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Compliance, Informality and contributive pensions

Listed author(s):
  • Leroux, M.-L.

    ()

    (Université catholique de Louvain, CORE, Belgium)

  • Maldonado, D.

    (Universidad de los Andes)

  • Pestieau, P.

    (Université catholique de Louvain, CORE, Belgium)

We consider a political economy model in which agents have the possibility to hide part of their earnings in order to avoid taxation. Taxation is exclusively used to finance a pension system. If the pension system is implemented, agents in their old age receive a benefit which includes both a Bismarkian and a Beveridgian component. We show that in the absence of compliance costs, agents are indifferent to the tax rate level as in response, they can perfectly adapt their level of compliance. The public pension system is found to be at least partially contributory in order to increase compliance and thus to increase the tax base. When compliance costs are introduced, perfect substitutability between compliance and taxation breaks down. Depending on the relative returns from public pensions and private savings as well as on the elasticity of compliance to income, we obtain that the preferred tax rate should be increasing or decreasing in income. The majority voting tax rate is more likely to be positive when the median income is low and when the return from public pensions dominates that of private savings. The level of the Bismarkian pillar will now be chosen so as to account for increased political support, for increased direct redistribution toward the worst-off agent, and increased tax base.

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File URL: http://www.uclouvain.be/cps/ucl/doc/core/documents/coredp2015_55.pdf
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Paper provided by Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE) in its series CORE Discussion Papers with number 2015055.

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Date of creation: 02 Dec 2015
Handle: RePEc:cor:louvco:2015055
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  1. Gans, Joshua S. & Smart, Michael, 1996. "Majority voting with single-crossing preferences," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 219-237, February.
  2. Kopczuk, Wojciech, 2001. "Redistribution when avoidance behavior is heterogeneous," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 51-71, July.
  3. Bergstrom, Theodore & Blume, Lawrence & Varian, Hal, 1986. "On the private provision of public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 25-49, February.
  4. Borck, Rainald, 2004. "Stricter enforcement may increase tax evasion," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 725-737, September.
  5. Castro, Lucio & Scartascini, Carlos, 2015. "Tax compliance and enforcement in the pampas evidence from a field experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 65-82.
  6. Rainald Borck, 2007. "Voting, Inequality And Redistribution," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(1), pages 90-109, February.
  7. Slemrod, Joel, 1998. "On Voluntary Compliance, Voluntary Taxes, and Social Capital," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 51(n. 3), pages 485-91, September.
  8. Casamatta, Georges & Cremer, Helmuth & Pestieau, Pierre, 2000. "Political sustainability and the design of social insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(3), pages 341-364, March.
  9. Traxler, Christian, 2012. "Majority voting and the welfare implications of tax avoidance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(1), pages 1-9.
  10. Allingham, Michael G. & Sandmo, Agnar, 1972. "Income tax evasion: a theoretical analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(3-4), pages 323-338, November.
  11. Alm, James & McClelland, Gary H & Schulze, William D, 1999. "Changing the Social Norm of Tax Compliance by Voting," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(2), pages 141-171.
  12. Slemrod, Joel, 1998. "On Voluntary Compliance, Voluntary Taxes, and Social Capital," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 51(3), pages 485-491, September.
  13. Rainald Borck, 2009. "Voting on redistribution with tax evasion," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 32(3), pages 439-454, March.
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