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Pareto Efficient Income Taxation with Stochastic Abilities

  • Marco Battaglini
  • Stephen Coate

This paper studies Pareto efficient income taxation in an economy with infinitely-lived individuals whose income generating abilities evolve according to a two-state Markov process. The study yields two main results. First, when individuals are risk neutral, the fraction of individuals who face a positive marginal income tax rate is always positive but converges to zero. Moreover, the tax rate these individuals face also goes to zero. Second, Pareto efficient income tax systems can be time-consistent even when the degree of correlation in ability types is large.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w10119.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 10119.

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Date of creation: Nov 2003
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Publication status: published as Battaglini, Marco & Coate, Stephen, 2008. "Pareto efficient income taxation with stochastic abilities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(3-4), pages 844-868, April.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10119
Note: PE
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  1. Bernard SalaniƩ, 2003. "The Economics of Taxation," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262194864, June.
  2. Mikhail Golosov & Narayana Kocherlakota & Aleh Tsyvinski, 2001. "Optimal indirect and capital taxation," Staff Report 293, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  3. Diamond, P. A. & Mirrlees, J. A., 1978. "A model of social insurance with variable retirement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 295-336, December.
  4. V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe, 1998. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy," Staff Report 251, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  5. Battaglini, Marco, 2007. "Optimality and renegotiation in dynamic contracting," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 213-246, August.
  6. Berliant, Marcus & Ledyard, John, 2011. "Optimal Dynamic Nonlinear Income Taxes with No Commitment," MPRA Paper 31749, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Mikhail Golosov & Aleh Tsyvinski, 2003. "Designing Optimal Disability Insurance," Levine's Working Paper Archive 506439000000000217, David K. Levine.
  8. Stefania Albanesi & Christopher Sleet, 2004. "Dynamic optimal taxation with private information," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 140, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  9. Brito, D.L. & Hamilton, J.H. & Slutsky, S.H. & Stiglitz, J.E., 1989. "Dynamic Optimal Income Taxation With Government Commitment," Papers 89-8, Florida - College of Business Administration.
  10. Marco Battaglini, 2005. "Long-Term Contracting with Markovian Consumers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 637-658, June.
  11. Rogerson, William P, 1985. "Repeated Moral Hazard," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(1), pages 69-76, January.
  12. Ordover, J. A. & Phelps, E. S., 1979. "The concept of optimal taxation in the overlapping-generations model of capital and wealth," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 1-26, August.
  13. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-91, June.
  14. Narayana R. Kocherlakota, 2003. "Zero Expected Wealth Taxes: A Mirrlees Approach to Dynamic Optimal Taxation," Levine's Bibliography 666156000000000426, UCLA Department of Economics.
  15. Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1982. "Self-selection and Pareto efficient taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 213-240, March.
  16. Roberts, Kevin, 1984. "The Theoretical Limits of Redistribution," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(2), pages 177-95, April.
  17. 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.
  18. Stokey, Nancy L, 1989. "Reputation and Time Consistency," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(2), pages 134-39, May.
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