The Efficiency Gains from Dynamic Tax Reform
65 Pages Posted: 8 Jul 2004 Last revised: 29 Sep 2010
Date Written: December 1981
This paper presents a new simulation methodology for determining the pure efficiency gains from tax reform along the general. equilibrium rational expectations growth path of life cycle economies. The principal findings concern the effects of switching from a proportional income tax with rates similar to those in the U.S. to either a proportional tax on consumption or a proportional tax on labor income. A switch to consumption taxation generates a sustainable welfare gain of almost 2 percent of lifetime resources. In contrast, a transition to wage taxation generates a loss of greater than ? percent of lifetime re- sources. A second general result is that even a mild degree of progressivity in the income tax system imposes a very large efficiency cost.
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