Canta, Chiara, Cremer, Helmuth and Gahvari, Firouz (2024) Welfare-improving tax evasion. Scandinavian Journal of Economics, vol. 126 (n° 1). pp. 98-126.

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Identification Number : 10.1111/sjoe.12539


We study optimal income taxation in a two-group framework where the private cost of misreporting income is positively correlated with productivity. We show that, if high-wage types always reveal their income truthfully, letting low-wage types cheat would lead to Pareto-superior outcomes regardless of the audit costs (as compared to deterring them). When there is no cheating, redistribution takes place on first- or second-best frontiers with the low-wage types always ending up worse off than the high-wage types. Letting low-wage types conceal their income reduces the need to recourse to second-best mechanisms for redistribution. Additionally, it increases the reach of first-best redistribution to outcomes at which low-wage types are better off than high-wage types.

Item Type: Article
Language: English
Date: January 2024
Refereed: Yes
Place of Publication: Oxford
Uncontrolled Keywords: Optimal taxation, tax evasion, audits, welfare-improving
JEL Classification: H20 - General
H21 - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
H26 - Tax Evasion
Divisions: TSE-R (Toulouse)
Site: UT1
Date Deposited: 27 Apr 2023 09:04
Last Modified: 14 Feb 2024 13:11
OAI Identifier:
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