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Second-best Random Redistribution




Random taxation may be optimal when the taxpayers differ in their attitudes towards risk, so that tax randomization enables the government to relax the incentive constraints. The paper provides a necessary and sufficient condition for local random deviations to be welfare improving in a neighborhood of a nonrandom optimum. It also derives conditions satisfied by a global random optimum. A full analytical derivation is given for a two goods two agents economy with isoelastic utilities

Suggested Citation

  • Stéphane Gauthier & Guy Laroque, 2011. "Second-best Random Redistribution," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 11062, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
  • Handle: RePEc:mse:cesdoc:11062

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Strausz, Roland, 2006. "Deterministic versus stochastic mechanisms in principal-agent models," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 128(1), pages 306-314, May.
    2. Richard Arnott & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1988. "Randomization with Asymmetric Information," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 19(3), pages 344-362, Autumn.
    3. Cremer, Helmuth & Gahvari, Firouz, 1993. "Tax evasion and optimal commodity taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 261-275, February.
    4. Brito, Dagobert L. & Hamilton, Jonathan H. & Slutsky, Steven M. & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1995. "Randomization in optimal income tax schedules," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 189-223, February.
    5. Slemrod, Joel & Traxler, Christian, 2010. "Optimal observability in a linear income tax," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 108(2), pages 105-108, August.
    6. Weiss, Laurence, 1976. "The Desirability of Cheating Incentives and Randomness in the Optimal Income Tax," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(6), pages 1343-1352, December.
    7. Alberto Bennardo & Pierre-Andre Chiappori, 2003. "Bertrand and Walras Equilibria under Moral Hazard," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(4), pages 785-817, August.
    8. Mussa, Michael & Rosen, Sherwin, 1978. "Monopoly and product quality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 301-317, August.
    9. Joel Slemrod, 2007. "Cheating Ourselves: The Economics of Tax Evasion," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(1), pages 25-48, Winter.
    10. 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.
    11. Guesnerie, Roger & Seade, Jesus, 1982. "Nonlinear pricing in a finite economy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 157-179, March.
    12. Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1982. "Self-selection and Pareto efficient taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 213-240, March.
    13. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1983. "An Analysis of the Principal-Agent Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(1), pages 7-45, January.
    14. Eric Maskin & John Riley, 1984. "Monopoly with Incomplete Information," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(2), pages 171-196, Summer.
    15. Carla Marchese & Fabio Privileggi, 2004. "Tax Amnesties and the Self-Selection of Risk-Averse Taxpayers," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 18(3), pages 319-341, December.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. When random taxation is better
      by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2011-11-25 22:30:00

    More about this item


    Random taxation; stochastic contract; second best; tax evasion;

    JEL classification:

    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance

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