Document de travail

Welfare improving tax evasion

Chiara Canta, Helmuth Cremer et Firouz Gahvari


We study optimal income taxation in a framework where one's willingness to report his income truthfully is positively correlated with his type. We show that allowing low-productivity types to cheat leads to Pareto-superior outcomes as compared to deterring them, even if audits can be performed costlessly. When there is no cheating, redistribution takes place on first- and second-best frontiers and can never make low-ability types more well-off than high-ability types. Letting low-ability types cheat allows first-best redistribution up to a limit at which low-ability types are better off than high-ability types.


Optimal taxation, tax evasion, audits, welfare-improving.;

Codes JEL

  • H20: General
  • H21: Efficiency • Optimal Taxation
  • H26: Tax Evasion


Chiara Canta, Helmuth Cremer et Firouz Gahvari, « Welfare improving tax evasion », TSE Working Paper, n° 20-1121, juillet 2020.

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Publié dans

TSE Working Paper, n° 20-1121, juillet 2020