Nonlinear Income Tax Reforms
This paper addresses questions of the following nature: under what conditions does a welfare-improving reform of a nonlinear income tax system necessitate a change in a particular agent's marginal tax rate or total tax burden? Our analysis is therefore a study in tax reform, rather than in optimal taxation. We consider a simple model with three types of agents (high-skill, middle-skill, and low-skill) who have preferences that are quasi-linear in labour. Under these assumptions and using our methodology, specific characteristics of the initial suboptimal tax system can be determined when all welfare-improving tax reforms require specified changes in a particular agent's tax treatment. Some other necessary features of the tax reform can also be determined. Thus, unlike many tax reform analyses in the literature, we are able to reach a number of clear-cut conclusions.
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