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Dynamic Income Taxation without Commitment: Comparing Alternative Tax Systems

  • Jang-Ting Guo


    (Department of Economics, University of California Riverside)

  • Alan Krause


    (Department of Economics, University of York)

This paper addresses the question as to whether it is optimal to use separating or pooling nonlinear income taxation, or to use linear income taxation, when the government cannot commit to its future tax policy. We consider both two- period and inÖnite-horizon settings. Under empirically plausible parameter values, separating income taxation is optimal in the two-period model, whereas linear income taxation is optimal when the time horizon is inÖnite. The welfare e§ects of varying the discount rate, the degree of wage inequality, and the population of high-skill workers are also explored. For realistic changes in these parameters, separating income taxation remains optimal in the two-period formulation, and linear income taxation remains optimal in the inÖnite-horizon model.

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Paper provided by University of California at Riverside, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 201005.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2010
Date of revision: Jun 2010
Handle: RePEc:ucr:wpaper:201005
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  1. Jang-Ting Guo & Alan Krause, 2010. "Optimal Nonlinear Taxation of Income and Education Expenditures," Working Papers 201008, University of California at Riverside, Department of Economics, revised Aug 2010.
  2. Krause, Alan, 2009. "Optimal nonlinear income taxation with learning-by-doing," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(9-10), pages 1098-1110, October.
  3. Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1981. "Self-Selection and Pareto Efficient Taxation," NBER Working Papers 0632, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Golosov, Mikhail & Troshkin, Maxim & Tsyvinski, Aleh & Weinzierl, Matthew, 2013. "Preference heterogeneity and optimal capital income taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 160-175.
  5. Guo, Jang-Ting & Krause, Alan, 2015. "Dynamic nonlinear income taxation with quasi-hyperbolic discounting and no commitment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 101-119.
  6. Raj Chetty, 2003. "A New Method of Estimating Risk Aversion," NBER Working Papers 9988, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Hanming Fang, 2006. "Disentangling The College Wage Premium: Estimating A Model With Endogenous Education Choices," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1151-1185, November.
  8. Peter A. Diamond & Johannes Spinnewijn, 2009. "Capital Income Taxes with Heterogeneous Discount Rates," NBER Working Papers 15115, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Jang‐Ting Guo & Alan Krause, 2011. "Optimal Nonlinear Income Taxation with Habit Formation," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 13(3), pages 463-480, 06.
  10. 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.
  11. Adriano Rampini & Alberto Bisin, 2005. "Markets as Beneficial Constraints on the Government," 2005 Meeting Papers 325, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  12. Chetty, Nadarajan & Weber, Andrea & Guren, Adam Michael & Day, Manoli, 2011. "Are Micro and Macro Labor Supply Elasticities Consistent? A Review of Evidence on the Intensive and Extensive Margins," Scholarly Articles 11878970, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  13. Thomas Gaube, 2007. "Optimum Taxation of Each Year's Income," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 9(1), pages 127-150, 02.
  14. Marcus Berliant & John Ledyard, 2004. "Optimal Dynamic Nonlinear Income Taxes with No Commitment," Public Economics 0403004, EconWPA, revised 21 Jun 2005.
  15. 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.
  16. Mikhail Golosov & Maxim Troshkin & Aleh Tsyvinski, 2011. "Optimal Taxation: Merging Micro and Macro Approaches," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 43, pages 147-174, 08.
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