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The Theory of Excess Burden and Optimal Taxation

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  • Alan J. Auerbach

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to present the chronological development ofthe concept of excess burden and the related study of optimal tax theory. A main objective of this exercise is to uncover the interrelationships among various apparently distinct results, so as to bring out the basic structure of the entire problem.The paper includes a discussion of various measures of excess burden,focusing on issues of approximation, informational requirements, aggregation over individuals, and the effects of technology. Included in the presentation of optimal tax theory is a section on tax reform, as well as an application of the theory to the case where uncertainty is present.

Suggested Citation

  • Alan J. Auerbach, 1982. "The Theory of Excess Burden and Optimal Taxation," NBER Working Papers 1025, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:1025
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    • H0 - Public Economics - - General

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