Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics
HomeAboutSeriesSubject/JEL codesAdvanced Search
Department of Business and Management Science, Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) Discussion Papers, Department of Business and Management Science, Norwegian School of Economics (NHH)

No 2014/33:
Optimal Redistribution and Monitoring of Labor Effort

Floris T. Zoutman () and Bas Jacobs ()

Abstract: This paper extends the Mirrlees (1971) model of optimal non-linear income taxation with a monitoring technology that allows the government to verify labor effort at a positive, but non-infinite cost. We analyze the joint determination of the non-linear monitoring and tax schedules and the conditions under which these can be implemented. Monitoring of labor effort reduces the distortions created by income taxation and raises optimal marginal tax rates, possibly above 100 percent. The optimal intensity of monitoring increases with the marginal tax rate and the labor-supply elasticity. Our simulations demonstrate that monitoring strongly alleviates the trade-off between equity and efficiency as welfare gains of monitoring are around 1.4 percent of total output. The optimal intensity of monitoring follows a U-shaped pattern, similar to that of optimal marginal tax rates. Our paper can explain why large welfare states optimally rely on work-dependent tax credits, active labormarket policies, benefit sanctions and work bonuses in welfare programs to redistribute income efficiently.

Keywords: Optimal non-linear taxation; monitoring; costly verification ability/effort; optimal redistribution; (follow links to similar papers)

JEL-Codes: H21; H24; H26; H31; (follow links to similar papers)

33 pages, September 24, 2014

Before downloading any of the electronic versions below you should read our statement on copyright.
Download GhostScript for viewing Postscript files and the Acrobat Reader for viewing and printing pdf files.

Full text versions of the paper:

223707    PDF-file
Download Statistics

Questions (including download problems) about the papers in this series should be directed to Stein Fossen ()
Report other problems with accessing this service to Sune Karlsson () or Helena Lundin ().

Programing by
Design by Joachim Ekebom

Handle: RePEc:hhs:nhhfms:2014_033 This page was generated on 2014-12-14 19:25:18