IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ces/ceswps/_1244.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Taxation and Heterogeneous Preferences

Author

Listed:
  • Sören Blomquist
  • Vidar Christiansen

Abstract

Non-linear income taxes and linear commodity taxes are analysed when people differ with respect to ability, high-skilled agents have heterogeneous preferences, and neither individual abilities nor preferences are observable. The paper highlights how informational constraints may motivate differential treatment of people with different preferences for leisure even if unequal treatment is not desirable per se. Which preference type will be better or worse off is shown to depend on the self-selection constraints associated with the information asymmetry. We characterize pure income tax optima, which may be bunching or separating optima. In particular, the income tax may not be able to distinguish between those low-income people who are low-skilled and those who have strong preference for leisure. As is shown, there may still be an impact on the optimum income tax schedule as it will depend on the composition of the population with respect to types of individuals. Finally, the paper addresses what can be achieved by commodity taxes when preferences are heterogeneous, in particular, in terms of targeting groups that the income tax is incapable of discriminating between.

Suggested Citation

  • Sören Blomquist & Vidar Christiansen, 2004. "Taxation and Heterogeneous Preferences," CESifo Working Paper Series 1244, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1244
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/DocDL/cesifo1_wp1244.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bossert W., 1996. "Redistribution mechanisms based on individual characteristics," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 51-51, February.
    2. Henrik Jordahl & Luca Micheletto, 2005. "Optimal Utilitarian Taxation and Horizontal Equity," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 7(4), pages 681-708, October.
    3. N. Anders Klevmarken, 2006. "On Household Wealth Trends in Sweden Over the 1990s," Chapters,in: International Perspectives on Household Wealth, chapter 8 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    4. Holmlund, Bertil, 2004. "Sickness Absence and Search Unemployment," Working Paper Series 2004:6, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    5. Hanna Ågren & Matz Dahlberg & Eva Mörk, 2007. "Do politicians’ preferences correspond to those of the voters? An investigation of political representation," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 130(1), pages 137-162, January.
    6. Peter Fredriksson & Bertil Holmlund, 2006. "Optimal unemployment insurance design: Time limits, monitoring, or workfare?," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 13(5), pages 565-585, September.
    7. Robin Boadway & Maurice Marchand & Pierre Pestieau & María del Mar Racionero, 2002. "Optimal Redistribution with Heterogeneous Preferences for Leisure," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 4(4), pages 475-498, October.
    8. Katherine Cuff, 2000. "Optimality of workfare with heterogeneous preferences," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 33(1), pages 149-174, February.
    9. Fleurbaey, Marc, 2006. "Is commodity taxation unfair?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(10-11), pages 1765-1787, November.
    10. Hakkinen, Iida, 2006. "Working while enrolled in a university: does it pay?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 167-189, April.
    11. Seade, J. K., 1977. "On the shape of optimal tax schedules," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 203-235, April.
    12. Dahlberg, Matz & Eklöf, Matias, 2003. "Relaxing the IIA Assumption in Locational Choice Models: A Comparison Between Conditional Logit, Mixed Logit, and Multinomial Probit Models," Working Paper Series 2003:9, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    13. Maurice Marchand & Pierre Pestieau & María Racionero, 2003. "Optimal redistribution when different workers are indistinguishable," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 36(4), pages 911-922, November.
    14. Hedström, Peter & Kolm, Ann-Sofie & Åberg, Yvonne, 2003. "Social interactions and unemployment," Working Paper Series 2003:15, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    15. Browning, Martin & Meghir, Costas, 1991. "The Effects of Male and Female Labor Supply on Commodity Demands," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(4), pages 925-951, July.
    16. Bertil Holmlund, 2003. "The Rise and Fall of Swedish Unemployment," CESifo Working Paper Series 918, CESifo Group Munich.
    17. Peter Fredriksson & Bertil Holmlund, 2006. "Improving Incentives in Unemployment Insurance: A Review of Recent Research," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(3), pages 357-386, July.
    18. Hallberg, Daniel, 2003. "A Description of Routes out of the Labor Force for Workers in Sweden," Working Paper Series 2003:23, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    19. Thomas Aronsson & Sören Blomquist, 2008. "Redistribution and Provision of Public Goods in an Economic Federation," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 10(1), pages 125-143, February.
    20. Tarkiainen, Ritva & Tuomala, Matti, 1999. "Optimal Nonlinear Income Taxation with a Two-Dimensional Population; A Computational Approach," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 13(1), pages 1-16, February.
    21. Taslimi, Mohammad, 2003. "Optimal Earnings-Related Unemployment Benefits," Working Paper Series 2003:16, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    22. Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1982. "Self-selection and Pareto efficient taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 213-240, March.
    23. Niclas Berggren & Henrik Jordahl, 2005. "Does free trade really reduce growth? Further testing using the economic freedom index," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 122(1), pages 99-114, January.
    24. Sören Blomquist & Luca Micheletto, 2008. "Age-related Optimal Income Taxation," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 110(1), pages 45-71, March.
    25. Marc Fleurbaey & François Maniquet, 2006. "Fair Income Tax," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(1), pages 55-83.
    26. Lindhe, Tobias & Södersten, Jan & Öberg, Ann, 2003. "Economic Effects of Taxing Different Organizational Forms under a Dual Income Tax," Working Paper Series 2003:19, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    27. Gottfries, Nils, 2003. "Booms and Busts in EMU," Working Paper Series 2003:29, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    28. Saez, Emmanuel, 2002. "The desirability of commodity taxation under non-linear income taxation and heterogeneous tastes," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 217-230, February.
