IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ces/ceswps/_4151.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

From Optimal Tax Theory to Applied Tax Policy

Author

Listed:
  • Bas Jacobs

Abstract

This paper aims to provide a perspective on the ideal tax system using insights from optimal-tax theory supplemented with empirical evidence. These insights are applied to actual policy questions regarding the progressiveness of the labor income tax, in-work tax credits, the design of the capital income tax, the taxation of housing and pensions, the role of indirect taxes, optimal environmental taxes, and corrective taxes on alcohol and tobacco.

Suggested Citation

  • Bas Jacobs, 2013. "From Optimal Tax Theory to Applied Tax Policy," CESifo Working Paper Series 4151, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_4151
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.cesifo.org/DocDL/cesifo1_wp4151.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Dan Andrews & Aida Caldera Sánchez & Åsa Johansson, 2011. "Housing Markets and Structural Policies in OECD Countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 836, OECD Publishing.
    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. Assar Lindbeck & Sten Nyberg, 2006. "Raising Children to Work Hard: Altruism, Work Norms, and Social Insurance," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(4), pages 1473-1503.
    4. Ruud Mooij & Gaëtan Nicodème, 2008. "Corporate tax policy and incorporation in the EU," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 15(4), pages 478-498, August.
    5. Erosa, Andres & Gervais, Martin, 2002. "Optimal Taxation in Life-Cycle Economies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 105(2), pages 338-369, August.
    6. Ravi Kanbur & Jukka Pirttilä & Matti Tuomala, 2006. "Non‐Welfarist Optimal Taxation And Behavioural Public Economics," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(5), pages 849-868, December.
    7. Casper Ewijk & Bas Jacobs & Ruud Mooij, 2007. "Welfare Effects of Fiscal Subsidies on Home Ownership in the Netherlands," De Economist, Springer, vol. 155(3), pages 323-336, September.
    8. N. Gregory Mankiw & Matthew Weinzierl & Danny Yagan, 2009. "Optimal Taxation in Theory and Practice," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(4), pages 147-174, Fall.
    9. Aiyagari, S Rao, 1995. "Optimal Capital Income Taxation with Incomplete Markets, Borrowing Constraints, and Constant Discounting," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(6), pages 1158-1175, December.
    10. Guesnerie, Roger & Roberts, Kevin, 1987. "Minimum wage legislation as a second best policy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(1-2), pages 490-498.
    11. Alberto F. Alesina & Edward L. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote, 2006. "Work and Leisure in the U.S. and Europe: Why So Different?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2005, Volume 20, pages 1-100, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Sijbren Cnossen, 2006. "Tobacco taxation in the European Union," CPB Discussion Paper 67, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    13. Anthony B. Atkinson & Thomas Piketty & Emmanuel Saez, 2011. "Top Incomes in the Long Run of History," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(1), pages 3-71, March.
    14. Boskin, Michael J. & Sheshinski, Eytan, 1983. "Optimal tax treatment of the family: Married couples," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 281-297, April.
    15. Lee, David & Saez, Emmanuel, 2012. "Optimal minimum wage policy in competitive labor markets," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(9-10), pages 739-749.
    16. Barro, Robert J, 1974. "Are Government Bonds Net Wealth?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1095-1117, Nov.-Dec..
    17. Mirrlees, J. A., 1976. "Optimal tax theory : A synthesis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 327-358, November.
    18. W. Kip Viscusi, 1995. "Cigarette Taxation and the Social Consequences of Smoking," NBER Chapters, in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 9, pages 51-102, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Caldera, Aida & Johansson, Åsa, 2013. "The price responsiveness of housing supply in OECD countries," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 231-249.
    20. 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.
    21. Robin Boadway & Jean-François Tremblay, 2013. "Optimal Income Taxation and the Labour Market: An Overview," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 59(1), pages 93-148, March.
    22. 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.
