working Paper Series 3820, CESifo.
    3. 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.
    4. Juan Carlos Suárez Serrato & Owen Zidar, 2016. "Who Benefits from State Corporate Tax Cuts? A Local Labor Markets Approach with Heterogeneous Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(9), pages 2582-2624, September.
    5. Emmanuel Saez & Joel Slemrod & Seth H. Giertz, 2012. "The Elasticity of Taxable Income with Respect to Marginal Tax Rates: A Critical Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 50(1), pages 3-50, March.
    6. Blackorby,Charles & Bossert,Walter & Donaldson,David J., 2005. "Population Issues in Social Choice Theory, Welfare Economics, and Ethics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521532587, October.
    7. Bierbrauer, Felix & Brett, Craig & Weymark, John A., 2013. "Strategic nonlinear income tax competition with perfect labor mobility," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 292-311.
    8. Gruber, Jon & Saez, Emmanuel, 2002. "The elasticity of taxable income: evidence and implications," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 1-32, April.
    9. Leite-Monteiro, Manuel, 1997. "Redistributive policy with labour mobility across countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 229-244, August.
    10. Gwenael Piaser, 2003. "Labor Mobility and Income Tax Competition," Public Economics 0302002, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Casey Rothschild & Florian Scheuer, 2013. "Redistributive Taxation in the Roy Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 128(2), pages 623-668.
    12. Vilen Lipatov & Alfons J. Weichenrieder & Alfons Weichenrieder, 2010. "Optimal Income Taxation with Tax Competition," CESifo Working Paper Series 3108, CESifo.
    13. Thomas Liebig & Patrick A. Puhani & Alfonso Sousa‐Poza, 2007. "Taxation And Internal Migration—Evidence From The Swiss Census Using Community‐Level Variation In Income Tax Rates," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(4), pages 807-836, October.
    14. Barro, Robert J & Sala-i-Martin, Xavier, 1992. "Convergence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(2), pages 223-251, April.
      • Barro, R.J. & Sala-I-Martin, X., 1991. "Convergence," Papers 645, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
      • Barro, Robert J. & Sala-i-Martin, Xavier, 1992. "Convergence," Scholarly Articles 3451299, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    15. 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.
    16. Guy Laroque, 2005. "Income Maintenance and Labor Force Participation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(2), pages 341-376, March.
    17. 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.
    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. Krugman, Paul, 1991. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 483-499, June.
    20. Wilson, John D., 1982. "Optimal linear income taxation in the presence of emigration," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 363-379, August.
    21. Atkinson, A. B., 1990. "Public economics and the economic public," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(2-3), pages 225-248, May.
    22. Mirrlees, J. A., 1982. "Migration and optimal income taxes," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 319-341, August.
    23. Huber, Bernd, 1999. "Tax competition and tax coordination in an optimum income tax model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(3), pages 441-458, March.
    24. Petter Osmundsen, 1999. "Taxing Internationally Mobile Individuals—A Case of Countervailing Incentives," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 6(2), pages 149-164, May.
    25. Jonathan Hamilton & Pierre Pestieau, 2005. "Optimal Income Taxation and the Ability Distribution: Implications for Migration Equilibria," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 12(1), pages 29-45, January.
    26. Martin F. Hellwig, 2010. "Incentive Problems With Unidimensional Hidden Characteristics: A Unified Approach," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(4), pages 1201-1237, July.
    27. Henrik Jacobsen Kleven & Camille Landais & Esben Schultz, 2014. "Migration and Wage Effects of Taxing Top Earners: Evidence from the Foreigners' Tax Scheme in Denmark," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 129(1), pages 333-378.
    28. George R. Heaton, 1999. "Book:," Journal of Industrial Ecology, Yale University, vol. 3(4), pages 150-152, October.
    29. Etienne Lehmann & Claudio Lucifora & Simone Moriconi & Bruno Van der Linden, 2016. "Beyond the labour income tax wedge: the unemployment-reducing effect of tax progressivity," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 23(3), pages 454-489, June.
    30. Emmanuel Saez, 2001. "Using Elasticities to Derive Optimal Income Tax Rates," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 68(1), pages 205-229.
    31. Robert J. Barro & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1991. "Convergence across States and Regions," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 22(1), pages 107-182.
    32. Laurent Simula & Alain Trannoy, 2012. "Shall we keep the highly skilled at home? The optimal income tax perspective," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 39(4), pages 751-782, October.
    33. Emmanuel Saez, 2002. "Optimal Income Transfer Programs: Intensive versus Extensive Labor Supply Responses," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(3), pages 1039-1073.
    34. Wilson, John D., 1980. "The effect of potential emigration on the optimal linear income tax," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 339-353, December.
    35. Henrik Jacobsen Kleven & Camille Landais & Emmanuel Saez, 2013. "Taxation and International Migration of Superstars: Evidence from the European Football Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(5), pages 1892-1924, August.
