Staff Report 86

Income Stability and Economic Efficiency Under Alternative Tax Schemes

Preston J. Miller | Former Vice President and Monetary Adviser

Published June 1, 1983

The relative efficiency of alternative income tax systems is analyzed in a dynamic, general equilibrium model having an endogenous labor supply and imperfect risk sharing. This theoretical model allows different tax systems to be compared with respect to their labor distortion effects, their automatic income stability properties, and the welfare they provide on average to a representative consumer-laborer. The comparisons are done for the optimal tax parameters under each given tax system. Despite a role for income stabilization, the optimal income tax schedule turns out to be regressive.

Published In: Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy (Vol. 20, Spring 1984, pp. 121-141)

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