Author(s): Thomas Aronsson, Luca Micheletto.
Keywords: Nonlinear income taxation,unemployment benefits,efficiency wages,redistribution.
This paper integrates efficiency wage setting in the theory of optimal redistributive income taxation. In doing so, we use a model with two skill-types, where efficiency wage setting characterizes the labor market faced by the low-skilled, whereas the high-skilled face a conventional, competitive labor market. There are two types of jobs in this economy; a low-demanding job which can be carried out by everybody, and a high-demanding job which can only be carried out by the high-skilled, meaning that a potential mimicker may either adopt a conventional income-replication strategy or a job-replication strategy. In this framework, we show that the marginal income tax implemented for the high-skilled is negative under plausible assumptions. The marginal income tax facing the low-skilled can be either positive or negative in general, even if employment-related motives for policy intervention typically contribute to an increase in this marginal tax. An increase in the unemployment benefit contributes to relax the binding self-selection constraint (irrespective of the strategy adopted by a potential mimicker), which makes this instrument particularly useful from the perspective of redistribution.
Thomas Aronsson Umeå School of Business and Economics — Umeå University, Sweden
Luca Micheletto University of Milan, Italy — Bocconi University — CESifo Germany
the paper may be downloaded here.