IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/mpg/wpaper/2007_2.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

A Contribution to the Theory of Optimal Utilitarian Income Taxation

Author

Listed:
  • Martin Hellwig

    () (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn)

Abstract

The paper provides a new formulation of the Mirrlees-Seade theorem on the positivity of the optimal marginal income tax, under weaker assumptions and in a more general model. The formulation of the theorem is independent of whether the model involves finitely many types or a continuous type distribution. The formal argument makes the underlying logic transparent, relating the mathematics to the economics and showing precisely how each assumption enters the analysis.

Suggested Citation

  • Martin Hellwig, 2007. "A Contribution to the Theory of Optimal Utilitarian Income Taxation," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2007_2, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
  • Handle: RePEc:mpg:wpaper:2007_2
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.coll.mpg.de/pdf_dat/2007_02online.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Hellwig, Martin F., 2007. "A contribution to the theory of optimal utilitarian income taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(7-8), pages 1449-1477, August.
    2. Matthews, Steven & Moore, John, 1987. "Monopoly Provision of Quality and Warranties: An Exploration in the Theory of Multidimensional Screening," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(2), pages 441-467, March.
    3. Philippe Choné & Guy Laroque, 2006. "Should Low Skilled Work be Subsidized ?," Working Papers 2006-08, Center for Research in Economics and Statistics.
    4. Mirrlees, J. A., 1976. "Optimal tax theory : A synthesis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 327-358, November.
    5. J. A. Mirrlees, 1971. "An Exploration in the Theory of Optimum Income Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(2), pages 175-208.
    6. Hellwig, Martin F., 2007. "The undesirability of randomized income taxation under decreasing risk aversion," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(3-4), pages 791-816, April.
    7. Guy Laroque, 2005. "Income Maintenance and Labor Force Participation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(2), pages 341-376, March.
    8. Milgrom, Paul & Shannon, Chris, 1994. "Monotone Comparative Statics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(1), pages 157-180, January.
    9. Seade, J. K., 1977. "On the shape of optimal tax schedules," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 203-235, April.
    10. Brunner, Johann K., 1993. "A note on the optimum income tax," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 445-451, March.
    11. Martin Hellwig, 2008. "A Maximum Principle for Control Problems with Monotonicity Constraints," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2008_04, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
    12. Peter J. Hammond, 1979. "Straightforward Individual Incentive Compatibility in Large Economies," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(2), pages 263-282.
    13. Weymark, John A., 1986. "A reduced-form optimal nonlinear income tax problem," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 199-217, July.
    14. Guesnerie, Roger & Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 1984. "A complete solution to a class of principal-agent problems with an application to the control of a self-managed firm," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 329-369, December.
    15. Emmanuel Saez, 2002. "Optimal Income Transfer Programs: Intensive versus Extensive Labor Supply Responses," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(3), pages 1039-1073.
    16. Guesnerie, Roger & Seade, Jesus, 1982. "Nonlinear pricing in a finite economy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 157-179, March.
    17. Stefan Homburg, 2001. "The Optimal Income Tax: Restatement and Extensions," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 58(4), pages 363-395, November.
    18. Ebert, Udo, 1992. "A reexamination of the optimal nonlinear income tax," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 47-73, October.
    19. Timothy Besley & Stephen Coate, 1995. "The Design of Income Maintenance Programmes," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 62(2), pages 187-221.
    20. Christiansen, Vidar, 1983. " Some Important Properties of the Social Marginal Utility of Income," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 85(3), pages 359-371.
    21. Jesus Seade, 1982. "On the Sign of the Optimum Marginal Income Tax," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(4), pages 637-643.
    22. Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1982. "Self-selection and Pareto efficient taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 213-240, March.
    23. Hellwig, Martin F., 1986. "The optimal linear income tax revisited," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 163-179, November.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Optimal Income Taxation; Utilitarian Welfare Maximization; Redistribution;

    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:mpg:wpaper:2007_2. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Marc Martin). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/mppggde.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.