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The optimal inflation tax when taxes are costly to collect

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  • De Fiore, Fiorella

Abstract

Tax collection costs have been advocated in the literature as a reason to deviate from the Friedman rule, in standard general equilibrium monetary models with flexible prices. This paper shows that there are conditions under which the Friedman rule is optimal despite the presence of collection costs. When these conditions are not satisfied, the optimal inflation tax depends upon the collection costs parameter and schedule, the interest and scale elasticity of money demand, and the compensated labor supply elasticity. Numerical results obtained by calibrating the model on US data suggest that collection costs do not justify substantial departures from Friedman's prescriptions. JEL Classification: E31, E41, E58, E62

Suggested Citation

  • De Fiore, Fiorella, 2000. "The optimal inflation tax when taxes are costly to collect," Working Paper Series 0038, European Central Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20000038
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Isabel Correia & Pedro Teles, 1999. "The Optimal Inflation Tax," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 2(2), pages 325-346, April.
    2. Chari, V. V. & Christiano, Lawrence J. & Kehoe, Patrick J., 1996. "Optimality of the Friedman rule in economies with distorting taxes," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(2-3), pages 203-223, April.
    3. Joel Slemrod & Nikki Sorum, 1984. "The Compliance Cost of the U.S. Individual Income Tax System," NBER Working Papers 1401, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Vegh, Carlos A., 1989. "The optimal inflation tax in the presence of currency substitution," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 139-146, July.
    5. Mulligan, Casey B & Sala-I-Martin, Xavier X, 1997. "The Optimum Quantity of Money: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 29(4), pages 687-715, November.
    6. Kimbrough, Kent P., 1986. "The optimum quantity of money rule in the theory of public finance," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 277-284, November.
    7. Correia, Isabel & Teles, Pedro, 1996. "Is the Friedman rule optimal when money is an intermediate good?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 223-244, October.
    8. Joel Slemrod, 1989. "The Return To Tax Simplification: an Econometric Analysis," Public Finance Review, , vol. 17(1), pages 3-27, January.
    9. Pitt, Mark M & Slemrod, Joel, 1989. "The Compliance Cost of Itemizing Deductions: Evidence from Individual Tax Returns," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 1224-1232, December.
    10. De Fiore, Fiorella & Teles, Pedro, 2003. "The optimal mix of taxes on money, consumption and income," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(4), pages 871-887, May.
    11. Casey B. Mulligan & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1995. "Adoption of financial technologies: Implications for money demand and monetary policy," Economics Working Papers 134, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    12. Nicolini, Juan Pablo, 1998. "Tax evasion and the optimal inflation tax," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 215-232, February.
    13. Robert E. Lucas, Jr., 2000. "Inflation and Welfare," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(2), pages 247-274, March.
    14. Stuart, Charles E, 1984. "Welfare Costs per Dollar of Additional Tax Revenue in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 352-362, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Tomat, Gian Maria, 2002. "Durable goods, price indexes and quality change: an application to automobile prices in Italy, 1988-1998," Working Paper Series 0118, European Central Bank.
    2. Camba-Méndez, Gonzalo & Garcí­a, Juan Angel & Rodriguez-Palenzuela, Diego, 2003. "Relevant economic issues concerning the optimal rate of inflation," Working Paper Series 278, European Central Bank.
    3. Arbex, Marcelo & Turdaliev, Nurlan, 2011. "Optimal monetary and audit policy with imperfect taxation," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 327-340, June.
    4. Klaeffling, Matt & López Pérez, Víctor, 2003. "Inflation targets and the liquidity trap," Working Paper Series 272, European Central Bank.
    5. De Fiore, Fiorella, 2000. "Can indeterminacy explain the short-run non-neutrality of money?," Working Paper Series 0032, European Central Bank.
    6. Pinar Yesin, 2004. "Tax Collection Costs, Tax Evasion and Optimal Interest Rates," Working Papers 04.02, Swiss National Bank, Study Center Gerzensee.
    7. Pierre-Richard Agénor & Kyriakos C. Neanidis, 2014. "Optimal taxation and growth with public goods and costly enforcement," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(4), pages 425-454, June.
    8. repec:eee:joecas:v:6:y:2009:i:2:p:7-30 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E41 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Demand for Money
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy

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