IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/2996.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Optimal Taxation with Costly Enforcement and Evasion

Author

Listed:
  • Louis Kaplow

Abstract

This paper analyzes the relationship between optimal taxation -- where the literature considers raising revenue with minimum distortion -- and optimal tax enforcement where much of the literature emphasizes raising revenue at the least cost. A central question concerns the extent to which revenue should be raised through higher tax rates, which distort behavior, or greater enforcement, which distorts behavior because it raises marginal effective tax rates and also entails direct resource costs. It is demonstrated that, under each of several assumptions about evasion and enforcement, some expenditure on enforcement is optimal despite its resource cost, its distortionary effect, and the availability of other revenue sources having no enforcement costs. Rules for optimal tax rates and enforcement expenditures are derived, which also indicate the marginal cost of government funds and optimal enforcement priorities for a tax collection agency

Suggested Citation

  • Louis Kaplow, 1989. "Optimal Taxation with Costly Enforcement and Evasion," NBER Working Papers 2996, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2996
    Note: PE
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w2996.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Kim C. Border & Joel Sobel, 1987. "Samurai Accountant: A Theory of Auditing and Plunder," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 54(4), pages 525-540.
    2. Slemrod, Joel & Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 1987. " The Optimal Size of a Tax Collection Agency," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 89(2), pages 183-192.
    3. Reinganum, Jennifer F. & Wilde, Louis L., 1985. "Income tax compliance in a principal-agent framework," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 1-18, February.
    4. Don Fullerton, 1989. "If Labor is Inelastic, Are Taxes Still Distorting?," NBER Working Papers 2810, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. A. B. Atkinson & N. H. Stern, 1974. "Pigou, Taxation and Public Goods," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 41(1), pages 119-128.
    6. Usher, Dan, 1986. "Tax Evasion and the Marginal Cost of Public Funds," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 24(4), pages 563-586, October.
    7. Cowell, Frank A., 1985. "Tax evasion with labour income," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 19-34, February.
    8. Allingham, Michael G. & Sandmo, Agnar, 1972. "Income tax evasion: a theoretical analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(3-4), pages 323-338, November.
    9. Shlomo Yitzhaki, 1987. "On the Excess Burden of Tax Evasion," Public Finance Review, , vol. 15(2), pages 123-137, April.
    10. Diamond, Peter A & Mirrlees, James A, 1971. "Optimal Taxation and Public Production II: Tax Rules," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(3), pages 261-278, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Slemrod, Joel & Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 2002. "Tax avoidance, evasion, and administration," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 22, pages 1423-1470, Elsevier.
    2. Etro, Federico, 2016. "Research in economics and public finance," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 1-6.
    3. Meng-Yu Liang & C.C. Yang, 2007. "On the Budget-Constrained IRS: Equilibrium and Equilibrium and efficiency," IEAS Working Paper : academic research 07-A002, Institute of Economics, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan.
    4. Eduardo Engel & James R. Hines Jr., 1998. "Understanding Tax Evasion Dynamics," Documentos de Trabajo 47, Centro de Economía Aplicada, Universidad de Chile.
    5. Giovanni Immordino & Francesco Flaviano Russo, 2014. "Taxing Cash to Fight Collaborative Tax Evasion?," CSEF Working Papers 351, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
    6. Donald Bruce & William Fox & Matthew Murray, 2003. "To Tax Or Not To Tax? The Case Of Electronic Commerce," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 21(1), pages 25-40, January.
    7. Bayer, Ralph-C & Sutter, Matthias, 2009. "The excess burden of tax evasion--An experimental detection-concealment contest," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(5), pages 527-543, July.
    8. María Jesús Freire‐Serén & Judith Panadés, 2008. "Does Tax Evasion Modify the Redistributive Effect of Tax Progressivity?," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 84(267), pages 486-495, December.
    9. Slemrod, Joel, 1990. "Optimal Taxation and Optimal Tax Systems," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 4(1), pages 157-178, Winter.
    10. Martin Besfamille & Cecilia Parlatore Siritto, 2009. "Modernization of Tax Administrations and Optimal Fiscal Policies," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 11(6), pages 897-926, December.
    11. Errol D'souza, 2016. "A Theory of Tax Evasion in Developing Countries," Working Papers id:11040, eSocialSciences.
    12. Bag, Parimal K. & Wang, Peng, 2021. "Income tax evasion and audits under common and idiosyncratic shocks," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 184(C), pages 99-116.
    13. Joel Slemrod, 2001. "A General Model of the Behavioral Response to Taxation," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 8(2), pages 119-128, March.
    14. D'Souza, Errol, 2016. "A Theory Of Tax Evasion In Developing Countries," IIMA Working Papers WP2016-03-37, Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, Research and Publication Department.
    15. Dan Usher, 2006. "The Marginal Cost of Public Funds Is the Ratio of Mean Income to Median Income," Public Finance Review, , vol. 34(6), pages 687-711, November.
    16. Laszlo Goerke, 2015. "Income tax buyouts and income tax evasion," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 22(1), pages 120-143, February.
    17. Alejandro Esteller & Amedeo Piolatto & Matthew D. Rablen, 2016. "Taxing high-income earners: tax avoidance and mobility," IFS Working Papers W16/07, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    18. Jordi Caballé & Judith Panadés, 2005. "Cost Uncertainty and Taxpayer Compliance," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 12(3), pages 239-263, May.
    19. Mary E. Lovely, 1995. "Optimal Commodity Taxation With Costly Noncompliance," Public Finance Review, , vol. 23(1), pages 115-130, January.
    20. Bayer, Ralph-C., 2006. "A contest with the taxman - the impact of tax rates on tax evasion and wastefully invested resources," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(5), pages 1071-1104, July.

    More about this item

    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:nbr:nberwo:2996. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.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 bibliographic 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    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.