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Optimal Labor Income Taxation under Maximin: An Upper Bound


  • Jacquet, Laurence

    () (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration)


This paper assumes the standard optimal income tax model of Mirrlees (Review of Economic Studies, 1971). It gives fairly mild conditions under which the optimal nonlinear labor income tax profile derived under maximin has higher marginal tax rates than the ones derived with welfarist criteria that sum over the population any concave transformation of individual utilities. This strict dominance result is always valid close to the bounds of the skill distribution and almost everywhere (except at the upper bound) when quasilinear-in-consumption preferences are assumed.

Suggested Citation

  • Jacquet, Laurence, 2010. "Optimal Labor Income Taxation under Maximin: An Upper Bound," Discussion Paper Series in Economics 5/2010, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:nhheco:2010_005

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1999. "A Theory of Fairness, Competition, and Cooperation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 817-868.
    2. John A. List, 2007. "On the Interpretation of Giving in Dictator Games," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115, pages 482-493.
    3. Alexander W. Cappelen & James Konow & Erik ?. S?rensen & Bertil Tungodden, 2013. "Just Luck: An Experimental Study of Risk-Taking and Fairness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(4), pages 1398-1413, June.
    4. Todd L. Cherry & Peter Frykblom & Jason F. Shogren, 2002. "Hardnose the Dictator," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1218-1221, September.
    5. Alexander W. Cappelen & Astri Drange Hole & Erik Ø Sørensen & Bertil Tungodden, 2007. "The Pluralism of Fairness Ideals: An Experimental Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 818-827, June.
    6. James Andreoni & B. Douglas Bernheim, 2009. "Social Image and the 50-50 Norm: A Theoretical and Experimental Analysis of Audience Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(5), pages 1607-1636, September.
    7. Axel Ockenfels & Gary E. Bolton, 2000. "ERC: A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 166-193, March.
    8. James Konow, 2000. "Fair Shares: Accountability and Cognitive Dissonance in Allocation Decisions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 1072-1091, September.
    9. Nicholas Bardsley, 2008. "Dictator game giving: altruism or artefact?," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 11(2), pages 122-133, June.
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    More about this item


    Optimal income taxation; maximin.;

    JEL classification:

    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation


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