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Taxation and Heterogeneous Preferences

  • Blomquist, Sören

    ()

    (Department of Economics)

  • Christiansen, Vidar

    ()

    (Department of Economics)

Non-linear income taxes and linear commodity taxes are analysed when people differ with respect to ability, high-skilled agents have heterogeneous preferences, and neither individual abilities nor preferences are observable. The paper highlights how informational constraints may motivate differential treatment of people with different preferences for leisure even if unequal treatment is not desirable per se. Which preference type that will be better or worse off, is shown to depend on the self-selection constraints associated with the information asymmetry. We characterize pure income tax optima, which may be bunching or separating optima. In particular, the income tax may not be able to distinguish between those low-income people who are low-skilled and those who have strong preference for leisure. As is shown, there may still be an impact on the optimum income tax schedule as it will depend on the composition of the population with respect to types of individuals. Finally, the paper addresses what can be achieved by commodity taxes when preferences are heterogeneous, in particular, in terms of targeting groups that the income tax is incapable of discriminating between.

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Paper provided by Uppsala University, Department of Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number 2004:9.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: 07 Jul 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:uunewp:2004_009
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, Uppsala University, P. O. Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden
Phone: + 46 18 471 25 00
Fax: + 46 18 471 14 78
Web page: http://www.nek.uu.se/
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  1. Sören Blomquist & Luca Micheletto, 2008. "Age-related Optimal Income Taxation," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 110(1), pages 45-71, 03.
  2. Robin Boadway & Maurice Marchand & Pierre Pestieau & María del Mar Racionero, 2002. "Optimal Redistribution with Heterogeneous Preferences for Leisure," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 4(4), pages 475-498, October.
  3. Taslimi, Mohammad, 2003. "Optimal Earnings-Related Unemployment Benefits," Working Paper Series 2003:16, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  4. Fredriksson, Peter & Holmlund, Bertil, 2003. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance Design:Time Limits, Monitoring, or Workfare?," Working Paper Series 2003:17, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  5. N. Anders Klevmarken, 2003. "On Household Wealth Trends in Sweden over the 1990's," Labor and Demography 0311004, EconWPA.
  6. Lindhe, Tobias & Södersten, Jan & Öberg, Ann, 2003. "Economic Effects of Taxing Different Organizational Forms under a Dual Income Tax," Working Paper Series 2003:19, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  7. Häkkinen, Iida & Uusitalo, Roope, 2003. "The Effect of a Student Aid Reform on Graduation: A Duration Analysis," Working Paper Series 2003:8, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  8. Bertil Holmlund, 2004. "Sickness Absence and Search Unemployment," CESifo Working Paper Series 1227, CESifo Group Munich.
  9. Hakkinen, Iida, 2006. "Working while enrolled in a university: does it pay?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 167-189, April.
  10. Peter Fredriksson & Bertil Holmlund, 2006. "Improving Incentives in Unemployment Insurance: A Review of Recent Research," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(3), pages 357-386, 07.
  11. Savvidou, Eleni, 2003. "The Relationship Between Skilled Labor and Technical Change," Working Paper Series 2003:27, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  12. Hanna Ågren & Matz Dahlberg & Eva Mörk, 2007. "Do politicians’ preferences correspond to those of the voters? An investigation of political representation," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 130(1), pages 137-162, January.
  13. Bertil Holmlund, 2003. "The Rise and Fall of Swedish Unemployment," CESifo Working Paper Series 918, CESifo Group Munich.
  14. Dahlberg, Susanne & Nahum, Ruth-Aïda, 2003. "Cohort Effects on Earnings Profiles: Evidence from Sweden," Working Paper Series 2003:11, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  15. Aronsson, Thomas & Blomquist, Sören, 2004. "Redistribution and Provision of Public Goods in an Economic Federation," Umeå Economic Studies 636, Umeå University, Department of Economics.
  16. Hedström, Peter & Kolm, Ann-Sofie & Åberg, Yvonne, 2003. "Social interactions and unemployment," Working Paper Series 2003:15, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  17. Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1981. "Self-Selection and Pareto Efficient Taxation," NBER Working Papers 0632, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Lindvall, Lars, 2003. "Does Public Spending on Youths Affect Crime Rates?," Working Paper Series 2004:3, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  19. Hallberg, Daniel, 2003. "A Description of Routes out of the Labor Force for Workers in Sweden," Working Paper Series 2003:23, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  20. Saez, Emmanuel, 2002. "The desirability of commodity taxation under non-linear income taxation and heterogeneous tastes," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 217-230, February.
  21. Katherine Cuff, 2000. "Optimality of workfare with heterogeneous preferences," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 33(1), pages 149-174, February.
  22. Atkinson, A. B. & Stiglitz, J. E., 1976. "The design of tax structure: Direct versus indirect taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1-2), pages 55-75.
  23. Gottfries, Nils, 2003. "Booms and Busts in EMU," Working Paper Series 2003:29, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  24. Edmark, Karin, 2003. "The Effects of Unemployment on Property Crime: Evidence from a Period of Unusually Large Swings in the Business Cycle," Working Paper Series 2003:14, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  25. Berggren, Niclas & Jordahl, Henrik, 2003. "Does Free Trade Really Reduce Growth? Further Testing Using the Economic Freedom Index," Working Paper Series 2003:26, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  26. Bergman, Mats, 2003. "When Should an Incumbent Be Obliged to Share its Infrastructure with an Entrant Under the General Competition Rules?," Working Paper Series 2003:25, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  27. Tarkiainen, Ritva & Tuomala, Matti, 1999. "Optimal Nonlinear Income Taxation with a Two-Dimensional Population; A Computational Approach," Computational Economics, Society for Computational Economics, vol. 13(1), pages 1-16, February.
  28. Pettersson-Lidbom, Per & Dahlberg, Matz, 2003. "An Empirical Approach for Evaluating Soft Budget Constraints," Working Paper Series 2003:28, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  29. Eklöf, Matias, 2003. "Assessing Social Costs of Inefficient Procurement Design," Working Paper Series 2003:12, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  30. Dahlberg, Matz & Eklöf, Matias, 2003. "Relaxing the IIA Assumption in Locational Choice Models: A Comparison Between Conditional Logit, Mixed Logit, and Multinomial Probit Models," Working Paper Series 2003:9, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  31. Lundin, Magnus & Gottfries, Nils & Lindström, Tomas, 2004. "Price and Investment Dynamics: An Empirical Analysis of Plant Level Data," Working Paper Series 2004:7, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  32. Eklöf, Matias & Hallberg, Daniel, 2004. "Private Alternatives and Early Retirement Programs," Working Paper Series 2004:5, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
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