NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The Optimal Elasticity of Taxable Income

Joel Slemrod, Wojciech Kopczuk

NBER Working Paper No. 7922
Issued in September 2000
NBER Program(s):   PE

The strength of the behavioral response to a tax rate change depends on the environment individuals operate in, and may be manipulated by instruments controlled by the government. We first derive a measure of the social benefit to affecting this elasticity. The paper then examines this effect in the solution to the optimal income taxation problem when such an instrument is available, first in a general model and then in an example when the government chooses the income tax base.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w7922

Published: Journal of Public Economics, 2002, 84(1), 91-112. citation courtesy of

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