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Wage endogeneity, tax evasion, and optimal nonlinear income taxation

Firouz Gahvari () and Luca Micheletto

Journal of Public Economic Theory, 2020, vol. 22, issue 3, 501-531

Abstract: This paper studies the interaction between tax evasion and wage endogeneity within a Mirrleesian optimal tax framework. It characterizes the optimal marginal income tax rates on the skilled and the unskilled workers and the optimal amount of resources to be spent on deterring tax evasion. It shows that tax evasion weakens the incentives for the government to manipulate the marginal tax rates for the purpose of exploiting general equilibrium effects on wages. Moreover, the extent of this depends on the curvature of the evasion cost function. It also argues that marginal income tax rates are likely to be higher when the government attempts to deter evasion.

Date: 2020
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Journal of Public Economic Theory is currently edited by Rabah Amir, Gareth Myles and Myrna Wooders

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