Constraints on profit income distribution and production efficiency in private ownership economies with Ramsey taxation

Paper number: 10/10

Paper date: September 2010

Year: 2010

Paper Category: Discussion Paper

Authors

Sushama Murty

Abstract

In economies with Ramsey taxation, decreasing returns to scale, and private ownership, we show that second-best production efficiency is desirable when profit tax rates vary across groups of firms provided that the institutional rules which define profit incomes of consumers depend on the distribution of profits across these groups of firms. The classic results of Dasgupta and Stiglitz [1972] (of firm-specific profit taxation) and Diamond and Mirrlees [1971] and Guesnerie [1995] (of uniform one-hundred percent profit taxation) follow as special cases of our model. Moreover, second-best analysis suggests the desirability of proportionate taxation of inter-firm transactions in the absence of profit taxes. Alternatively, it recommends profit taxation as a perfect substitute for intermediate-input taxation. The analysis also suggests that, combined with the knowledge of the distribution of profit incomes in the economy, profit taxation can promote both efficiency and redistributive objectives of the government.

Constraints on profit income distribution and production efficiency in private ownership economies with Ramsey taxation Constraints on profit income distribution and production efficiency in private ownership economies with Ramsey taxation