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Optimal Non-Linear Income Taxation in Search Equilibrium

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  • Engström, Per

    () (Department of Economics)

Abstract

The paper extends the basic Stiglitz (1982) model of optimal income taxation into general search equilibrium. When we extend the basic taxation model to include a more realistic treatment of the labor market, a number of new interesting mechanisms arise. When wages are fixed we find that a "work hour effect" gives the government incentives to lower the marginal tax rate for both high and low skilled workers. The optimal marginal tax on high skilled is thus negative, and the sign for the low skilled marginal tax is ambiguous. With wages determined by bargaining between firm and worker the results are changed. Both marginal tax rates are of ambiguous sign. The tax systems' effects on the wage formation and the unemployment rates may result in new intricate redistribution channels. Simulations show that the marginal tax rate for high skilled is increasing in the level of redistribution when wages are fixed, but decreasing in the level of redistribution when wages are determined by bargaining.

Suggested Citation

  • Engström, Per, 2002. "Optimal Non-Linear Income Taxation in Search Equilibrium," Working Paper Series 2002:18, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:uunewp:2002_018
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bertil Holmlund, 2002. "Labor Taxation in Search Equilibrium with Home Production," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 3(4), pages 415-430, November.
    2. Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1987. "Pareto efficient and optimal taxation and the new new welfare economics," Handbook of Public Economics,in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 15, pages 991-1042 Elsevier.
    3. Mortensen, Dale T & Pissarides, Christopher, 2001. "Taxes, Subsidies and Equilibrium Labour Market Outcomes," CEPR Discussion Papers 2989, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Pissarides, Christopher A., 1998. "The impact of employment tax cuts on unemployment and wages; The role of unemployment benefits and tax structure," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 155-183, January.
    5. Arnott, Richard J & Hosios, Arthur J & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1988. "Implicit Contracts, Labor Mobility, and Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(5), pages 1046-1066, December.
    6. Katz, Lawrence F. & Autor, David H., 1999. "Changes in the wage structure and earnings inequality," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 26, pages 1463-1555 Elsevier.
    7. Boadway, Robin & Keen, Michael, 2000. "Redistribution," Handbook of Income Distribution,in: A.B. Atkinson & F. Bourguignon (ed.), Handbook of Income Distribution, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 12, pages 677-789 Elsevier.
    8. Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1982. "Self-selection and Pareto efficient taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 213-240, March.
    9. Sorensen, Peter Birch, 1999. "Optimal tax progressivity in imperfect labour markets," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 435-452, September.
    10. J. A. Mirrlees, 1971. "An Exploration in the Theory of Optimum Income Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(2), pages 175-208.
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    Cited by:

    1. Engström, Per, 2003. "Unemployment Benefits and Optimal Non-Linear Income Taxation," Working Paper Series 2003:3, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    2. Engström, Per, 2007. "Wage Formation and Redistribution," Working Paper Series 2007:12, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Optimal non-linear income taxation; search; unemployment;

    JEL classification:

    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

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