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Signing Distortions in Optimal Tax and other Adverse Selection Problems with Random Participation

  • Laurence Jacquet
  • Etienne Lehmann
  • Bruno Van der Linden

We develop a methodology to sign output distortions in the random participation framework. We apply our method to monopoly nonlinear pricing problem, to the regulatory monopoly problem and mainly to the optimal income tax problem. In the latter framework, individuals are heterogeneous across two unobserved dimensions: their skill and their disutility of participation to the labor market. We derive a fairly mild condition for optimal marginal tax rates to be non negative everywhere, implying that in-work effort is distorted downwards. Numerical simulations for the U.S. confirm this property. Moreover, it is typically optimal to provide a distinct level of transfer to the non-employed and to workers with zero or negligible earnings.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2012/wp-cesifo-2012-03/cesifo1_wp3766.pdf
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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 3766.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3766
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  1. Hellwig, Martin F., 2007. "A contribution to the theory of optimal utilitarian income taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(7-8), pages 1449-1477, August.
  2. Robin Boadway & Laurence Jacquet, 2006. "Optimal Marginal and Average Income Taxation under Maxi-min," Working Papers 1073, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  3. Herwig Immervoll & Henrik Jacobsen Kleven & Claus Thustrup Kreiner & Emmanuel Saez, 2007. "Welfare reform in European countries: a microsimulation analysis," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(516), pages 1-44, 01.
  4. Seade, Jesus, 1982. "On the Sign of the Optimum Marginal Income Tax," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(4), pages 637-43, October.
  5. Salanié, Bernard, 2011. "The Economics of Taxation," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 2, volume 1, number 0262016346, June.
  6. Philippe Choné & Guy Laroque, 2009. "Negative marginal tax rates and heterogeneity," IFS Working Papers W09/12, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  7. Diamond, P., 1980. "Income taxation with fixed hours of work," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 101-110, February.
  8. Emmanuel Saez & Joel Slemrod & Seth H. Giertz, 2012. "The Elasticity of Taxable Income with Respect to Marginal Tax Rates: A Critical Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 50(1), pages 3-50, March.
  9. 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.
  10. BOADWAY, R. & MARCHAND, M. & PESTIEAU, P. & del MAR RACIONERO, M., 2001. "Optimal redistribution with heterogeneous preferences for leisure," CORE Discussion Papers 2001025, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  11. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521367288 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. Choné, Philippe & Laroque, Guy, 2011. "Optimal taxation in the extensive model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 146(2), pages 425-453, March.
  13. Seade, J. K., 1977. "On the shape of optimal tax schedules," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 203-235, April.
  14. Philippe Chone & Guy Laroque, 2001. "Optimal Incentives for Labor Force Participation," Working Papers 2001-26, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  15. Emmanuel Saez, 2000. "Optimal Income Transfer Programs: Intensive Versus Extensive Labor Supply Responses," NBER Working Papers 7708, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Jean-Charles Rochet & Lars A. Stole, 2002. "Nonlinear Pricing with Random Participation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(1), pages 277-311.
  17. Katherine Cuff, 2000. "Optimality of workfare with heterogeneous preferences," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 33(1), pages 149-174, February.
  18. Kleven, Henrik & Kreiner, Claus Thustrup, 2006. "The Marginal Cost of Public Funds: Hours of Work versus Labor Force Participation," CEPR Discussion Papers 5594, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  19. Hammond, Peter J, 1979. "Straightforward Individual Incentive Compatibility in Large Economies," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(2), pages 263-82, April.
  20. Mirrlees, James A, 1971. "An Exploration in the Theory of Optimum Income Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(114), pages 175-208, April.
  21. Emmanuel Saez, 2000. "Using Elasticities to Derive Optimal Income Tax Rates," NBER Working Papers 7628, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Mussa, Michael & Rosen, Sherwin, 1978. "Monopoly and product quality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 301-317, August.
  23. Eric Maskin & John Riley, 1984. "Monopoly with Incomplete Information," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(2), pages 171-196, Summer.
  24. Rochet, Jean-Charles, 2009. "Monopoly regulation without the Spence-Mirrlees assumption," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(9-10), pages 693-700, September.
  25. Heckman, James J, 1993. "What Has Been Learned about Labor Supply in the Past Twenty Years?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 116-21, May.
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