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A Simple Theory of Optimal Redistributive Taxation with Equilibrium Unemployment

  • Hungerbühler, Mathias

    ()

    (University of Namur)

  • Lehmann, Etienne

    ()

    (CRED, Université Panthéon Assas Paris 2)

  • Parmentier, Alexis

    ()

    (University of Evry)

  • Van der Linden, Bruno

    ()

    (IRES, Université catholique de Louvain)

We propose a canonical model of optimal nonlinear redistributive taxation with matching unemployment. In our model, agents are endowed with different skill levels and labor markets are perfectly segmented by skill. The government only observes negotiated wages. More progressive taxation leads to wage moderation that boosts labor demand. We design the optimal nonlinear redistributive tax schedule in the absence of welfare benefits and extensive labor supply margin. Compared to their efficient values, at the optimum gross wages and unemployment are lower. Average tax rates are moreover increasing in wages. The robustness of these properties is also discussed.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4832.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Economie Publique/Public Economics, 2012, 22-23 (1-2), 203-218
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4832
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  1. Moen, Espen R, 1997. "Competitive Search Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 385-411, April.
  2. Etienne Lehmann & Alexis Parmentier & Bruno Van der Linden, 2011. "Optimal Income Taxation with Endogenous Participation and Search Unemployment," CESifo Working Paper Series 3324, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Boone, Jan & Bovenberg, A Lans, 2002. "The Optimal Taxation of Unskilled Labour with Job Search and Social Assistance," CEPR Discussion Papers 3446, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Hungerbühler, Mathias & Lehmann, Etienne & Parmentier, Alexis & Van der Linden, Bruno, 2005. "Optimal Redistributive Taxation in a Search Equilibrium Model," IZA Discussion Papers 1460, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Hammond, Peter J, 1979. "Straightforward Individual Incentive Compatibility in Large Economies," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(2), pages 263-82, April.
  6. Hosios, Arthur J, 1990. "On the Efficiency of Matching and Related Models of Search and Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(2), pages 279-98, April.
  7. Mikhail Golosov & Narayana Kocherlakota & Aleh Tsyvinski, 2003. "Optimal Indirect and Capital Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(3), pages 569-587, 07.
  8. Edward C. Prescott, 2004. "Why do Americans Work so Much More than Europeans?," NBER Working Papers 10316, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Daveri, Francesco & Tabellini, Guido, 1997. "Unemployment, Growth and Taxation in Industrial Countries," CEPR Discussion Papers 1681, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Mathis Hungerbühler & Etienne Lehmann, 2007. "On the Optimality of a Minimum Wage : New Insights from Optimal Tax Theory”," Working Papers 2007-17, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  11. Mirrlees, James A, 1971. "An Exploration in the Theory of Optimum Income Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(114), pages 175-208, April.
  12. Mortensen, Dale T. & Pissarides, Christopher A., 1999. "New developments in models of search in the labor market," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 39, pages 2567-2627 Elsevier.
  13. Chinhui Juhn & Kevin M. Murphy & Robert H. Topel, 1991. "Why Has the Natural Rate of Unemployment Increased over Time?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 22(2), pages 75-142.
  14. Lockwood, Ben & Manning, Alan, 1993. "Wage setting and the tax system theory and evidence for the United Kingdom," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 1-29, August.
  15. Chone, Philippe & Laroque, Guy, 2005. "Optimal incentives for labor force participation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(2-3), pages 395-425, February.
  16. Herwig Immervoll & Henrik Jacobsen Kleven & Claus Thustrup Kreiner & Emmanuel Saez, 2005. "Welfare Reform in European Countries: A Microsimulation Analysis," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 28, OECD Publishing.
  17. Hersoug, Tor, 1984. "Union Wage Responses to Tax Changes," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 36(1), pages 37-51, March.
  18. Emmanuel Saez, 2000. "Optimal Income Transfer Programs: Intensive Versus Extensive Labor Supply Responses," NBER Working Papers 7708, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Meghir, Costas & Phillips, David, 2008. "Labour Supply and Taxes," IZA Discussion Papers 3405, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  20. Emmanuel Saez & Joel B. Slemrod & Seth H. Giertz, 2009. "The Elasticity of Taxable Income with Respect to Marginal Tax Rates: A Critical Review," NBER Working Papers 15012, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Rochet, J. C., 1985. "The taxation principle and multi-time Hamilton-Jacobi equations," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 113-128, April.
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  23. Diamond, P., 1980. "Income taxation with fixed hours of work," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 101-110, February.
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