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Preference Heterogeneity and Optimal Capital Income Taxation

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  • Mikhail Golosov
  • Aleh Tayvinski
  • Matthew Weinzierl

Abstract

We analytically and quantitatively examine a prominent justi.cation for capital income taxation: goods preferred by those with high ability ought to be taxed. We study an environment where commodity taxes are allowed to be nonlinear functions of income and consumption and .nd that, when ability is positively related to a preference for a good, optimal marginal commodity taxes on this good may be regressive: i.e., declining with income. We derive an analytical expression for optimal commodity taxation, allowing us to study the forces for and against regressivity. We then parameterize the model to evidence on the relationship between skills and preferences and examine the quantitative case for taxes on future consumption (saving). The relationship between skill and time preference delivers quantitatively small, generally regressive capital income taxes and would justify only a fraction of the prevailing level of capital income taxation.JCKNMLNHOGJE

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE in its series STICERD - Public Economics Programme Discussion Papers with number 04.

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Date of creation: Jan 2010
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Handle: RePEc:cep:stippp:04

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Web page: http://sticerd.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/default.asp

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  1. Mikhail Golosov & Narayana Kocherlakota & Aleh Tsyvinski, 2003. "Optimal Indirect and Capital Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(3), pages 569-587.
  2. Ritva Tarkiainen & Matti Tuomala, 2007. "On optimal income taxation with heterogeneous work preferences," International Journal of Economic Theory, The International Society for Economic Theory, vol. 3(1), pages 35-46.
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  4. Emmanuel Saez, 2000. "The Desirability of Commodity Taxation under Non-Linear Income Taxation and Heterogeneous Tastes," NBER Working Papers 8029, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Raj Chetty, 2009. "Bounds on Elasticities with Optimization Frictions: A Synthesis of Micro and Macro Evidence on Labor Supply," NBER Working Papers 15616, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  15. Mikhail Golosov & Maxim Troshkin & Aleh Tsyvinski, 2011. "Optimal Dynamic Taxes," NBER Working Papers 17642, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  17. Daniel J. Benjamin & Sebastian A. Brown & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2006. "Who is “Behavioral”? Cognitive Ability and Anomalous Preferences," Levine's Working Paper Archive 122247000000001334, David K. Levine.
  18. Mikhail Golosov & Maxim Troshkin & Aleh Tsyvinski, 2011. "Optimal Taxation: Merging Micro and Macro Approaches," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 43, pages 147-174, 08.
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Cited by:
  1. Benjamin B. Lockwood & Matthew C. Weinzierl, 2012. "De Gustibus non est Taxandum: Heterogeneity in Preferences and Optimal Redistribution," NBER Working Papers 17784, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Matthew C. Weinzierl, 2012. "The Promise of Positive Optimal Taxation," NBER Working Papers 18599, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Peter A. Diamond & Emmanuel Saez, 2011. "The Case for a Progressive Tax: From Basic Research to Policy Recommendations," CESifo Working Paper Series 3548, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Jang-Ting Guo & Alan Krause, . "Dynamic Nonlinear Income Taxation with Quasi-Hyperbolic Discounting and No Commitment," Discussion Papers 11/16, Department of Economics, University of York.
  5. Anna Grodecka & Karlygash Kuralbayeva, 2014. "Optimal Environmental Policy, Public Goods and Labor Markets over the Business Cycle," OxCarre Working Papers 137, Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford.
  6. Hakki Yazici & Ctirad Slavik, 2013. "Machines, Buildings, and Optimal Dynamic Taxes," 2013 Meeting Papers 766, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  7. Antoine Bozio & Guy Laroque & Cormac O'Dea, 2013. "Heterogeneity in time preference in older households," IFS Working Papers W13/02, Institute for Fiscal Studies.

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