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Trading Off Tax Distortion and Tax Evasion

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  • Wolfram F. Richter
  • Robin Boadway

Abstract

Tax evasion is modeled as a risky activity and integrated into a standard problem of optimal tax design. It is shown that there is a trade off between reducing tax evasion and reducing tax distortion. Thus it is efficient to supplement a broad-based wage tax by a tax on specific consumption if the former is evaded and the latter not. The optimal tax structure can be characterized by an explicit formula.

Suggested Citation

  • Wolfram F. Richter & Robin Boadway, 2001. "Trading Off Tax Distortion and Tax Evasion," CESifo Working Paper Series 505, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_505
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Robin Boadway & Motohiro Sato, 2000. "The Optimality of Punishing Only the Innocent: The Case of Tax Evasion," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 7(6), pages 641-664, December.
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    6. Frank A. Cowell, 1990. "Cheating the Government: The Economics of Evasion," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262532484, March.
    7. Parkash Chander & Louis L. Wilde, 1998. "A General Characterization of Optimal Income Tax Enforcement," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 65(1), pages 165-183.
    8. 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.
    9. Cremer, Helmuth & Gahvari, Firouz, 1996. "Tax evasion and the optimum general income tax," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 235-249, May.
    10. Marhuenda, Francisco & Ortuno-Ortin, Ignacio, 1997. " Tax Enforcement Problems," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 99(1), pages 61-72, March.
    11. Dominik H. Enste & Friedrich Schneider, 2000. "Shadow Economies: Size, Causes, and Consequences," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(1), pages 77-114, March.
    12. Atkinson, A. B. & Stiglitz, J. E., 1972. "The structure of indirect taxation and economic efficiency," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 97-119, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kalkuhl, Matthias & Fernandez Milan, Blanca & Schwerhoff, Gregor & Jakob, Michael & Hahnen, Maren & Creutzig, Felix, 2017. "Fiscal Instruments for Sustainable Development: The Case of Land Taxes," MPRA Paper 78652, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Neumärker, Bernhard & Pech, Gerald, 2010. "Penalties in the theory of equilibrium tax evasion: Solving King John's problem," The Constitutional Economics Network Working Papers 01-2010, University of Freiburg, Department of Economic Policy and Constitutional Economic Theory.
    3. repec:zbw:rwimat:037 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Werner Güth & Rupert Sausgruber, 2004. "Tax Morale and Optimal Taxation," CESifo Working Paper Series 1284, CESifo Group Munich.
    5. Nico Pestel & Eric Sommer, 2013. "Shifting Taxes from Labor to Consumption: Efficient, but Regressive?," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 624, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    6. Wolfram F. Richter, 2007. "Geplante Steuerhinterziehung und ihre effiziente Bestrafung," RWI Materialien, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, pages 31, 08.
    7. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:8:y:2004:i:5:p:1-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. repec:bla:revinw:v:63:y:2017:i:3:p:542-563 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Andras Simonovits, 2010. "Tax Morality and Progressive Wage Tax," IEHAS Discussion Papers 1005, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
    10. Radulescu, Doina & Feger, Fabian, 2017. "One vs. Two Instruments for Redistribution: The Case of Public Utility Pricing," Annual Conference 2017 (Vienna): Alternative Structures for Money and Banking 168138, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    11. Dhami, Sanjit & Al-Nowaihi, Ali, 2010. "Optimal taxation in the presence of tax evasion: Expected utility versus prospect theory," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 313-337, August.
    12. Gabriela S. Pantoja & Rodrigo S. Penaloza, 2014. "Tax evasion under behavioral structures," Economia, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pós-Graduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics], vol. 15(1), pages 30-40.
    13. Nico Pestel & Eric Sommer, 2017. "Shifting Taxes from Labor to Consumption: More Employment and more Inequality?," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 63(3), pages 542-563, September.
    14. Richter, Wolfram F., 2007. "Geplante Steuerhinterziehung und ihre effiziente Bestrafung," RWI Materialien 37, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung.
    15. Simonovits, András, 2010. "Adómorál és adórendszer
      [Tax morality and progressive wage tax]
      ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(6), pages 481-496.
    16. Robert Ullmann & Christoph Watrin, 2008. "Comparing Direct and Indirect Taxation: The Influence of Framing on Tax Compliance," European Journal of Comparative Economics, Cattaneo University (LIUC), vol. 5(1), pages 23-56, June.

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    Keywords

    Tax evasion; risk-taking; optimal taxation;

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