The efficiency and welfare effects of tax reform: are fewer tax brackets better than more?
Using the well-known dynamic fiscal policy framework pioneered by Auerbach and Kotlikoff, we examine the efficiency and welfare implications of shifting from a linear marginal tax rate structure to a discrete rate structure characterized by two regions of flat tax rates of 15 and 28 percent. For a wide range of parameter values, we find that there is no sequence of lump-sum transfers that the (model) government can feasibly implement to make the shift from the linear to the discrete structure Pareto-improving. We conclude that the worldwide trend toward replacing rate structures having many small steps between tax rates with structures characterized by just a few large jumps is not easily accounted for by efficiency arguments. In the process of our analysis, we introduce a simple algorithm for solving dynamic fiscal policy models that include “kinks” in individual budget surfaces due to discrete tax codes. In addition to providing a relatively straightforward way of extending Auerbach-Kotlikoff-type models to this class of problems, our approach has the side benefit of facilitating the interpretation of our results.
|Date of creation:||1992|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: (612) 204-5000
Web page: http://minneapolisfed.org/
More information through EDIRC
|Order Information:|| Web: http://www.minneapolisfed.org/pubs/ Email: |
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Rogerson, Richard & Rupert, Peter, 1991. "New estimates of intertemporal substitution : The effect of corner solutions for year-round workers," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 255-269, April.
- King, Robert G & Plosser, Charles I & Rebelo, Sergio T, 2002.
"Production, Growth and Business Cycles: Technical Appendix,"
Society for Computational Economics, vol. 20(1-2), pages 87-116, October.
- Alan J. Auerbach & Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Jonathan Skinner, 1981.
"The Efficiency Gains from Dynamic Tax Reform,"
NBER Working Papers
0819, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Auerbach, Alan J & Kotlikoff, Laurence J & Skinner, Jonathan, 1983. "The Efficiency Gains from Dynamic Tax Reform," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 24(1), pages 81-100, February.
- Killingsworth, Mark R. & Heckman, James J., 1987. "Female labor supply: A survey," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & R. Layard (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 103-204 Elsevier.
- Martin S. Eichenbaum & Lars Peter Hansen, 1987.
"Estimating Models with Intertemporal Substitution Using Aggregate Time Series Data,"
NBER Working Papers
2181, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Eichenbaum, Martin & Hansen, Lars Peter, 1990. "Estimating Models with Intertemporal Substitution Using Aggregate Time Series Data," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 8(1), pages 53-69, January.
- Pencavel, John, 1987. "Labor supply of men: A survey," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & R. Layard (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 1, pages 3-102 Elsevier.
- Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982.
"Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations,"
Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-70, November.
- Finn E. Kydland & Edward C. Prescott, 1982. "Web interface for "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations"," QM&RBC Codes 4a, Quantitative Macroeconomics & Real Business Cycles.
- Finn E. Kydland & Edward C. Prescott, 1982. "Executable program for "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations"," QM&RBC Codes 4, Quantitative Macroeconomics & Real Business Cycles.
- Hansen, Lars Peter & Singleton, Kenneth J, 1982. "Generalized Instrumental Variables Estimation of Nonlinear Rational Expectations Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1269-86, September.
- Benveniste, L M & Scheinkman, J A, 1979. "On the Differentiability of the Value Function in Dynamic Models of Economics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(3), pages 727-32, May.
- Beaudry, P. & Van Wincoop, E., 1992.
"Alternative Specifications for Consumption and the Estimation of the Intertemporal Elasticity of Substitution,"
2, Boston University - Department of Economics.
- Paul Beaudry & Eric van Wincoop, 1992. "Alternative specifications for consumption and the estimation of the intertemporal elasticity of substitution," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 69, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
- MaCurdy, Thomas E, 1981. "An Empirical Model of Labor Supply in a Life-Cycle Setting," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(6), pages 1059-85, December.
- Slemrod, Joel, 1990.
"Optimal Taxation and Optimal Tax Systems,"
Journal of Economic Perspectives,
American Economic Association, vol. 4(1), pages 157-78, Winter.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fip:fedmem:78. 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: (Janelle Ruswick)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.