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Optimal Participation Taxes and Efficient Transfer Phase-Out

  • Normann Lorenz

    ()

    (Volkswirtschaftslehre, Universität Trier, Germany)

  • Dominik Sachs

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of Konstanz, Germany)

Registered author(s):

    We analyze the optimal design of income transfer programs with a special focus on participation taxes and the marginal tax rates in the phase-out region. The analytical framework incorporates labor supply responses along the intensive and extensive margin, where the latter is due to a minimum hours constraint. All results are expressed in reduced form, i.e. in terms of intensive and extensive labor supply elasticities. We derive a formula for the optimal participation taxes and provide a condition under which negative participation taxes are never part of the optimal tax schedule. Concerning the marginal tax rates in the phase-out region, we develop a test for a tax-transfer system to be beyond the top of the Laffer curve and thus to be (second-best) Pareto inefficient. In such a case there would be room for tax cuts (or increases in transfers) which are self-financing and therefore constitute a Pareto improvement. Applying this test to Germany, our analysis suggests that the structure of marginal tax rates in the transfer phase-out region is (second-best) Pareto inefficient.

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    File URL: http://www.wiwi.uni-konstanz.de/workingpaperseries/WP_Lorenz-Sachs_37-12.pdf
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    Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Konstanz in its series Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz with number 2012-37.

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    Length: 33 pages
    Date of creation: 17 Dec 2012
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:knz:dpteco:1237
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    1. Florian Scheuer, 2014. "Entrepreneurial Taxation with Endogenous Entry," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 6(2), pages 126-63, May.
    2. Boone, J. & Bovenberg, A.L., 2002. "The Optimal Taxation of UnskilIed Labor with Job Search and Social Assistance," Discussion Paper 2002-57, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    3. Kleven, Henrik Jacobsen & Kreiner, Claus Thustrup, 2006. "The marginal cost of public funds: Hours of work versus labor force participation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(10-11), pages 1955-1973, November.
    4. Bargain, Olivier & Dolls, Mathias & Neumann, Dirk & Peichl, Andreas & Siegloch, Sebastian, 2011. "Tax-Benefit Systems in Europe and the US: Between Equity and Efficiency," IZA Discussion Papers 5440, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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    6. Chetty, Nadarajan & Weber, Andrea & Guren, Adam Michael & Day, Manoli, 2011. "Are Micro and Macro Labor Supply Elasticities Consistent? A Review of Evidence on the Intensive and Extensive Margins," Scholarly Articles 11878970, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    7. Ilmakunnas, Seija & Pudney, Stephen, 1990. "A model of female labour supply in the presence of hours restrictions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 183-210, March.
    8. Arthur van Soest & Isolde Woittiez & Arie Kapteyn, 1990. "Labor Supply, Income Taxes, and Hours Restrictions in the Netherlands," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(3), pages 517-558.
    9. Guy Laroque, 2005. "Income Maintenance and Labor Force Participation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(2), pages 341-376, 03.
    10. Bach, Stefan & Corneo, Giacomo & Steiner, Viktor, 2012. "Optimal top marginal tax rates under income splitting for couples," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(6), pages 1055-1069.
    11. Laurence Jacquet & Etienne Lehmann & Bruno Van der Linden, 2012. "Signing Distortions in Optimal Tax and other Adverse Selection Problems with Random Participation," CESifo Working Paper Series 3766, CESifo Group Munich.
    12. Kanbur, R. & Keen, M. & Tuomala, M., 1990. "Optimal Non-Linear Income Taxation for the Alleviation of Income Poverty," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 368, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    13. Bruce D. Meyer & Dan T. Rosenbaum, 1999. "Welfare, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and the Labor Supply of Single Mothers," NBER Working Papers 7363, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    16. Helmuth Cremer & Jean-Marie Lozachmeur & Pierre Pestieau, 2012. "Income taxation of couples and the tax unit choice," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 25(2), pages 763-778, January.
    17. Richard Blundell & Andrew Shephard, 2012. "Employment, Hours of Work and the Optimal Taxation of Low-Income Families," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(2), pages 481-510.
    18. Hans-Werner Sinn & Christian Holzner & Wolfgang Meister & Wolfgang Ochel & Martin Werding, 2006. "Aktivierende Sozialhilfe 2006 - das Kombilohn-Modell des ifo Instituts," Ifo Schnelldienst, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 59(02), pages 06-27, 01.
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    21. repec:ner:tilbur:urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-140889 is not listed on IDEAS
    22. Brett, Craig & Weymark, John A., 2003. "Financing education using optimal redistributive taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(11), pages 2549-2569, October.
    23. repec:ner:tilbur:urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-364378 is not listed on IDEAS
    24. Immervoll, Herwig & Kleven, Henrik Jacobsen & Kreiner, Claus Thustrup & Verdelin, Nicolaj, 2011. "Optimal tax and transfer programs for couples with extensive labor supply responses," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(11), pages 1485-1500.
    25. 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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