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L'imposition optimale du revenu : une application au cas français

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  • Antoine d'Autume

Abstract

[fre] Nous nous intéressons à l'imposition du revenu, entendue dans un sens très large puisque nous y incluons l'impôt négatif que constitue le versement de subventions accordées sous conditions de revenu. Dans le barème actuel, les taux marginaux d'imposition ont un profil en U. La progressivité de l'impôt se traduit par des taux élevés au sommet de la distribution des revenus. Mais le caractère d'allocation différentielle du RMI fait aussi apparaître des taux égaux à l'unité au bas de la distribution. Bien entendu, toute action redistributive s'accompagne d'effets désincitatifs dès lors que l'imposition est assise sur le revenu et non sur les caractéristiques personnelles des individus. Le problème est donc de trouver le meilleur compromis entre redistribution et incitation à l'effort. Tel est l'objectif des modèles d'imposition optimale à la Mirrlees. Nous reprenons ici ce type d'analyse en l'appliquant au cas français, sur la base de données fiscales empruntées à B. Salanié. Les agents sont supposés ne différer que par un niveau individuel de capital humain, supposé exogène. Les deux paramètres importants sont alors l'élasticité de l'offre de travail, qui mesure l'ampleur des effets désincitatifs et le paramètre de concernement qui caractérise l'intensité de la redistribution souhaitée. Des simulations numériques permettent de déterminer le barème d'impôt optimal pour une large gamme de valeurs des paramètres. La conclusion générale est que des marges importantes de redistribution existent, dès lors que l'élasticité de l'offre de travail conserve une valeur raisonnable, assez faible. Une deuxième partie de l'article présente en détail les méthodes théoriques employées, une attention particulière étant portée au phénomène de bouchonnement. [eng] We are concerned with income taxation in a broad sense, including elements of negative income tax such as various subsidies conditional to income. The existing tax schedule is characterized by U-shape marginal tax rates. Progressive taxation implies high marginal rates at the top. Minimum income provision also implies a unit marginal tax rate at the bottom. Of course, any redistribution gives rise to disincentive effects as soon as taxation rests on perceived income rather than unobservable personal characteristics. The problem therefore is to find the best compromise between redistribution and incentives. This is the aim of optimal taxation à la Mirrlees. We apply this approach to French fiscal datas, collected by B. Salanié. Agents are supposed to differ only through their individual human capital, which is treated as exogenous. The analysis is dependent on two important parameters : labor supply elasticity, which measures the size of disincentive effects, and the parameter of an Atkinson collective utility function, which describes the concern for redistribution. Numerical simulations determine the optimal tax schedule, for a broad set of parameters. The general conclusion is that important margins for redistribution exist, as soon as labor supply elasticity keeps a low enough and reasonable value. The second part of the article describes in detail the theoretical methods, with special attention to the case of bunching.

Suggested Citation

  • Antoine d'Autume, 2001. "L'imposition optimale du revenu : une application au cas français," Revue Française d'Économie, Programme National Persée, vol. 15(3), pages 3-63.
  • Handle: RePEc:prs:rfreco:rfeco_0769-0479_2001_num_15_3_1495
    DOI: 10.3406/rfeco.2001.1495
    Note: DOI:10.3406/rfeco.2001.1495
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Seade, J. K., 1977. "On the shape of optimal tax schedules," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 203-235, April.
    2. Ebert, Udo, 1992. "A reexamination of the optimal nonlinear income tax," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 47-73, October.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. Efraim Sadka, 1976. "On Income Distribution, Incentive Effects and Optimal Income Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 43(2), pages 261-267.
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    Cited by:

    1. Laurent Simula & Alain Trannoy, 2006. "L'impact du vote avec les pieds sur le barème d'imposition optimale du revenu. Une illustration sur données françaises," Revue économique, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 57(3), pages 517-527.
    2. Philippe Mongin, 2008. "Sur le revenu de solidarité active," Revue d'économie politique, Dalloz, vol. 118(4), pages 433-474.
    3. Kalina Koleva & Jean-Marie Monnier, 2006. "La nature juridique de l'impôt dans l'ancienne et la nouvelle économie du droit fiscal," Cahiers de la Maison des Sciences Economiques r06057, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1).
    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.

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    JEL classification:

    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation

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