IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/spr/series/v11y2020i4d10.1007_s13209-020-00226-0.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Optimal progressivity of personal income tax: a general equilibrium evaluation for Spain

Author

Listed:
  • Darío Serrano-Puente

    (Banco de España)

Abstract

Is the Spanish economy positioned at its optimal progressivity level in personal income tax? This article quantifies the aggregate, distributional, and welfare consequences of moving toward such an optimal level. A heterogeneous households general equilibrium model featuring both life cycle and dynastic elements is calibrated to replicate some characteristics of the Spanish economy and used to evaluate potential reforms of the tax system. The findings suggest that increasing progressivity would be optimal, even though it would involve an efficiency loss. The optimal reform of the tax schedule would reduce wealth and income inequality at the cost of negative effects on capital, labor, and output. Finally, these theoretical results are evaluated using tax microdata and describe a current scenario where the income-top households typically face suboptimal effective average tax rates.

Suggested Citation

  • Darío Serrano-Puente, 2020. "Optimal progressivity of personal income tax: a general equilibrium evaluation for Spain," SERIEs: Journal of the Spanish Economic Association, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 11(4), pages 407-455, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:series:v:11:y:2020:i:4:d:10.1007_s13209-020-00226-0
    DOI: 10.1007/s13209-020-00226-0
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://link.springer.com/10.1007/s13209-020-00226-0
    File Function: Abstract
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1007/s13209-020-00226-0?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Marcet, Albert & Obiols-Homs, Francesc & Weil, Philippe, 2007. "Incomplete markets, labor supply and capital accumulation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(8), pages 2621-2635, November.
    2. Nezih Guner & Javier López-Segovia & Roberto Ramos, 2020. "Reforming the individual income tax in Spain," SERIEs: Journal of the Spanish Economic Association, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 11(4), pages 369-406, December.
    3. Alonso-Borrego, César & Fernández-Villaverde, Jesús & Galdon-Sanchez, Jose Enrique, 2004. "Evaluating Labor Market Reforms: A General Equilibrium Approach," IZA Discussion Papers 1129, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Brindusa Anghel & Henrique Basso & Olympia Bover & José María Casado & Laura Hospido & Mario Izquierdo & Ivan A. Kataryniuk & Aitor Lacuesta & José Manuel Montero & Elena Vozmediano, 2018. "Income, consumption and wealth inequality in Spain," SERIEs: Journal of the Spanish Economic Association, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 351-387, November.
    5. Martin Andreasen, 2010. "How to Maximize the Likelihood Function for a DSGE Model," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 35(2), pages 127-154, February.
    6. Marta González-Torrabadella & Josep Pijoan-Mas, 2006. "Flat tax reforms: a general equilibrium evaluation for Spain," Investigaciones Economicas, Fundación SEPI, vol. 30(2), pages 317-351, May.
    7. Edward C. Prescott, 2004. "Why do Americans work so much more than Europeans?," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, vol. 28(Jul), pages 2-13.
    8. Miguel Viegas & Ana Ribeiro, 2015. "Welfare and inequality effects of debt consolidation processes: the case of Spain, 1996–2007," SERIEs: Journal of the Spanish Economic Association, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 6(4), pages 479-496, November.
    9. Anil Kumar, 2005. "Lifecycle consistent estimation of effect of taxes on female labor supply in the US: evidence from panel data," Working Papers 0504, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
    10. Blundell, Richard & Macurdy, Thomas, 1999. "Labor supply: A review of alternative approaches," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 27, pages 1559-1695, Elsevier.
    11. Jonathan Heathcote & Kjetil Storesletten & Giovanni L. Violante, 2017. "Optimal Tax Progressivity: An Analytical Framework," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 132(4), pages 1693-1754.
    12. 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.
    13. S. Rao Aiyagari, 1994. "Uninsured Idiosyncratic Risk and Aggregate Saving," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(3), pages 659-684.
    14. Raj Chetty, 2012. "Bounds on Elasticities With Optimization Frictions: A Synthesis of Micro and Macro Evidence on Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 80(3), pages 969-1018, May.
    15. Jonathan Heathcote & Kjetil Storesletten & Giovanni L. Violante, 2010. "The Macroeconomic Implications of Rising Wage Inequality in the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(4), pages 681-722, August.
    16. J. Ignacio Conde-Ruiz & Clara I. González, 2016. "From Bismarck to Beveridge: the other pension reform in Spain," SERIEs: Journal of the Spanish Economic Association, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 7(4), pages 461-490, November.
    17. Esteban García-Miralles & Nezih Guner & Roberto Ramos, 2019. "The Spanish personal income tax: facts and parametric estimates," SERIEs: Journal of the Spanish Economic Association, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 10(3), pages 439-477, November.
    18. Conesa, Juan Carlos & Krueger, Dirk, 2006. "On the optimal progressivity of the income tax code," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(7), pages 1425-1450, October.
    19. Javier Díaz-Giménez & Josep Pijoan-Mas, 2019. "Investment expensing and progressivity in flat-tax reforms," SERIEs: Journal of the Spanish Economic Association, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 10(3), pages 365-399, November.
    20. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/8623 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. Juan Carlos Conesa & Sagiri Kitao & Dirk Krueger, 2009. "Taxing Capital? Not a Bad Idea after All!," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 25-48, March.
    22. Mariacristina De Nardi, 2004. "Wealth Inequality and Intergenerational Links," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(3), pages 743-768.
    23. Hopenhayn, Hugo A & Prescott, Edward C, 1992. "Stochastic Monotonicity and Stationary Distributions for Dynamic Economies," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(6), pages 1387-1406, November.
    24. Gouveia, Miguel & Strauss, Robert P., 1994. "Effective Federal Individual Tax Functions: An Exploratory Empirical Analysis," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 47(2), pages 317-339, June.
    25. Susumu Imai & Michael P. Keane, 2004. "Intertemporal Labor Supply and Human Capital Accumulation," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(2), pages 601-641, May.
    26. Per Krusell & Anthony A. Smith & Jr., 1998. "Income and Wealth Heterogeneity in the Macroeconomy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(5), pages 867-896, October.
    27. Altonji, Joseph G, 1986. "Intertemporal Substitution in Labor Supply: Evidence from Micro Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages 176-215, June.
    28. Gouveia, Miguel & Strauss, Robert P., 1994. "Effective Federal Individual Tax Functions: An Exploratory Empirical Analysis," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 47(2), pages 317-39, June.
    29. Robert Kirkby, 2017. "A Toolkit for Value Function Iteration," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 49(1), pages 1-15, January.
    30. Ozan Bakis & Baris Kaymak & Markus Poschke, 2015. "Transitional Dynamics and the Optimal Progressivity of Income Redistribution," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 18(3), pages 679-693, July.
    31. Huggett, Mark, 1993. "The risk-free rate in heterogeneous-agent incomplete-insurance economies," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 17(5-6), pages 953-969.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Nezih Guner & Javier López-Segovia & Roberto Ramos, 2020. "Reforming the individual income tax in Spain," SERIEs: Journal of the Spanish Economic Association, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 11(4), pages 369-406, December.

