The Optimal Taxation of Unskilled Labor with Job Search and Social Assistance

39 Pages Posted: 23 Jun 2003 Last revised: 4 Nov 2010

See all articles by Jan Boone

Jan Boone

Tilburg University - Center for Economic Research (CentER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); TILEC

A. Lans Bovenberg

Tilburg University - Center for Economic Research (CentER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Date Written: June 2003

Abstract

In order to explore the optimal taxation of low-skilled labor, we extend the standard model of optimal non-linear income taxation in the presence of quasi-linear preferences in leisure by allowing for involuntary unemployment, job search and an exogenous welfare benefit. In trading off low-skilled employment against work effort of higher skilled workers, the government balances distortions on the search margin with those on work effort. Higher welfare benefits typically reduce taxes paid by low-skilled workers and raise marginal tax rates throughout the skill distribution.

Suggested Citation

Boone, Jan and Bovenberg, A. Lans, The Optimal Taxation of Unskilled Labor with Job Search and Social Assistance (June 2003). NBER Working Paper No. w9785, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=418287

Jan Boone (Contact Author)

Tilburg University - Center for Economic Research (CentER) ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands
+31 13 466 2399 (Phone)
+31 13 466 3042 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

TILEC ( email )

Warandelaan 2
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands

A. Lans Bovenberg

Tilburg University - Center for Economic Research (CentER) ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands
+31 13 466 2912 (Phone)
+31 13 466 3066 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.CESifo.de

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