    36. Jean-Charles Rochet & Lars A. Stole, 2002. "Nonlinear Pricing with Random Participation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(1), pages 277-311.
    37. Maggi G. & Rodriguez-Clare A., 1995. "On Countervailing Incentives," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 238-263, June.
    38. repec:oup:qjecon:v:129:y:2013:i:1:p:333-378 is not listed on IDEAS
    39. Massimo Morelli & Huanxing Yang & Lixin Ye, 2012. "Competitive Nonlinear Taxation and Constitutional Choice," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(1), pages 142-175, February.
    40. Young, Cristobal & Varner, Charles, 2011. "Millionaire Migration and State Taxation of Top Incomes: Evidence From a Natural Experiment," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 64(2), pages 255-283, June.
    41. Diamond, Peter A, 1998. "Optimal Income Taxation: An Example with a U-Shaped Pattern of Optimal Marginal Tax Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 83-95, March.
    42. Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1982. "Self-selection and Pareto efficient taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 213-240, March.
    43. Wilson, John D., 1982. "Optimal income taxation and migration : A world welfare point of view," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 381-397, August.
    44. (IFS), Institute for Fiscal Studies (ed.), 2010. "Dimensions of Tax Design: The Mirrlees Review," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199553754.
    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. Tóbiás, Áron, 2016. "Income redistribution in open economies," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 19-34.
    2. Bierbrauer, Felix & Brett, Craig & Weymark, John A., 2013. "Strategic nonlinear income tax competition with perfect labor mobility," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 292-311.
    3. 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.
    4. Alejandro Esteller & Amedeo Piolatto & Matthew D. Rablen, 2016. "Taxing high-income earners: tax avoidance and mobility," IFS Working Papers W16/07, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    5. Dai, Darong & Gao, Wenzheng & Tian, Guoqiang, 2020. "Relativity, mobility, and optimal nonlinear income taxation in an open economy," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 172(C), pages 57-82.
    6. Massimo Morelli & Huanxing Yang & Lixin Ye, 2012. "Competitive Nonlinear Taxation and Constitutional Choice," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(1), pages 142-175, February.
    7. Bierbrauer Felix J., 2016. "Effizienz oder Gerechtigkeit?," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, De Gruyter, vol. 17(1), pages 2-24, April.
    8. Tomer Blumkin & Efraim Sadka & Yotam Shem-Tov, 2015. "International tax competition: zero tax rate at the top re-established," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 22(5), pages 760-776, October.
    9. Laurent Simula & Alain Trannoy, 2012. "Shall we keep the highly skilled at home? The optimal income tax perspective," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 39(4), pages 751-782, October.
    10. Blumkin, Tomer & Sadka, Efraim & Shem-Tov, Yotam, 2011. "Labor Migration and the Case for Flat Tax," Foerder Institute for Economic Research Working Papers 275759, Tel-Aviv University > Foerder Institute for Economic Research.
    11. Kessing, Sebastian G. & Lipatov, Vilen & Zoubek, J. Malte, 2020. "Optimal taxation under regional inequality," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 126(C).
    12. Felix Bierbrauer, 2016. "Effizienz oder Gerechtigkeit? Ungleiche Einkommen, ungleiche Vermögen und die Theorie der optimalen Besteuerung," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2016_03, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
    13. Laurent Simula, 2013. "Tax Competition and Migration," 2013 Meeting Papers 1126, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    14. 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.
    15. Michel Poitevin, 2018. "Concurrence fiscale et biens publics," CIRANO Project Reports 2018rp-09, CIRANO.
    16. Vilen Lipatov & Alfons Weichenrieder, 2015. "Welfare and labor supply implications of tax competition for mobile labor," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 45(2), pages 457-477, September.
    17. Mathilde Munoz, 2019. "Do European Top Earners React to Labour Taxation Through Migration ?," World Inequality Lab Working Papers hal-02876987, HAL.
    18. Mathilde Munoz, 2019. "Do European Top Earners React to Labour Taxation Through Migration ?," Working Papers hal-02876987, HAL.
    19. Engelmann, Dirk & Janeba, Eckhard & Mechtenberg, Lydia & Wehrhöfer, Nils, 2019. "Preferences over Taxation of High Income Individuals: Evidence from a Survey Experiment," VfS Annual Conference 2019 (Leipzig): 30 Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall - Democracy and Market Economy 203648, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    20. Mathilde Muñoz, 2021. "Do European Top Earners React to Labour Taxation Through Migration ?," PSE Working Papers halshs-03252899, HAL.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • H87 - Public Economics - - Miscellaneous Issues - - - International Fiscal Issues; International Public Goods

    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:oup:qjecon:v:129:y:2014:i:4:p:1995-2030. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: .

    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: Oxford University Press or Christopher F. Baum (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.