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Taxing Human Capital Efficiently: The Double Dividend of Taxing Non-qualified Labour more Heavily than Qualified Labour

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  • Wolfram F. Richter

Abstract

Assuming decreasing returns to education and the endogenous supply of qualified and non-qualified labour it is shown to be efficient to supplement a consumption tax with positive incentives for education. If the return from education is isoelastic and if the choice is between (i) subsidizing the monetary cost of education and (ii) taxing nonqualified labour income more heavily than qualified labour income while keeping the effective cost of education constant, the latter policy is shown to be second-best efficient. In particular, any tax distortions should be constrained to labour choices while the choice of education should remain undistorted. The result holds for arbitrary utility functions.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1832.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1832

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Keywords: endogenous choice of labour and education; efficient taxation; human capital investment; double dividend hypothesis;

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References

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  1. repec:dgr:uvatin:2005035 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Bas Jacobs & A. Lans Bovenberg, 2005. "Human Capital and Optimal Positive Taxation of Capital Income," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 05-035/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  3. Andersson, Fredrik & Konrad, Kai A., 2001. "Human Capital Investment and Globalization in Extortionary States," IZA Discussion Papers 239, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Berthold U. Wigger, 2004. "Are Higher Education Subsidies Second Best?," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 106(1), pages 65-82, 03.
  5. Nielsen, Soren Bo & Sorensen, Peter Birch, 1997. "On the optimality of the Nordic system of dual income taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 311-329, February.
  6. Heckman, James J, 1976. "A Life-Cycle Model of Earnings, Learning, and Consumption," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(4), pages S11-44, August.
  7. Garcia-Penalosa, Cecilia & Walde, Klaus, 2000. "Efficiency and Equity Effects of Subsidies to Higher Education," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(4), pages 702-22, October.
  8. Huizinga, H.P. & Nielsen, S.B., 1995. "Capital income and profits taxation with foreign ownership of firms," Discussion Paper, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research 1995-82, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  9. Nerlove, Marc & Razin, Assaf & Sadka, Efraim & von Weizsacker, Robert K., 1993. "Comprehensive income taxation, investments in human and physical capital, and productivity," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 397-406, March.
  10. repec:dgr:uvatin:2005036 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. A. Lans Bovenberg & Bas Jacobs, 2005. "Redistribution and Education Subsidies are Siamese Twins," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 05-036/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  12. Mirrlees, James A, 1971. "An Exploration in the Theory of Optimum Income Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(114), pages 175-208, April.
  13. Schön, Wolfgang & Schreiber, Ulrich & Spengel, Christoph & Wiegard, Wolfgang, 2006. "Reform der Einkommens- und Unternehmensbesteuerung durch die duale Einkommensteuer," Wirtschaftsdienst – Zeitschrift für Wirtschaftspolitik (1998 - 2007), ZBW – German National Library of Economics / Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, vol. 86(3), pages 147-151.
  14. Trostel, Philip A, 1993. "The Effect of Taxation on Human Capital," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(2), pages 327-50, April.
  15. Lawrence Goulder, 1995. "Environmental taxation and the double dividend: A reader's guide," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, Springer, vol. 2(2), pages 157-183, August.
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Cited by:
  1. Wolfram F. Richter & Christoph Braun, 2010. "Efficient Subsidization of Human Capital Accumulation with Overlapping Generations and Endogenous Growth," CESifo Working Paper Series 2982, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Richter, Wolfram F., 2009. "Taxing education in Ramsey's tradition," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 93(11-12), pages 1254-1260, December.
  3. Wolfram F. Richter, 2007. "Efficient Tax Policy Ranks Education Higher than Saving," CESifo Working Paper Series 2106, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Bas Jacobs & Lans Bovenberg, 2008. "Optimal Taxation of Human Capital and theEarnings Function," CESifo Working Paper Series 2250, CESifo Group Munich.

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