    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. Javier Díaz-Giménez & Josep Pijoan-Mas, 2006. "Flat Tax Reforms in the U.S.: A Boon for the Income Poor," Working Papers wp2006_0611, CEMFI.
    2. Kitao, Sagiri, 2010. "Short-run fiscal policy: Welfare, redistribution and aggregate effects in the short and long-run," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 34(10), pages 2109-2125, October.
    3. Marta González-Torrabadella & Josep Pijoan-Mas, 2006. "Flat tax reforms: a general equilibrium evaluation for Spain," Investigaciones Economicas, Fundación SEPI, vol. 30(2), pages 317-351, May.
    4. Josep Pijoan-Mas, 2006. "Precautionary Savings or Working Longer Hours?," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 9(2), pages 326-352, April.
    5. 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.
    6. Maren Froemel & Charles Gottlieb, 2021. "The Earned Income Tax Credit: Targeting the poor but crowding out wealth," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 54(1), pages 193-227, February.
    7. Ozan Bakis & Baris Kaymak & Markus Poschke, 2015. "Transitional Dynamics and the Optimal Progressivity of Income Redistribution," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 18(3), pages 679-693, July.
    8. repec:zbw:cfswop:wp200622 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Juan Carlos Conesa & Sagiri Kitao & Dirk Krueger, 2009. "Taxing Capital? Not a Bad Idea after All!," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 25-48, March.
    10. Lopez-Daneri, Martin, 2016. "NIT picking: The macroeconomic effects of a Negative Income Tax," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 1-16.
    11. Krueger, D. & Mitman, K. & Perri, F., 2016. "Macroeconomics and Household Heterogeneity," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & Harald Uhlig (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 0, pages 843-921, Elsevier.
    12. Jonathan Heathcote & Kjetil Storesletten & Giovanni L. Violante, 2014. "Consumption and Labor Supply with Partial Insurance: An Analytical Framework," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(7), pages 2075-2126, July.
    13. Nezih Guner & Javier López-Segovia & Roberto Ramos, 2020. "Reforming the individual income tax in Spain," SERIEs: Journal of the Spanish Economic Association, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 11(4), pages 369-406, December.
    14. Blandin, Adam & Peterman, William B., 2019. "Taxing capital? The importance of how human capital is accumulated," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 482-508.
    15. Jeske, Karsten & Kitao, Sagiri, 2009. "U.S. tax policy and health insurance demand: Can a regressive policy improve welfare?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 210-221, March.
    16. Nóbrega, Valter, 2020. "Optimal Taxation and Investment-Specific Technological Change," MPRA Paper 98917, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    17. Javier Díaz-Giménez & Josep Pijoan-Mas, 2019. "Investment expensing and progressivity in flat-tax reforms," SERIEs: Journal of the Spanish Economic Association, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 10(3), pages 365-399, November.
    18. repec:zbw:cfswop:wp200621 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Ortigueira, Salvador & Siassi, Nawid, 2013. "How important is intra-household risk sharing for savings and labor supply?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(6), pages 650-666.
    20. Boháček, Radim & Kejak, Michal, 2018. "Optimal government policies in models with heterogeneous agents," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 176(C), pages 834-858.
    21. Conesa, Juan Carlos & Krueger, Dirk, 2006. "On the optimal progressivity of the income tax code," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(7), pages 1425-1450, October.
    22. Raj Chetty & Adam Guren & Day Manoli & Andrea Weber, 2013. "Does Indivisible Labor Explain the Difference between Micro and Macro Elasticities? A Meta-Analysis of Extensive Margin Elasticities," NBER Macroeconomics Annual, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(1), pages 1-56.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Income tax; Progressivity; Inequality; Income and wealth distribution; General equilibrium; Heterogeneous agents;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • C68 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Computable General Equilibrium Models
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation

    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:spr:series:v:11:y:2020:i:4:d:10.1007_s13209-020-00226-0. 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: http://www.springer.com .

    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: Sonal Shukla or Springer Nature Abstracting and Indexing (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.springer.com .

    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.