Taxes and Employment Subsidies in Optimal Redistribution Programs

Economics

Speaker:Chuck Blackorby, University of Warwick
Date: Friday 16 January 2004
Time: 16:15
Location: Room 106 Streatam Court

Further details

This paper characterizes an optimal redistribution program when taxation authorities: (1) are uninformed about individuals' value of time in both market and non-market activities observe both market-income and time allocated to market employment, and (3) are utilitarian. Formally, the problem is a special case of a multidimensional screening problem with two dimensions of unobserved attributes. In contrast to much of the optimal income taxation" literature, we show that optimal redistribution in this environment involves distorting market employment upwards for low net-income individuals (through negative marginal income taxes or employment subsidies) and distorting employment downward for high net-income individuals (through positive marginal income taxes). It is also shown that workfare is only part of an optimal program if certain individuals have not access to market employment.