Moral Hazard, Income Taxation, And Prospect Theory
The standard theory of optimal income taxation under uncertainty has been developed under the assumption that individuals maximize expected utility. However, prospect theory has now been established as an alternative model of individual behaviour, with empirical support. This paper explores the theory of optimal income taxation under uncertainty when individuals behave according to the tenets of prospect theory. It is seen that many of the standard results are either overturned, or modified in interesting ways. The validity of the First Order Approach requires new conditions that are developed in the paper. And when these conditions are valid, it is shown that optimal marginal tax rates on low incomes will tend to be lower under prospect theory than under expected utility theory.
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- Jewitt, Ian, 1988. "Justifying the First-Order Approach to Principal-Agent Problems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(5), pages 1177-1190, September.
- Tuomala, Matti, 1990. "Optimal Income Tax and Redistribution," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198286059, April.
- Oswald, Andrew J., 1983. "Altruism, jealousy and the theory of optimal non-linear taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 77-87, February.