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Optimal Pre-Announced Tax Reform Revisited

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  • Mathias Trabandt

Abstract

Domeij and Klein (2005) have shown that the welfare gains of an optimal capital and labor income tax reform decline the longer the reform is pre-announced before its implementation. In other words, pre-announcement is costly in terms of welfare. I reexamine their claim by taking two additional features of government spending into account: public goods and public capital. In my baseline optimal reform, I show that valuable and productive government spending is likely to reduce the welfare costs of pre-announcement. Further, the baseline optimal pre-announced reform displays short-run confiscation and/or subsidy of capital and labor income. As a further contribution, I show that these short-run properties are not important for the welfare gains of pre-announced reforms with sufficiently long pre-announcement duration. In particular, a 4 years pre-announced suboptimal reform in which taxes move - without confiscation and subsidy - directly to their endogenous long-run values at the implementation date generates similar welfare gains as the 4 years preannounced baseline optimal reform. The underlying tax structure of both reforms, however, appears to be very different.

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  • Mathias Trabandt, 2007. "Optimal Pre-Announced Tax Reform Revisited," Economics Working Papers ECO2007/52, European University Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:eui:euiwps:eco2007/52
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    3. Strulik, Holger & Trimborn, Timo, 2010. "Anticipated tax reforms and temporary tax cuts: A general equilibrium analysis," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 34(10), pages 2141-2158, October.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    pre-announced optimal tax reform; public goods; public capital; confiscation; subsidy; welfare;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E0 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General
    • E6 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook
    • H0 - Public Economics - - General

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