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Tax Systems$
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Joel Slemrod and Christian Gillitzer

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780262026727

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262026727.001.0001

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Standard Optimal Tax Models

Standard Optimal Tax Models

Chapter:
(p.13) 2 Standard Optimal Tax Models
Source:
Tax Systems
Author(s):

Joel Slemrod

Christian Gillitzer

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262026727.003.0002

As background and contrast to the discussion of tax-system theory that the book develops, this chapter lays out formally the building blocks of traditional optimal tax theory. It first covers the canonical model and the key examples of optimal commodity taxation and an optimal linear income tax. These models characterize the tax system that minimizes the efficiency cost of taxation, subject to constraints on the tax instruments available, or describe the trade-off between these costs and the distribution of welfare among individuals.

Keywords:   Optimal tax theory, Optimal commodity tax, Optimal income tax, Efficiency cost

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