    23. Juan Carlos Conesa & Sagiri Kitao & Dirk Krueger, 2009. "Taxing Capital? Not a Bad Idea after All!," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 25-48, March.
    24. Richard Blundell & Andrew Shephard, 2012. "Employment, Hours of Work and the Optimal Taxation of Low-Income Families," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(2), pages 481-510.
    25. Ruud Mooij, 2008. "Reinventing the Dutch tax-benefit system: exploring the frontier of the equity-efficiency trade-off," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 15(1), pages 87-103, February.
    26. Jacquet, Laurence & Lehmann, Etienne & Van der Linden, Bruno, 2013. "Optimal redistributive taxation with both extensive and intensive responses," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 148(5), pages 1770-1805.
    27. Lans Bovenberg, A. & Jacobs, Bas, 2005. "Redistribution and education subsidies are Siamese twins," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(11-12), pages 2005-2035, December.
    28. Searchinger, Timothy & Heimlich, Ralph & Houghton, R. A. & Dong, Fengxia & Elobeid, Amani & Fabiosa, Jacinto F. & Tokgoz, Simla & Hayes, Dermot J. & Yu, Hun-Hsiang, 2008. "Use of U.S. Croplands for Biofuels Increases Greenhouse Gases Through Emissions from Land-Use Change," Staff General Research Papers Archive 12881, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    29. B. Douglas Bernheim & Antonio Rangel, 2009. "Beyond Revealed Preference: Choice-Theoretic Foundations for Behavioral Welfare Economics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(1), pages 51-104.
    30. 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.
    31. Blundell, Richard & Bozio, Antoine & Laroque, Guy, 2011. "Extensive and Intensive Margins of Labour Supply: Working Hours in the US, UK and France," IZA Discussion Papers 6051, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    32. Diamond, P. A. & Mirrlees, J. A., 1978. "A model of social insurance with variable retirement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 295-336, December.
    33. Jonathan Gruber & David A. Wise, 2004. "Social Security Programs and Retirement around the World: Micro-Estimation," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number grub04-1, May.
    34. Orazio P. Attanasio & Guglielmo Weber, 2010. "Consumption and Saving: Models of Intertemporal Allocation and Their Implications for Public Policy," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(3), pages 693-751, September.
    35. Judd, Kenneth L., 1999. "Optimal taxation and spending in general competitive growth models," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 1-26, January.
    36. Don Fullerton & Andrew Leicester & Stephen Smith, 2008. "Environmental Taxes," NBER Working Papers 14197, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    37. James M. Poterba, 1984. "Tax Subsidies to Owner-Occupied Housing: An Asset-Market Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 99(4), pages 729-752.
    38. Vidar Christiansen, 2012. "Optimal Participation Taxes," CESifo Working Paper Series 3941, CESifo.
    39. Alan Auerbach & Michael P. Devereux & Helen Simpson, 2007. "Taxing Corporate Income," CESifo Working Paper Series 2139, CESifo.
    40. Judd, Kenneth L., 1985. "Redistributive taxation in a simple perfect foresight model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 59-83, October.
    41. Richard S.J. Tol, 2011. "The Social Cost of Carbon," Annual Review of Resource Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 3(1), pages 419-443, October.
    42. Emmanuel Saez, 2001. "Using Elasticities to Derive Optimal Income Tax Rates," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 68(1), pages 205-229.
    43. Sijbren Cnossen, 2006. "Tobacco Taxation in the European Union," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 62(2), pages 305-322, June.
    44. 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.
    45. Richard Blundell & Andrew Shephard, 2012. "Employment, Hours of Work and the Optimal Taxation of Low-Income Families," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(2), pages 481-510.
    46. Shinichi Nishiyama & Kent Smetters, 2005. "Consumption Taxes and Economic Efficiency with Idiosyncratic Wage Shocks," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(5), pages 1088-1115, October.
    47. R. Glenn Hubbard & Kenneth L. Judd, 1986. "Liquidity Constraints, Fiscal Policy, and Consumption," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 17(1), pages 1-60.
    48. Vidar Christiansen & Matti Tuomala, 2008. "On taxing capital income with income shifting," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 15(4), pages 527-545, August.
