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Optimal Linear Commodity Taxation under Optimal Non-Linear Income Taxation

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  • Bas Jacobs
  • Robin Boadway

Abstract

This paper analyzes optimal linear commodity taxes joint with non-linear income taxes. We provide optimal tax rules based on empirically observable elasticities. We demonstrate that commodities should be taxed/subsidized if doing so boosts labor supply. The critical role of commodity taxation is to alleviate distortions on labor supply caused by income taxation. In addition, we extend the standard formula for optimal non-linear income taxation for the presence of optimal linear commodity taxes. We correct parts of the literature that suggest that the optimal tax rules for commodity taxes derived by Atkinson and Stiglitz (1976, 1980) apply as well to linear tax commodity taxes. We show that the optimal second-best allocation cannot be implemented with linear commodity taxes and non-linear income taxes.

Suggested Citation

  • Bas Jacobs & Robin Boadway, 2013. "Optimal Linear Commodity Taxation under Optimal Non-Linear Income Taxation," CESifo Working Paper Series 4142, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_4142
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. W. J. Corlett & D. C. Hague, 1953. "Complementarity and the Excess Burden of Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(1), pages 21-30.
    2. Gordon, Roger H. & Kopczuk, Wojciech, 2014. "The choice of the personal income tax base," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 97-110.
    3. Kaplow, Louis, 2006. "On the undesirability of commodity taxation even when income taxation is not optimal," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(6-7), pages 1235-1250, August.
    4. Mirrlees, J. A., 1976. "Optimal tax theory : A synthesis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 327-358, November.
    5. Laroque, Guy R., 2005. "Indirect taxation is superfluous under separability and taste homogeneity: a simple proof," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 141-144, April.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. Jukka Pirttilä & Ilpo Suoniemi, 2014. "Public Provision, Commodity Demand, and Hours of Work: An Empirical Analysis," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 116(4), pages 1044-1067, October.
    9. Christiansen, Vidar, 1984. "Which commodity taxes should supplement the income tax?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 195-220, July.
    10. Seade, J. K., 1977. "On the shape of optimal tax schedules," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 203-235, April.
    11. 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.
    12. Emmanuel Saez, 2001. "Using Elasticities to Derive Optimal Income Tax Rates," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 68(1), pages 205-229.
    13. 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.
    14. Jacobs, Bas & Boadway, Robin, 2014. "Optimal linear commodity taxation under optimal non-linear income taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 201-210.
    15. Diamond, P. A., 1975. "A many-person Ramsey tax rule," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(4), pages 335-342, November.
    16. Myles,Gareth D., 1995. "Public Economics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521497695.
    17. Efraim Sadka, 1976. "On Income Distribution, Incentive Effects and Optimal Income Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 43(2), pages 261-267.
    18. 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.
    19. Emmanuel Farhi & Iván Werning, 2012. "Capital Taxation: Quantitative Explorations of the Inverse Euler Equation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 120(3), pages 000.
    20. A. B. Atkinson, 1977. "Optimal Taxation and the Direct versus Indirect Tax Controversy," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 10(4), pages 590-606, November.
    21. Tuomala, Matti, 1984. "On the optimal income taxation : Some further numerical results," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 351-366, April.
    22. Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1982. "Self-selection and Pareto efficient taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 213-240, March.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:kap:jeczfn:v:122:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s00712-017-0536-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Bas (B.) Jacobs & Rick (F.) van der Ploeg, 2017. "Should Pollution Taxes Be Targeted At Income Redistribution?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 17-070/VI, Tinbergen Institute.
    3. Junichi Minagawa & Thorsten Upmann, 2016. "Optimal Taxation under a Consumption Target," CESifo Working Paper Series 6067, CESifo Group Munich.
    4. Huang, Jason & Rios, Juan, 2016. "Optimal tax mix with income tax non-compliance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 144(C), pages 52-63.
    5. Boadway, Robin & Song, Zhen, 2016. "Indirect taxes for redistribution: Should necessity goods be favored?," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 64-88.
    6. Odd E. Nygård & John T. Revesz, 2015. "Optimal indirect taxation and the uniformity debate: A review of theoretical results and empirical contributions," Discussion Papers 809, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
    7. Shuichi Tsugawa & Takuya Obara, 2017. "Public good provision financed by nonlinear income tax under reduction of envy," Working Papers e117, Tokyo Center for Economic Research.
    8. Bas Jacobs & Alexandra Victoria Rusu, 2017. "Why is the Long-Run Tax on Capital Income Zero? Explaining the Chamley-Judd Result," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 17-011/VI, Tinbergen Institute.
    9. repec:bla:pacecr:v:22:y:2017:i:2:p:249-270 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Jacobs, Bas & de Mooij, Ruud A., 2015. "Pigou meets Mirrlees: On the irrelevance of tax distortions for the second-best Pigouvian tax," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 90-108.
    11. Jacobs, Bas & Boadway, Robin, 2014. "Optimal linear commodity taxation under optimal non-linear income taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 201-210.
    12. John T. Revesz, 2014. "A Numerical Model of Optimal Differentiated Indirect Taxation," Hacienda Pública Española, IEF, vol. 211(4), pages 9-66, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Atkinson-Stiglitz Theorem; optimal non-linear income taxation; optimal linear and non-linear indirect taxation;

    JEL classification:

    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General

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