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Changing Social Preferences and Optimal Redistributive Taxation

Author

Listed:
  • Jang-Ting Guo

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

  • Alan Krause

    (University of York)

Abstract

We examine a dynamic model of optimal nonlinear taxation of labor income and savings, in which there are two political parties: left-wing and right-wing. The parties differ only in their redistributive preferences, with the left-wing party having a stronger preference for redistribution. Our analysis explicitly considers the possibility that society's preference for redistribution may change, as reflected in its future voting behavior. The incumbent government respects the possibility that society's preference may change, and sets taxes to maximize expected social welfare. Our main result is that an incumbent left-wing (resp. right-wing) government will implement a regressive (resp. progressive) savings tax policy. The incumbent government implements this policy not out of self interest, but to accommodate the redistributive goals of the opposing party.

Suggested Citation

  • Jang-Ting Guo & Alan Krause, 2015. "Changing Social Preferences and Optimal Redistributive Taxation," Working Papers 201512, University of California at Riverside, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucr:wpaper:201512
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    File URL: http://economics.ucr.edu/repec/ucr/wpaper/201512.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Brett, Craig & Weymark, John A., 2011. "How optimal nonlinear income taxes change when the distribution of the population changes," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(11), pages 1239-1247.
    2. Blomquist, Soren & Micheletto, Luca, 2006. "Optimal redistributive taxation when government's and agents' preferences differ," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(6-7), pages 1215-1233, August.
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    5. 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.
    6. O'Donoghue, Ted & Rabin, Matthew, 2006. "Optimal sin taxes," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(10-11), pages 1825-1849, November.
    7. Alan Krause, 2012. "Optimal Savings Taxation when Individuals have Different CRRA Utility Functions," Discussion Papers 12/13, Department of Economics, University of York.
    8. Guo, Jang-Ting & Krause, Alan, 2015. "Dynamic income taxation without commitment: Comparing alternative tax systems," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 319-326.
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    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.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Nonlinear Taxation; Redistribution; Normative Taxation.;

    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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