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Tax Rate Cuts and Tax Compliance: The Laffer Curve Revisited

  • Tamás K. Papp
  • Elöd Takáts

The paper shows how tax rate cuts can increase revenues by improving tax compliance. The intuition is that tax evasion has externalities: tax evaders protect each other, because they tie down limited enforcement capacity. Thus, relatively small tax rate cuts, which decrease incentives to evade taxes, can lead to increased revenues through spillovers - creating Laffer effects. Interestingly, tax rate cuts here imply increasing effective taxes. The model is consistent with what happened in Russia, and may provide basis for further thinking about tax rate cuts in other countries.

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Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 08/7.

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Length: 20
Date of creation: 01 Jan 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:08/7
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  1. Michael Keen & Alexander Klemm & Anna Ivanova, 2005. "The Russian Flat Tax Reform," IMF Working Papers 05/16, International Monetary Fund.
  2. Raymond Fisman & Shang-Jin Wei, 2001. "Tax Rates and Tax Evasion: Evidence from "Missing Imports" in China," NBER Working Papers 8551, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Andreoni, J. & Erard, B. & Feinstein, J., 1996. "Tax Compliance," Working papers 9610, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  4. Austan Goolsbee, 1999. "Evidence on the High-Income Laffer Curve from Six Decades of Tax Reform," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 30(2), pages 1-64.
  5. Besley, Timothy & Preston, Ian & Ridge, Michael, 1997. "Fiscal anarchy in the UK: Modelling poll tax noncompliance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 137-152, May.
  6. Mathias Trabandt & Harald Uhlig, 2006. "How Far Are We From The Slippery Slope? The Laffer Curve Revisited," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2006-023, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
  7. Coenen, Günter & McAdam, Peter & Straub, Roland, 2007. "Tax reform and labour-market performance in the euro area: a simulation-based analysis using the New Area-Wide Model," Working Paper Series 0747, European Central Bank.
  8. Frank A. Cowell, 1990. "Cheating the Government: The Economics of Evasion," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262532484, June.
  9. Ricardo Varsano & Kevin Kim & Michael Keen, 2006. "The "Flat Tax(es)": Principles and Evidence," IMF Working Papers 06/218, International Monetary Fund.
  10. Allingham, Michael G. & Sandmo, Agnar, 1972. "Income tax evasion: a theoretical analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(3-4), pages 323-338, November.
  11. Slemrod, Joel & Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 2002. "Tax avoidance, evasion, and administration," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 22, pages 1423-1470 Elsevier.
  12. Joel Slemrod, 2001. "A General Model of the Behavioral Response to Taxation," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 119-128, March.
  13. Heckman, James J, 1993. "What Has Been Learned about Labor Supply in the Past Twenty Years?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 116-21, May.
  14. Eduardo M.R.A. Engel & James R. Hines, Jr., 1999. "Understanding Tax Evasion Dynamics," NBER Working Papers 6903, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Dominik H. Enste & Friedrich Schneider, 2000. "Shadow Economies: Size, Causes, and Consequences," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(1), pages 77-114, March.
  16. Schneider, Friedrich, 2002. "The Size and Development of the Shadow Economies of 22 Transition and 21 OECD Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 514, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  17. Sah, Raaj K, 1991. "Social Osmosis and Patterns of Crime," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(6), pages 1272-95, December.
  18. Martin Feldstein, 1995. "Tax Avoidance and the Deadweight Loss of the Income Tax," NBER Working Papers 5055, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Vito Tanzi & Parthasrathi Shome, 1993. "A Primeron Tax Evasion," IMF Working Papers 93/21, International Monetary Fund.
  20. Jon Gruber & Emmanuel Saez, 2000. "The Elasticity of Taxable Income: Evidence and Implications," NBER Working Papers 7512, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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