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Optimal income taxation with composition effects

Laurence Jacquet () and Etienne Lehmann ()

No 12276, CEPR Discussion Papers from C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers

Abstract: We study the optimal nonlinear income tax problem with multidimensional individual characteristics on which taxes cannot be conditioned. We obtain an optimal tax formula that generalizes the standard one by averaging, with specific weights, the sufficient statistics of individuals who earn the same income. Our first main contribution consists in showing that multidimensional heterogeneity brings a new source of endogeneity to the sufficient statistics that we call composition effects. We highlight that composition effects may substantially affect optimal marginal tax rates. Our results put the stress on the need for empirical studies on sufficient statistics for different demographic groups e.g., according to gender, age, ethnicity. As a second main contribution, we show the equivalence between the tax perturbation and mechanism design approaches which bridges the gap between both methods that have, so far, been used separately in the literature.

Keywords: allocation perturbation; multidimensional screening problems; optimal taxation; sufficient statistics.; tax perturbation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-pbe and nep-pub
Date: 2017-09
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Working Paper: Optimal income taxation with composition effects (2018) Downloads
Working Paper: Optimal Income Taxation with Composition Effects (2017) Downloads
Working Paper: Optimal Income Taxation with Composition Effects (2017) Downloads
Working Paper: Optimal income taxation with composition effects (2017) Downloads
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