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Balancing the Equity-efficiency Trade-off in Personal Income Taxation: An Evolutionary Approach

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  • Simone Pellegrino

    () (Department of Economics and Statistics (Dipartimento di Scienze Economico-Sociali e Matematico-Statistiche), University of Torino, Italy)

  • Guido Perboli

    () (Department of Control and Computer Engineering, Politecnico di Torino, Italy)

  • Giovanni Squillero

    () (Department of Control and Computer Engineering, Politecnico di Torino, Italy)

Abstract

In this paper we propose a multi-objective evolutionary algorithm for supporting the definition of a personal income tax reform. As a case study, we apply this methodology to the Italian income tax, and consider a recently implemented tax cut. Our optimization algorithm is able to determine a set of tax structures that maximize the redistributive effect of the tax while minimizing its inefficiency - considering for the former the Reynolds-Smolensky index and for the latter the weighted average of taxpayers' effective marginal tax rates. The approach also takes into account two additional factors: the tax has to guarantee a specific revenue and to minimize the share of losing taxpayers with respect to the pre-reform situation. Experimental results clearly demonstrate that the methodology we employ can support the policy-maker's decisions in complex, real- world situations.

Suggested Citation

  • Simone Pellegrino & Guido Perboli & Giovanni Squillero, 2017. "Balancing the Equity-efficiency Trade-off in Personal Income Taxation: An Evolutionary Approach," Working papers 044, Department of Economics and Statistics (Dipartimento di Scienze Economico-Sociali e Matematico-Statistiche), University of Torino.
  • Handle: RePEc:tur:wpapnw:044
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Morini, Matteo & Pellegrino, Simone, 2018. "Personal income tax reforms: A genetic algorithm approach," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 264(3), pages 994-1004.
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    6. Maria Giovanna Monti & Simone Pellegrino & Achille Vernizzi, 2015. "On Measuring Inequity in Taxation Among Groups of Income Units," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 61(1), pages 43-58, March.
    7. Bibek Adhikari & James Alm, 2016. "Evaluating the Economic Effects of Flat Tax Reforms Using Synthetic Control Methods," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 437-463, October.
    8. Andersen, Torben M & Maibom, Jonas, 2016. "The big trade-off between efficiency and equity - is it there?," CEPR Discussion Papers 11189, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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    10. Knut Røed & Steinar Strøm, 2002. "Progressive Taxes and the Labour Market: Is the Trade–off Between Equality and Efficiency Inevitable?," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(1), pages 77-110, February.
    11. Emmanuel Saez, 2001. "Using Elasticities to Derive Optimal Income Tax Rates," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 68(1), pages 205-229.
    12. James Alm & Trey Dronyk-Trosper & Steven M. Sheffrin, 2017. "What Drives State Tax Reforms?," Public Finance Review, , vol. 45(4), pages 443-457, July.
    13. Simone Pellegrino & Achille Vernizzi, 2013. "On measuring violations of the progressive principle in income tax systems," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 45(1), pages 239-245, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Daniela Mantovani & Simone Pellegrino & Achille Vernizzi, 2020. "A note on the maximum value of the Kakwani index," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 58(2), pages 869-874, February.
    2. Simone Pellegrino & Achille Vernizzi, 2018. "Decomposing the Redistributive Effect of Taxation to Reveal Axiom Violations," Working papers 049, Department of Economics and Statistics (Dipartimento di Scienze Economico-Sociali e Matematico-Statistiche), University of Torino.
    3. Edyta Małecka-Ziembińska & Radosław Ziembiński, 2020. "Application of Genetic Algorithm to Optimal Income Taxation," Journal of Risk and Financial Management, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 13(11), pages 1-24, October.
    4. Francesca Greselin & Simone Pellegrino & Achille Vernizzi, 2017. "Lorenz versus Zenga Inequality Curves: a New Approach to Measuring Tax Redistribution and Progressivity," Working papers 046, Department of Economics and Statistics (Dipartimento di Scienze Economico-Sociali e Matematico-Statistiche), University of Torino.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Personal Income Tax; Evolutionary Algorithms; Multi-Objective Optimization;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies

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