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Modernization of Tax Administrations and Optimal Fiscal Policies

  • Martin Besfamille


  • Cecilia Parlatore Siritto

Since Sandmo (1981), many articles have analyzed optimal fiscal policies in economies with tax evasion. All share a feature: they assume that the cost of enforcing the tax law is exogenous. However, governments often invest resources to reduce these enforcement costs. In a very simple model, we incorporate such investments in the analysis of an optimal fiscal policy. We characterize their optimal level and we show numerically how they interact with the other dimensions of the optimal fiscal policy. Finally, we highlight the differences between our results and those obtained in a model without investment in the tax administration.

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Paper provided by Universidad Torcuato Di Tella in its series Department of Economics Working Papers with number 2009-07.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:udt:wpecon:2009-07
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  1. Kolm, Serge-Christophe, 1973. "A note on optimum tax evasion," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 265-270, July.
  2. Allingham, Michael G. & Sandmo, Agnar, 1972. "Income tax evasion: a theoretical analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(3-4), pages 323-338, November.
  3. Louis Kaplow, 1989. "Optimal Taxation with Costly Enforcement and Evasion," NBER Working Papers 2996, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Joel Slemrod, 1989. "Optimal Taxation and Optimal Tax Systems," NBER Working Papers 3038, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. John O. Ledyard & Thomas R. Palfrey, 1999. "A Characterization of Interim Efficiency with Public Goods," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(2), pages 435-448, March.
  6. Nahum D. Melumad & Dilip Mookherjee, 1989. "Delegation as Commitment: The Case of Income Tax Audits," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 20(2), pages 139-163, Summer.
  7. Pestieau, Pierre & Possen, Uri & Slutsky, Steve, 1994. "Optimal Differential Taxes and Penalties," Public Finance = Finances publiques, , vol. 49(Supplemen), pages 15-27.
  8. Cremer, Helmuth & Gahvari, Firouz, 1994. " Tax Evasion, Concealment and the Optimal Linear Income Tax," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 96(2), pages 219-39.
  9. Bloch, Francis & Zenginobuz, E. Unal, 2006. "Tiebout equilibria in local public good economies with spillovers," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(8-9), pages 1745-1763, September.
  10. Mayshar, Joram, 1991. " Taxation with Costly Administration," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 93(1), pages 75-88.
  11. Slemrod, Joel & Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 1987. " The Optimal Size of a Tax Collection Agency," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 89(2), pages 183-92.
  12. Yitzhaki, Shlomo & Vakneen, Yitzhak, 1989. "On the Shadow Price of a Tax Inspector," Public Finance = Finances publiques, , vol. 44(3), pages 492-505.
  13. Gottlieb, Daniel, 1985. "Tax evasion and the prisoner's dilemma," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 81-89, August.
  14. Falkinger, Josef, 1991. "On optimal public good provision with tax evasion," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 127-133, June.
  15. Debraj Ray & Rajiv Vohra, 2001. "Coalitional Power and Public Goods," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(6), pages 1355-1384, December.
  16. Cremer, H. & Marchand, M. & Pestieau, P., 1990. "Evading, auditing and taxing : The equity-compliance tradeoff," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 67-92, October.
  17. Usher, Dan, 1986. "Tax Evasion and the Marginal Cost of Public Funds," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 24(4), pages 563-86, October.
  18. Slemrod, Joel, 1994. "Fixing the leak in Okun's bucket optimal tax progressivity when avoidance can be controlled," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 41-51, September.
  19. Graetz, Michael J. & Reinganum, Jennifer F. & Wilde, Louis L., . "The Tax Compliance Game: Toward an Interactive Theory of Law Enforcement," Working Papers 589, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  20. Marhuenda, Francisco & Ortuno-Ortin, Ignacio, 1997. " Tax Enforcement Problems," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 99(1), pages 61-72, March.
  21. Chander, Parkash & Wilde, Louis L, 1998. "A General Characterization of Optimal Income Tax Enforcement," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(1), pages 165-83, January.
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  25. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:104:y:1989:i:2:p:399-415 is not listed on IDEAS
  26. Hunter, William J. & Nelson, Michael A., 1996. "An IRS Production Function," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 49(1), pages 105-15, March.
  27. Cremer, Helmuth & Gahvari, Firouz, 1996. "Tax evasion and the optimum general income tax," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 235-249, May.
  28. Alessandro Balestrino & Umberto Galmarini, 2003. "Imperfect Tax Compliance and the Optimal Provision of Public Goods," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(1), pages 37-52, January.
  29. Pierre Pestieau & Uri M. Possen & Steven M. Slutsky, 2004. "Jointly Optimal Taxes and Enforcement Policies in Response to Tax Evasion," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 6(2), pages 337-374, 05.
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