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Measuring the Deadweight Loss from Taxation in a Small Open Economy. A general method with an application to Sweden

  • Peter Birch Sørensen

    (Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen)

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    The paper develops a simple general equilibrium framework for calculating the marginal deadweight loss from taxation in a small open economy. The framework allows a decomposition of the deadweight loss from each tax instrument into the losses stemming from the contraction of the different tax bases. The paper describes a method of calibrating the model which exploits the links between the various factor supply elasticities implied by the standard life cycle model. It also develops a method of estimating effective tax rates that is consistent with optimising household and firm behaviour. To illustrate how the model works, it is calibrated to a data set for Sweden. The quantitative results highlight the importance of accounting for the interaction between the major tax bases when estimating deadweight loss.

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    Paper provided by Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics in its series EPRU Working Paper Series with number 2011-03.

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    Length: 39 pages
    Date of creation: Oct 2011
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:kud:epruwp:11-03
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    1. Blomquist, Sören & Selin, Håkan, 2008. "Hourly Wage Rate and Taxable Labor Income Responsiveness to Changes in Marginal Tax Rates," Working Paper Series 2008:16, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    2. 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.
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    6. E. Philip Howrey & Saul H. Hymans, 1978. "The Measurement and Determination of Loanable-Funds Saving," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 9(3), pages 655-685.
    7. Sandmo, Agnar, 1974. "A Note on the Structure of Optimal Taxation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(4), pages 701-06, September.
    8. Assaf Razin & Efraim Sadka, 1989. "International Tax Competition and Gains from Tax Harmonization," NBER Working Papers 3152, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Shoven, John B. & Whalley, John, 1972. "A general equilibrium calculation of the effects of differential taxation of income from capital in the U.S," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(3-4), pages 281-321, November.
    10. Lawrence H. Goulder & Roberton C. Williams III, 2003. "The Substantial Bias from Ignoring General Equilibrium Effects in Estimating Excess Burden, and a Practical Solution," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(4), pages 898-927, August.
    11. Diewert, W Erwin, 1983. " The Measurement of Waste within the Production Sector of an Open Economy," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 85(2), pages 159-79.
    12. Blinder, Alan S, 1975. "Distribution Effects and the Aggregate Consumption Function," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(3), pages 447-75, June.
    13. Charles L. Ballard & Don Fullerton & John B. Shoven & John Whalley, 1985. "A General Equilibrium Model for Tax Policy Evaluation," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number ball85-1, December.
    14. Hansson, Ingemar, 1984. " Marginal Cost of Public Funds for Different Tax Instruments and Government Expenditures," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 86(2), pages 115-30.
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