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Is Tax sharing Optimal? An Analysis in a Principal-Agent Framework

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    We study the effects of a statutory wage tax sharing rule in a principal - agent framework with moral hazard (à la Holmstrom, 1979) using the approach of Bose, Pal, Sappington (2007) to model the stochastic relationship between the agent’s unobserved effort and his observed performance. The analysis indicates that tax sharing with positive legislated contributions from both the employer and employee does not maximize any of the outcomes - employee effort, wages, profits or welfare. Moreover, a rule which specifies a corner solution, with 100% of the tax statutorily levied on the employer will maximize effort, expected profit and expected welfare while 100% of the tax statutorily levied on the employee will maximize expected wages.

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    File URL: http://www.umbc.edu/economics/wpapers/wp_09_105.pdf
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    Paper provided by UMBC Department of Economics in its series UMBC Economics Department Working Papers with number 09-105.

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    Length: 5 pages
    Date of creation: 20 Apr 2009
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:umb:econwp:09105
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    UMBC Department of Economics 1000 Hilltop Circle Baltimore MD 21250, USA

    Phone: 410-455-2160
    Fax: 410-455-1054
    Web page: http://www.umbc.edu/economics

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    1. Feldstein, Martin, 1995. "Effect of Marginal Tax Rates on Taxable Income: A Panel Study of the 1986 Tax Reform Act," Scholarly Articles 2766676, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    2. Seade, J. K., 1977. "On the shape of optimal tax schedules," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 203-235, April.
    3. Jewitt, Ian, 1988. "Justifying the First-Order Approach to Principal-Agent Problems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(5), pages 1177-90, September.
    4. Eaton, Jonathan & Rosen, Harvey S, 1980. "Taxation, Human Capital, and Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(4), pages 705-15, September.
    5. David E. M. Sappington, 1991. "Incentives in Principal-Agent Relationships," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 45-66, Spring.
    6. Arup Bose & Debashis Pal & David E. M. Sappington, 2011. "On the Performance of Linear Contracts," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(1), pages 159-193, 03.
    7. Feldstein, Martin, 1995. "The Effect of Marginal Tax Rates on Taxable Income: A Panel Study of the 1986 Tax Reform Act," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(3), pages 551-72, June.
    8. Eaton, Jonathan & Rosen, Harvey S., 1980. "Labor supply, uncertainty, and efficient taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 365-374, December.
    9. Diamond, P., 1994. "Optimal Income Taxation: An Exemple with a U-Shaped Pattern of Optimal Marginal Tax Rates," Working papers 94-14, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
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