Conference Agenda

Overview and details of the sessions of this online conference.

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Session Overview
E02: Optimal Taxation
Thursday, 19/Aug/2021:
12:30pm - 2:00pm

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12:30pm - 12:52pm

Charity, Status, and Optimal Taxation: Welfarist and Non-Welfarist Approaches

Thomas Aronsson1, Olof Johansson-Stenman2, Ronald Wendner3

1University of Umeå; 2University of Gothenburg, Sweden; 3University of Graz

Taxation of charitable giving to a public good is analyzed in a continuous-type framework where people care about social comparisons. Regardless of whether the government acknowledges the warm glow of giving, leisure separability together with zero transaction costs of giving imply that governmental contributions are completely crowded out. Stronger concerns for relative charitable giving as well as larger transaction costs tend to support lower marginal subsidies, whereas concerns for relative consumption work in the other direction. The paper also presents a dual screening approach where charitable giving constitutes an indicator of wealth. Extensive numerical simulations supplement the theoretical findings.

Aronsson-Charity, Status, and Optimal Taxation-316.pdf

12:52pm - 1:15pm

Inverse Fai Taxation: What do we compensate for in Europe and the United States?

Erwin Oooghe2, Andreas Peichl1

1LMU / ifo, Germany; 2KU Leuven

In this paper we bring together the inverse optimal tax literature and the fairness literature. We invert a fair tax formula and apply it to tax- benefit schemes in Europe and the United States to estimate the implicit degree of compensation for each factor that determines individual well-being.

Oooghe-Inverse Fai Taxation-463.pdf

1:15pm - 1:37pm

Optimal Capital Taxation Under Stochastic Returns To Wealth

Eddy Zanoutene

Université Paris II - Panthéon Assas, France

I present a model of optimal capital taxation with heterogeneous labor productivity and stochastic, scale dependent, returns to savings.

The optimal policy combines confiscatory capital income taxes with wealth transfers to perfectly insure agents against risky returns. However as soon as returns exhibit scale dependence, an access to the expected rate of return conditional on initial savings must be guaranteed at the optimum.

In settings where the government does not observe capital income but only savings, there is no capital taxation at the optimum. However, in environments where the government does not observe savings but only information on capital income, the optimum does feature positive capital taxation as it provides some form of insurance against risky returns. This positive capital taxation at the optimum extends to the case where the government only observes ex post wealth. These results are valid under any social welfare function.

Zanoutene-Optimal Capital Taxation Under Stochastic Returns-439.pdf

1:37pm - 2:00pm

Optimal Design of Asset-Tested Transfer Programs

Andreas Peichl1,2, Dominik Sachs1, Daniel Weishaar1

1University of Munich, Germany; 2ifo Munich, Germany

Asset means testing regulations are a recurring but controversial feature of transfer programs in modern welfare states. In this project, we derive conditions for the optimal design of asset-tested transfer programs which are based on reduced-form elasticities. The optimal level of asset testing trades-of the benefits from targeting redistribution to individuals in need against the tax revenue changes implied by labor supply and savings reactions. As an empirical application, we plan to provide a quantification of the German basic income support system and seek to outline avenues for welfare-improving reforms. In contrast to previous work, our study will discuss the potential of non-standard asset testing rules which depend on age, the employment history, the duration of unemployment and the asset type.

Peichl-Optimal Design of Asset-Tested Transfer Programs-528.pdf

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