IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ces/ceswps/_3326.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Shall we Keep the Highly Skilled at Home? The Optimal Income Tax Perspective

Author

Listed:
  • Laurent Simula
  • Alain Trannoy

Abstract

We examine how allowing individuals to emigrate to pay lower taxes abroad changes the optimal non-linear income tax scheme in a Mirrleesian economy. An individual emigrates if his domestic utility is less than his utility abroad net of migration costs, utilities and costs both depending on productivity. Three average social criteria are distinguished – national, citizen and resident – according to the agents whose welfare matters. A curse of the middle-skilled occurs in the first-best, and it may be optimal to let some highly skilled leave the country under the resident criterion. In the second-best, under the Citizen and Resident criteria, preventing emigration of the highly skilled is not necessarily optimal because the interaction between the incentive-compatibility and participations constraints may cause countervailing incentives. In important cases, a Rawlsian policymaker should decrease top marginal tax rates to keep everyone at home.

Suggested Citation

  • Laurent Simula & Alain Trannoy, 2011. "Shall we Keep the Highly Skilled at Home? The Optimal Income Tax Perspective," CESifo Working Paper Series 3326, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3326
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/DocDL/cesifo1_wp3326.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Hellwig, Martin F., 2007. "A contribution to the theory of optimal utilitarian income taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 1449-1477.
    2. 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, December.
    3. 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.
    4. Leite-Monteiro, Manuel, 1997. "Redistributive policy with labour mobility across countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 229-244, August.
    5. Gwenael Piaser, 2003. "Labor Mobility and Income Tax Competition," Public Economics 0302002, EconWPA.
    6. 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.
    7. Alan Krause, 2009. "Education and Taxation Policies in the Presence of Countervailing Incentives," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 76(302), pages 387-399, April.
    8. Laurent Simula & Alain Trannoy, 2006. "Optimal Linear Income Tax when Agents Vote with their Feet," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 62(3), pages 393-415, September.
    9. 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.
    10. Gian S. Sahota, 1968. "An Economic Analysis of Internal Migration in Brazil," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 218-218.
    11. Mirrlees, J. A., 1982. "Migration and optimal income taxes," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 319-341, August.
    12. Daniel Chiquiar & Gordon H. Hanson, 2005. "International Migration, Self-Selection, and the Distribution of Wages: Evidence from Mexico and the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(2), pages 239-281, April.
    13. Tuomala, Matti, 1990. "Optimal Income Tax and Redistribution," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198286059.
    14. 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.
    15. 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, pages 29-45.
    16. Lewis, Tracy R. & Sappington, David E. M., 1989. "Countervailing incentives in agency problems," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 294-313, December.
    17. Weymark, John A., 1986. "A reduced-form optimal nonlinear income tax problem," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 199-217, July.
    18. Emmanuel Saez, 2001. "Using Elasticities to Derive Optimal Income Tax Rates," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 68(1), pages 205-229.
    19. Schwartz, Aba, 1973. "Interpreting the Effect of Distance on Migration," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(5), pages 1153-1169, Sept.-Oct.
    20. Laurent Simula, 2010. "Optimal nonlinear income tax and nonlinear pricing: optimality conditions and comparative static properties," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 35(2), pages 199-220, July.
    21. Charles Blackorby & Craig Brett & Ana Cebreiro, 2007. "Nonlinear taxes for spatially mobile workers," International Journal of Economic Theory, The International Society for Economic Theory, vol. 3(1), pages 57-74.
    22. Guesnerie, Roger & Seade, Jesus, 1982. "Nonlinear pricing in a finite economy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 157-179, March.
    23. Weymark, John A, 1987. "Comparative Static Properties of Optimal Nonlinear Income Taxes," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(5), pages 1165-1185, September.
    24. Jullien, Bruno, 2000. "Participation Constraints in Adverse Selection Models," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 93(1), pages 1-47, July.
    25. Thomas Piketty, 1997. "La redistribution fiscale face au chômage," Revue Française d'Économie, Programme National Persée, vol. 12(1), pages 157-201.
    26. Hughes, Gordon & McCormick, Barry, 1981. "Do Council Housing Policies Reduce Migration between Regions?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 91(364), pages 919-937, December.
    27. Myles,Gareth D., 1995. "Public Economics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521497695, December.
    28. Brito, Dagobert L & Oakland, William H, 1977. "Some Properties of the Optimal Income-Tax," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 18(2), pages 407-423, June.
    29. Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1982. "Self-selection and Pareto efficient taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 213-240, March.
    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. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. Andrea ARIU & Pasquamaria SQUICCIARINI, 2013. "The Balance of Brains: Corruption and High Skilled Migration," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2013010, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    4. 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.
    5. Alan Krause, 2015. "On Redistributive Taxation under the Threat of High-Skill Emigration," Discussion Papers 15/21, Department of Economics, University of York.
    6. 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.
    7. Laurent Simula, 2013. "Tax Competition and Migration," 2013 Meeting Papers 1126, Society for Economic Dynamics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    optimal income tax; top-income earners; migration; incentive constraints; participation constraints;

    JEL classification:

    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration

    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:_3326. 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.