    49. Correia, Isabel H., 1996. "Should capital income be taxed in the steady state?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 147-151, April.
    50. William D. Nordhaus, 2007. "A Review of the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 45(3), pages 686-702, September.
    51. Zoutman, Floris T. & Jacobs, Bas, 2014. "Optimal Redistribution and Monitoring of Labor Effort," Discussion Papers 2014/33, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Business and Management Science.
    52. Sijbren Cnossen, 2007. "Alcohol taxation and regulation in the European Union," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 14(6), pages 699-732, December.
    53. 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.
    54. repec:pri:cepsud:218shephard is not listed on IDEAS
    55. van der Ploeg, Frederick & Withagen, Cees, 2012. "Is there really a green paradox?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 64(3), pages 342-363.
    56. Reis, Catarina, 2011. "Entrepreneurial Labor And Capital Taxation," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 15(3), pages 326-335, June.
    57. Hans-Werner Sinn, 2008. "Public policies against global warming: a supply side approach," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 15(4), pages 360-394, August.
    58. Layard, Richard, 1980. "Human Satisfactions and Public Policy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(363), pages 737-750, December.
    59. George Akerlof, 1976. "The Economics of Caste and of the Rat Race and Other Woeful Tales," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 90(4), pages 599-617.
    60. Sijbren Cnossen, 2006. "Tobacco Taxation in the European Union," CESifo Working Paper Series 1718, CESifo.
    61. Diamond, P., 1980. "Income taxation with fixed hours of work," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 101-110, February.
    62. Clemens Fuest & Alfons J. Weichenrieder & Alfons Weichenrieder, 2002. "Tax Competition and Profit Shifting: On the Relationship between Personal and Corporate Tax Rates," CESifo Working Paper Series 781, CESifo.
    63. Janet Currie & Firouz Gahvari, 2008. "Transfers in Cash and In-Kind: Theory Meets the Data," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(2), pages 333-383, June.
    64. Tuomala, Matti, 1984. "On the optimal income taxation : Some further numerical results," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 351-366, April.
    65. Diamond, Peter A & Mirrlees, James A, 1986. " Payroll-Tax Financed Social Insurance with Variable Retirement," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 88(1), pages 25-50.
    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. Kirill Shakhnov, 2016. "The Tax System Of Belarus," BEROC Working Paper Series 36, Belarusian Economic Research and Outreach Center (BEROC).
    2. Sijbren Cnossen, 2016. "Tackling Spillovers by Taxing Corporate Income in the European Union at Source," CESifo Working Paper Series 5790, CESifo.
    3. Elin Halvorsen & Thor O. Thoresen, 2021. "Distributional Effects of a Wealth Tax under Lifetime‐Dynastic Income Concepts," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 123(1), pages 184-215, January.
    4. Morgan, Marc & Pedro Carvalho Junior, 2021. "Taxing wealth:: general principles, international perspectives and lessons for Brazil," Brazilian Journal of Political Economy, Brazilian Journal of Political Economy (Brazil), vol. 41(1), Jan-Mar.
    5. Spencer Bastani & Daniel Waldenström, 2020. "How Should Capital Be Taxed?," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(4), pages 812-846, September.
    6. Bastani, Spencer & Waldenström, Daniel, 2018. "How Should Capital Be Taxed? Theory and Evidence from Sweden," IZA Discussion Papers 11475, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    7. Spencer Bastani & Daniel Waldenström, 2018. "How should capital be taxed? The Swedish experience," World Inequality Lab Working Papers hal-02878153, HAL.
    8. Stanisław Cichocki & Ryszard Kokoszczyński, 2016. "The evolution of the Laffer curve as a framework for studying tax evasion: from simple theoretical to DSGE models," Ekonomia journal, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw, vol. 45.
    9. Maryia Akulava, 2016. "Current Gender Trends in Belarusian Labor Market: Wage Gap, Child Penalty and Marriage Premium," BEROC Working Paper Series 38, Belarusian Economic Research and Outreach Center (BEROC).
    10. Sijbren Cnossen, 2016. "Tackling Spillovers by Taxing Corporate Income in the European Union at Source," CPB Discussion Paper 324, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    11. F. De Sloover & Y. Saks, 2018. "Is job polarisation accompanied by wage polarisation?," Economic Review, National Bank of Belgium, issue iii, pages 79-90, september.
