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Optimal Nonlinear Income Taxation with Habit Formation

Author

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  • Jang-Ting Guo

    () (Department of Economics, University of California Riverside)

  • Alan Krause

    () (Department of Economics, University of York)

Abstract

It has recently been shown that incorporating "keeping up with the Joneses" preferences into a prototypical two-ability-type optimal nonlinear taxation model leads to higher marginal income tax rates for both types of agents. Specifically, the high-skill type faces a positive marginal income tax rate, rather than zero as in the conventional case. In this paper, agents' utility functions are postulated to exhibit "habit formation in consumption" such that the prototypical two-ability-type optimal nonlinear taxation model becomes a dynamic analytical framework. We show that if the government can commit to its future fiscal policy, the presence of consumption habits does not affect the standard results on optimal marginal income tax rates. By contrast, if the government cannot pre-commit, the high-skill type will face a negative marginal income tax rate, whereas the effect of habit formation on the low-skill type's marginal tax rate is ambiguous.

Suggested Citation

  • Jang-Ting Guo & Alan Krause, 2008. "Optimal Nonlinear Income Taxation with Habit Formation," Working Papers 200810, University of California at Riverside, Department of Economics, revised Aug 2008.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucr:wpaper:200810
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    File URL: http://economics.ucr.edu/papers/papers08/08-10.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jody Overland & Christopher D. Carroll & David N. Weil, 2000. "Saving and Growth with Habit Formation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 341-355, June.
    2. Jang-Ting Guo & Zuzana Janko, 2009. "Reexamination of Real Business Cycles in a Small Open Economy," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 76(1), pages 165-182, July.
    3. Hotz, V Joseph & Kydland, Finn E & Sedlacek, Guilherme L, 1988. "Intertemporal Preferences and Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(2), pages 335-360, March.
    4. Marcus Berliant & John O. Ledyard, 2014. "Optimal Dynamic Nonlinear Income Taxes with No Commitment," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 16(2), pages 196-221, April.
    5. Jaime Alonso-Carrera & Jordi Caballé & Xavier Raurich, 2004. "Consumption Externalities, Habit Formation and Equilibrium Efficiency," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 106(2), pages 231-251, June.
    6. Bill Dupor & Wen-Fang Liu, 2003. "Jealousy and Equilibrium Overconsumption," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 423-428, March.
    7. Oswald, Andrew J., 1983. "Altruism, jealousy and the theory of optimal non-linear taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 77-87, February.
    8. Constantinides, George M, 1990. "Habit Formation: A Resolution of the Equity Premium Puzzle," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(3), pages 519-543, June.
    9. Craig Brett & John Weymark, 2008. "Optimal Nonlinear Taxation of Income and Savings without Commitment," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0805, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
    10. Carroll, Christopher D., 2000. "Solving consumption models with multiplicative habits," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 67-77, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Jang-Ting Guo & Alan Krause, 2015. "Changing Social Preferences and Optimal Redistributive Taxation," Working Papers 201512, University of California at Riverside, Department of Economics.
    2. Guo, Jang-Ting & Krause, Alan, 2015. "Dynamic nonlinear income taxation with quasi-hyperbolic discounting and no commitment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, pages 101-119.
    3. Guo, Jang-Ting & Krause, Alan, 2015. "Dynamic income taxation without commitment: Comparing alternative tax systems," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 319-326.
    4. Guo, Jang-Ting & Krause, Alan, 2014. "Optimal Dynamic Nonlinear Income Taxation Under Loose Commitment," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 18(06), pages 1403-1427, September.
    5. repec:ebl:ecbull:eb-17-00175 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. repec:spr:sochwe:v:48:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s00355-017-1038-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Shu-Hua Chen, 2012. "On the Growth and Stability Effects of Habit Formation and Durability in Consumption," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 13(2), pages 283-298, November.
    8. Jang-Ting Guo & Alan Krause, 2013. "Optimal nonlinear taxation of income and education expenditures," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 65(1), pages 74-95, January.
    9. Shigeo Morita, 2014. "The time consistent public goods provision," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 14-31, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP).
    10. Aronsson, Thomas & Johansson-Stenman, Olof, 2014. "Positional preferences in time and space: Optimal income taxation with dynamic social comparisons," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 1-23.
    11. Alan Krause, 2015. "On Redistributive Taxation under the Threat of High-Skill Emigration," Discussion Papers 15/21, Department of Economics, University of York.
    12. Shigeo Morita, 2014. "Optimal income taxation without commitment: policy implications of durable goods," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 14-32, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP).
    13. Alan Krause, 2012. "Optimal Savings Taxation when Individuals have Different CRRA Utility Functions," Discussion Papers 12/13, Department of Economics, University of York.
    14. Aronsson, Thomas & Schöb, Ronnie, 2017. "Habit formation and the Pareto-efficient provision of public goods," Discussion Papers 2017/1, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Income Taxation; Habit Formation; Commitment;

    JEL classification:

    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies

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