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On the undesirability of commodity taxation even when income taxation is not optimal

Author: Louis Kaplow; National Bureau of Economic Research.
Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. : National Bureau of Economic Research, ©2004.
Series: Working paper series (National Bureau of Economic Research), no. 10407.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"An important result due to Atkinson and Stiglitz (1976) is that differential commodity taxation is not optimal in the presence of an optimal nonlinear income tax (given weak separability of utility between labor and all consumption goods). This article demonstrates that their conclusion holds regardless of whether the income tax is optimal. In particular, given any commodity tax and income tax system, differential  Read more...
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Details

Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Louis Kaplow; National Bureau of Economic Research.
OCLC Number: 58724632
Notes: "March 2004."
Description: 1 online resource (18 pages).
Series Title: Working paper series (National Bureau of Economic Research), no. 10407.
Responsibility: Louis Kaplow.

Abstract:

"An important result due to Atkinson and Stiglitz (1976) is that differential commodity taxation is not optimal in the presence of an optimal nonlinear income tax (given weak separability of utility between labor and all consumption goods). This article demonstrates that their conclusion holds regardless of whether the income tax is optimal. In particular, given any commodity tax and income tax system, differential commodity taxation can be eliminated in a manner that results in a Pareto improvement. Also, differential commodity taxation can be proportionally reduced so as to generate a Pareto improvement. In addition, for commodity tax reforms that do not eliminate or proportionally reduce differential taxation, a simple efficiency condition is offered for determining whether a Pareto improvement is possible"--National Bureau of Economic Research web site.

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