    12. Masaaki Suzuki, 2014. "Debates on Individual Income Tax and Potential Japanese Tax Reforms," Public Policy Review, Policy Research Institute, Ministry of Finance Japan, vol. 10(3), pages 371-396, October.
    13. Nelson Jon P. & Moran John R., 2020. "Effects of Alcohol Taxation on Prices: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Pass-Through Rates," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 20(1), pages 1-21, January.
    14. Sijbren Cnossen, 2016. "Tackling Spillovers by Taxing Corporate Income in the European Union at Source," CPB Discussion Paper 324.rdf, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. 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.
    2. Spencer Bastani & Daniel Waldenström, 2020. "How Should Capital Be Taxed?," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(4), pages 812-846, September.
    3. Masaaki Suzuki, 2014. "Debates on Individual Income Tax and Potential Japanese Tax Reforms," Public Policy Review, Policy Research Institute, Ministry of Finance Japan, vol. 10(3), pages 371-396, October.
    4. Jacobs, Bas & Jongen, Egbert L.W. & Zoutman, Floris T., 2017. "Revealed social preferences of Dutch political parties," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 156(C), pages 81-100.
    5. Robin Boadway, 2011. "Viewpoint: Innovations in the theory and practice of redistribution policy," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 44(4), pages 1138-1183, November.
    6. Diamond, Peter, 2010. "Taxes and Pensions," Economic Policy, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, vol. 6, pages 59-74.
    7. Bierbrauer Felix J., 2016. "Effizienz oder Gerechtigkeit?," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, De Gruyter, vol. 17(1), pages 2-24, April.
    8. Thomas Piketty & Emmanuel Saez, 2012. "Optimal Labor Income Taxation," NBER Working Papers 18521, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Woodland, A., 2016. "Taxation, Pensions, and Demographic Change," Handbook of the Economics of Population Aging, in: Piggott, John & Woodland, Alan (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Population Aging, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 0, pages 713-780, Elsevier.
    10. Bas Jacobs & A. Bovenberg, 2010. "Human capital and optimal positive taxation of capital income," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 17(5), pages 451-478, October.
    11. Spencer Bastani & Daniel Waldenström, 2018. "How should capital be taxed? The Swedish experience," Working Papers hal-02878153, HAL.
    12. Bastani, Spencer & Waldenström, Daniel, 2018. "How Should Capital Be Taxed? Theory and Evidence from Sweden," CEPR Discussion Papers 12880, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    13. Findeisen, Sebastian & Sachs, Dominik, 2016. "Education and optimal dynamic taxation: The role of income-contingent student loans," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 138(C), pages 1-21.
    14. Bas Jacobs & Dirk Schindler, 2009. "On the Desirability of Taxing Capital Income to Reduce Moral Hazard in Social Insurance," CESifo Working Paper Series 2806, CESifo.
    15. 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.
    16. Mikhail Golosov & Maxim Troshkin & Aleh Tsyvinski, 2011. "Optimal Taxation: Merging Micro and Macro Approaches," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 43, pages 147-174, August.
    17. Stefania Albanesi & Roc Armenter, 2012. "Intertemporal Distortions in the Second Best," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(4), pages 1271-1307.
    18. Auerbach, Alan J. & Hines, James Jr., 2002. "Taxation and economic efficiency," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 21, pages 1347-1421, Elsevier.
    19. Wojciech Kopczuk, 2012. "Taxation of Intergenerational Transfers and Wealth," NBER Working Papers 18584, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Boháček, Radim & Kejak, Michal, 2018. "Optimal government policies in models with heterogeneous agents," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 176(C), pages 834-858.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • H32 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Firm
    • K34 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Tax Law

    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:_4151. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://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 bibliographic 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Klaus Wohlrabe (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/cesifde.html .

    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.