Optimal Pre-Announced Tax Reform Revisited
Title: Optimal Pre-Announced Tax Reform Revisited
Author: TRABANDT, Mathias
Publisher: European University Institute
Series/Report no.: EUI ECO; 2007/52
Domeij and Klein (2005) have shown that the welfare gains of an optimal capital and labor income tax reform decline the longer the reform is pre-announced before its implementation. In other words, pre-announcement is costly in terms of welfare. I reexamine their claim by taking two additional features of government spending into account: public goods and public capital. In my baseline optimal reform, I show that valuable and productive government spending is likely to reduce the welfare costs of pre-announcement. Further, the baseline optimal pre-announced reform displays short-run confiscation and/or subsidy of capital and labor income. As a further contribution, I show that these short-run properties are not important for the welfare gains of pre-announced reforms with sufficiently long pre-announcement duration. In particular, a 4 years pre-announced suboptimal reform in which taxes move - without confiscation and subsidy - directly to their endogenous long-run values at the implementation date generates similar welfare gains as the 4 years preannounced baseline optimal reform. The underlying tax structure of both reforms, however, appears to be very different.
Subject: pre-announced optimal tax reform; public goods; public capital; confiscation; subsidy; welfare; E0; E6; H0
Type of Access: openAccess