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Dynamic Income Taxation without Commitment: Comparing Alternative Tax Systems

Author

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  • Jang-Ting Guo

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

  • Alan Krause

    () (Department of Economics, University of York)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Jang-Ting Guo & Alan Krause, 2010. "Dynamic Income Taxation without Commitment: Comparing Alternative Tax Systems," Working Papers 201005, University of California at Riverside, Department of Economics, revised Jun 2010.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucr:wpaper:201005
    as

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    File URL: http://economics.ucr.edu/repec/ucr/wpaper/10-05.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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, June.
    2. Raj Chetty & Adam Guren & Day Manoli & Andrea Weber, 2011. "Are Micro and Macro Labor Supply Elasticities Consistent? A Review of Evidence on the Intensive and Extensive Margins," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 471-475, May.
    3. 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.
    4. Bisin, Alberto & Rampini, Adriano A., 2006. "Markets as beneficial constraints on the government," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(4-5), pages 601-629, May.
    5. 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.
    6. J. A. Mirrlees, 1971. "An Exploration in the Theory of Optimum Income Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(2), pages 175-208.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. Raj Chetty, 2006. "A New Method of Estimating Risk Aversion," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1821-1834, December.
    10. 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, August.
    11. 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.
    12. 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.
    13. Krause, Alan, 2009. "Optimal nonlinear income taxation with learning-by-doing," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(9-10), pages 1098-1110, October.
    14. Peter Diamond & Johannes Spinnewijn, 2011. "Capital Income Taxes with Heterogeneous Discount Rates," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 52-76, November.
    15. Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1982. "Self-selection and Pareto efficient taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 213-240, March.
    16. 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, February.
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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, vol. 109(C), pages 101-119.
    3. Alan Krause, 2015. "On Redistributive Taxation under the Threat of High-Skill Emigration," Discussion Papers 15/21, Department of Economics, University of York.
    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:oup:oxecpp:v:70:y:2018:i:1:p:73-92. is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Dynamic Income Taxation; 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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