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Entrepreneurship, Wealth Inequality, and Taxation

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  • Cesaire Meh

    (Bank of Canada)

Abstract

This paper investigates the importance of entrepreneurship when quantifying the aggregate and distributional effects of switching from a progressive to a proportional income tax system. I find that the distributional consequences of the tax reform in a model economy with entrepreneurs contrast markedly from those in a model economy with no entrepreneurs. The elimination of progressive taxation has a negligible effect on wealth inequality when entrepreneurship is considered but has a large effect when entrepreneurship is omitted. The framework used is an occupational choice model, in which the decision to become an entrepreneur is determined by the ability to manage a firm and by asset holdings. The calibrated economy can account for the high savings rate of entrepreneurs relative to non-entrepreneurs, and the high concentration of wealth observed in the data. (Copyright: Elsevier)

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.red.2005.03.001
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics in its journal Review of Economic Dynamics.

Volume (Year): 8 (2005)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
Pages: 688-719

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Handle: RePEc:red:issued:v:8:y:2005:i:3:p:688-719

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Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Distribution of wealth; Progressive taxation; Proportional taxation; Financial constraints.;

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References

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  1. Vincenzo Quadrini, 2000. "Entrepreneurship, Saving and Social Mobility," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 3(1), pages 1-40, January.
  2. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Andrew F. Newman, 1990. "Occupational Choice and the Process of Development," Discussion Papers 911, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  3. Abowd, John M & Card, David, 1989. "On the Covariance Structure of Earnings and Hours Changes," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 411-45, March.
  4. Robert Carroll & Douglas Holtz-Eakin & Mark Rider & Harvey S. Rosen, 1998. "Entrepreneurs, Income Taxes, and Investment," NBER Working Papers 6374, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Quadrini, Vincenzo, 1999. "The Importance of Entrepreneurship for Wealth Concentration and Mobility," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 45(1), pages 1-19, March.
  6. Robert J. Barro & Chaipat Sahasakul, 1983. "Measuring the Average Marginal Tax Rate from the Individual Income Tax," NBER Working Papers 1060, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Robert Carroll & Douglas Holtz-Eakin & Mark Rider & Harvey Rosen, 1996. "Income Taxes and Entrepreneur' Use of Labor," Working Papers 752, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  8. Ana Casta¤eda & Javier D¡az-Gim‚nez & Jos‚-Victor R¡os-Rull, 1998. "Earnings and wealth inequality and income taxation: quantifying the tradeoffs of switching to a proportional income tax in the U.S," Working Paper 9814, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  9. Marco Cagetti & Mariacristina De Nardi, 2004. "Taxation, entrepreneurship, and wealth," Staff Report 340, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  10. David Altig, 2001. "Simulating Fundamental Tax Reform in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 574-595, June.
  11. David Altig & Charles T. Carlstrom, 1996. "Marginal tax rates and income inequality in a life-cycle model," Working Paper 9621, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  12. Sarte, Pierre-Daniel G., 1997. "Progressive taxation and income inequality in dynamic competitive equilibrium," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 145-171, October.
  13. Ana Castaneda & Javier Diaz-Gimenez & Jose-Victor Rios-Rull, 2003. "Accounting for the U.S. Earnings and Wealth Inequality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(4), pages 818-857, August.
  14. Vincenzo Quadrini & José-Víctor Ríos-Rull, 1997. "Understanding the U.S. distribution of wealth," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Spr, pages 22-36.
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