NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The Optimal Size of a Tax Collection Agency

Joel Slemrod, Shlomo Yitzhaki

NBER Working Paper No. 1759
Issued in October 1985
NBER Program(s):   PE

This paper addresses the optimal degree of law enforcement regarding tax evasion. It derives the conditions that characterize the optimal size of a tax collection agency, and then provides a simple interpretation of the conditions in terms of excess burden.The paper clarified earlier findings that suggest that the optimal size should be set higher than a simple cost-benefit calculation would indicate. It concludes with a numerical example that illustrates the optimality condition and demonstrates that a policy based on a naive cost-benefit analysis of the tax collection agency could result in a substantial overcommitment of resources.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w1759

Published: Slemrod, Joel and Shlomo Yitzhaki. "The Optimal Size of a Tax Collection Agency," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, vol.89, pp183-192, 1987W citation courtesy of

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