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Taxing Mobile Capital with Labor Market Imperfections

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  • Wolfram F. Richter
  • Kerstin Schneider

Abstract

Taxing internationally mobile factors of production has been dismissed as an inefficient means of raising tax revenue. This paper addresses the question of whether it is efficient to tax capital at source when labor markets and the taxation of lumpsum income suffer from imperfections. Four reasons for taxing capital are identified: (i) institutional constraints rendering any taxation of profit income infeasible; (ii) market power in the demand for labor; (iii) market power in the supply of labor if it increases with the employment of capital; (iv) unemployment benefits that are not tied to net real wages. It is argued that the case for taxing capital is not particularly strong. By reinterpreting capital as energy the results are applicable to the discussion about ecological tax reforms.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 477.

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Date of creation: 2001
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_477

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Keywords: Optimal taxation; factor mobility; labor market imperfections; ecological tax reform;

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References

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  1. de Bovenberg, A Lans & Mooij, Ruud A, 1994. "Environmental Levies and Distortionary Taxation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 1085-89, September.
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  3. Bovenberg, A.L. & Mooij, R.A. de, 1994. "Environmental taxes and labor-market distortions," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-148753, Tilburg University.
  4. Erkki Koskela & Ronnie Schöb & Hans-Werner Sinn, 1998. "Pollution, Factor Taxation and Unemployment," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 5(3), pages 379-396, July.
  5. Koskela, Erkki & Schob, Ronnie, 1999. "Alleviating unemployment:: The case for green tax reforms," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(9), pages 1723-1746, October.
  6. Mintz, J. & Tulkens, H., . "Optimality properties of alternative systems of taxation of foreign capital income," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1212, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  7. Ruud A. de Mooij & A. Lans Bovenberg, . "Environmental Taxes, International Capital Mobility and Inefficient Tax Systems: Tax Burden vs. Tax Shifting," EPRU Working Paper Series, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics 95-14, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  8. Bertil Holmlund & Ann-Sofie Kolm, 2000. "Environmental Tax Reform in a Small Open Economy With Structural Unemployment," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 7(3), pages 315-333, May.
  9. Bovenberg, A Lans & van der Ploeg, Frederick, 1998. " Tax Reform, Structural Unemployment and the Environment," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 100(3), pages 593-610, September.
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  14. Bucovetsky, Sam & Wilson, John Douglas, 1991. "Tax competition with two tax instruments," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 333-350, November.
  15. Gordon, Roger H, 1986. "Taxation of Investment and Savings in a World Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(5), pages 1086-1102, December.
  16. Richter, Wolfram F. & Schneider, Kerstin, 2003. "Energy taxation: Reasons for discriminating in favor of the production sector," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 461-476, June.
  17. Stefan Boeters & Kerstin Schneider, 1999. "Government versus Union. The Structure of Optimal Taxation in a Unionized Labor Market," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 56(2), pages 174-, June.
  18. Peter A. Diamond & J. A. Mirrlees, 1968. "Optimal Taxation and Public Production," Working papers 22, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  19. William M. Boal & Michael R. Ransom, 1997. "Monopsony in the Labor Market," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(1), pages 86-112, March.
  20. Oswald, Andrew J, 1985. " The Economic Theory of Trade Unions: An Introductory Survey," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 87(2), pages 160-93.
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