Labor supply, uncertainty, and efficient taxation

Jonathan Eaton, Harvey S. Rosen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


We analyze the structure of an optimal linear income tax when workers are uncertain about their wages at the time they choose their labor supplies. Background for the normative analysis is provided by an outline of the positive theory of wage taxation and labor supply under uncertainty. It is then shown that given imperfect information about wages, lump-sum taxation is not necessarily efficient. Because a wage tax reduces the riskiness of wage income, some combination of a lump-sum tax and a wage tax generally will minimize excess burden.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)365-374
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Public Economics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1980

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics


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