    29. Pettersson-Lidbom, Per & Dahlberg, Matz, 2003. "An Empirical Approach for Evaluating Soft Budget Constraints," Working Paper Series 2003:28, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    30. 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.
    31. Edmark, Karin, 2003. "The Effects of Unemployment on Property Crime: Evidence from a Period of Unusually Large Swings in the Business Cycle," Working Paper Series 2003:14, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    32. Häkkinen, Iida & Uusitalo, Roope, 2003. "The Effect of a Student Aid Reform on Graduation: A Duration Analysis," Working Paper Series 2003:8, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    33. Lundin, Magnus & Gottfries, Nils & Lindström, Tomas, 2004. "Price and Investment Dynamics: An Empirical Analysis of Plant Level Data," Working Paper Series 2004:7, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    34. Atkinson, A. B. & Stiglitz, J. E., 1976. "The design of tax structure: Direct versus indirect taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1-2), pages 55-75.
    35. Lindvall, Lars, 2003. "Does Public Spending on Youths Affect Crime Rates?," Working Paper Series 2004:3, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    36. Dahlberg, Susanne & Nahum, Ruth-Aïda, 2003. "Cohort Effects on Earnings Profiles: Evidence from Sweden," Arbetsrapport 2003:3, Institute for Futures Studies.
    37. Stern, Nicholas, 1982. "Optimum income taxation with discrete populations," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 131-133, March.
    38. Bergman, Mats, 2003. "When Should an Incumbent Be Obliged to Share its Infrastructure with an Entrant Under the General Competition Rules?," Working Paper Series 2003:25, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    39. Fleurbaey, Marc, 1995. "Equality and responsibility," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(3-4), pages 683-689, April.
    40. Eklöf, Matias & Hallberg, Daniel, 2004. "Private Alternatives and Early Retirement Programs," Working Paper Series 2004:5, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    41. Eklöf, Matias, 2003. "Assessing Social Costs of Inefficient Procurement Design," Working Paper Series 2003:12, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    42. Allingham, M. G., 1975. "Towards an ability tax," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(4), pages 361-376, November.
    43. Savvidou, Eleni, 2003. "The Relationship Between Skilled Labor and Technical Change," Working Paper Series 2003:27, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    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. Lockwood, Benjamin B. & Weinzierl, Matthew, 2015. "De Gustibus non est Taxandum: Heterogeneity in preferences and optimal redistribution," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 124(C), pages 74-80.
    2. Fleurbaey, Marc, 2006. "Is commodity taxation unfair?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(10-11), pages 1765-1787, November.
    3. Jacobs, Bas & Schindler, Dirk, 2012. "On the desirability of taxing capital income in optimal social insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(9-10), pages 853-868.
    4. Golosov, Mikhail & Troshkin, Maxim & Tsyvinski, Aleh & Weinzierl, Matthew, 2013. "Preference heterogeneity and optimal capital income taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 160-175.
    5. Julien Daubanes & Pierre Lasserre, 2011. "Optimum Commodity Taxation with a Non-Renewable Resource," CIRANO Working Papers 2011s-05, CIRANO.
    6. Boadway, Robin & Song, Zhen, 2016. "Indirect taxes for redistribution: Should necessity goods be favored?," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 64-88.
    7. Matteo Bassi, 2012. "Optimal Libertarian Sin Taxes," CSEF Working Papers 317, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
    8. Stéphane Gauthier & Fanny Henriet, 2015. "Many-Person Ramsey Rule and Nonlinear Income Taxation," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 15033, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
    9. Stéphane Gauthier & Fanny Henriet, 2016. "Consumption taxes and taste heterogeneity," Working Papers halshs-01252563, HAL.
    10. Jukka Pirttilä & Sanna Tenhunen, 2008. "Pawns and queens revisited: public provision of private goods when individuals make mistakes," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 15(5), pages 599-619, October.
    11. Gauthier, Stéphane & Henriet, Fanny, 2018. "Commodity taxes and taste heterogeneity," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 284-296.
    12. Matti Tuomala & Sanna Tenhunen, 2013. "On the design of an optimal non-linear tax/pension system with habit formation," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 20(3), pages 485-512, June.
    13. Stéphane Gauthier & Fanny Henriet, 2016. "Consumption taxes and taste heterogeneity," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-01252563, HAL.
    14. Bastani, Spencer & Blomquist, Sören & Micheletto, Luca, 2010. "Public Provision of Private Goods, Tagging and Optimal Income Taxation with Heterogeneity in Needs," Working Paper Series, Center for Fiscal Studies 2010:14, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    15. Alan Krause, 2012. "Optimal Savings Taxation when Individuals have Different CRRA Utility Functions," Discussion Papers 12/13, Department of Economics, University of York.
    16. Stéphane Gauthier & Fanny Henriet, 2015. "Many-Person Ramsey Rule and Nonlinear Income Taxation," Post-Print halshs-01164011, HAL.
    17. Peter Diamond & Johannes Spinnewijn, 2011. "Capital Income Taxes with Heterogeneous Discount Rates," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 52-76, November.
    18. Hodler, Roland, 2008. "Leisure and redistribution," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 354-363, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    optimum taxation; heterogeneous preferences; asymmetric information.;

    JEL classification:

    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    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:ces:ceswps:_1244. 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: (Klaus Wohlrabe). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/cesifde.html .

    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 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.

    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.