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Tax Riots

  • Christopher Phelan
  • Marco Bassetto

    ()

    (Department of Economics University of Minnesota)

This paper considers an optimal taxation environment where household income is private information, and the government randomly audits and punishes households found to be underreporting. We prove that the optimal mechanism derived using standard mechanism design techniques has a bad equilibrium (a tax riot) where households underreport their incomes, precisely because other households are expected to do so as well. We then consider three alternative approaches to designing a tax scheme when one is worried about bad equilibria.

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File URL: http://www.econ.umn.edu/~bassetto/research/riots/taxriots.pdf
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Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2005 Meeting Papers with number 433.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:red:sed005:433
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  1. Mikhail Golosov & Aleh Tsyvinski, 2004. "Designing Optimal Disability Insurance: A Case for Asset Testing," NBER Working Papers 10792, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Mikhail Golosov & Narayana Kocherlakota & Aleh Tsyvinski, 2003. "Optimal Indirect and Capital Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(3), pages 569-587.
  3. Huberto M. Ennis & Todd Keister, 2003. "Government Policy and the Probability of Coordination Failures," Working Papers 0301, Centro de Investigacion Economica, ITAM.
  4. Stefania Albanesi & Christopher Sleet, 2004. "Dynamic optimal taxation with private information," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 140, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  5. Jackson, Matthew O., 1999. "A Crash Course in Implementation Theory," Working Papers 1076, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  6. Jackson, Matthew O, 1991. "Bayesian Implementation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(2), pages 461-77, March.
  7. Pesendorfer, Wolfgang & Levine, David & Fudenberg, Drew, 1998. "When Are Nonanonymous Players Negligible?," Scholarly Articles 3203775, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  8. Levine, David K & Pesendorfer, Wolfgang, 1995. "When Are Agents Negligible?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1160-70, December.
  9. Moffitt, Robert, 1985. "Unemployment insurance and the distribution of unemployment spells," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 85-101, April.
  10. Krasa, Stefan & Villamil, Anne P, 1994. "Optimal Multilateral Contracts," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 167-87, March.
  11. Ennis, Huberto M. & Keister, Todd, 2005. "Optimal fiscal policy under multiple equilibria," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(8), pages 1359-1377, November.
  12. 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.
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