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Optimal Taxation of Entrepreneurial Capital with Private Information

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  • Albanesi, Stefania

Abstract

This paper studies optimal taxation of entrepreneurial capital and financial assets in economies with private information. Returns to entrepreneurial capital are risky and depend on entrepreneurs’ effort, which is not observed. The presence of idiosyncratic risk in capital returns implies that constrained-efficient allocations display an intertemporal wedge on entrepreneurial capital that can be positive or negative. The properties of optimal marginal taxes on entrepreneurial capital depend on the sign of this wedge. If the wedge is positive, the marginal capital tax should be decreasing in capital returns, while the opposite is true when the wedge is negative. The optimal tax system equalizes after tax returns on all assets, thus reducing the variance of capital returns after tax relative to other assets. If entrepreneurs are allowed to sell shares of their capital to outside investors, returns to externally owned capital are subject to double taxation at the level of the entrepreneur and at the level of the outside investors. Even if entrepreneurs can purchase private insurance against their idiosyncratic risk, optimal asset taxes are essential to implement the constrained-efficient allocation if entrepreneurial portfolios are private information.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5647.

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Date of creation: Apr 2006
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5647

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Keywords: entrepreneurial capital; optimal taxation; private information;

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References

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  1. Aubhik Khan & B. Ravikumar, 1999. "Growth and risk-sharing with private information," Working Papers 99-12, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Tsyvinski, Aleh & Golosov, Mikhail & Farhi, Emmanuel, 2009. "A Theory of Liquidity and Regulation of Financial Intermediation," Scholarly Articles 4481504, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. da Costa, Carlos E. & Severo, Tiago, 2008. "Education, preferences for leisure and the optimal income tax schedule," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1-2), pages 113-138, February.
  3. Zhang, Yuzhe, 2009. "Dynamic Contracting with Persistent Shocks," MPRA Paper 23108, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Florian Scheuer, 2014. "Entrepreneurial Taxation with Endogenous Entry," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 6(2), pages 126-63, May.
  5. N. Gregory Mankiw & Matthew Weinzierl & Danny Yagan, 2009. "Optimal Taxation in Theory and Practice," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(4), pages 147-74, Fall.
  6. Vasia Panousi, 2008. "Capital Taxation with Entrepreneurial Risk," 2008 Meeting Papers 36, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  7. Borys Grochulski & Tomasz Piskorski, 2006. "Optimal Wealth Taxes with Risky Human Capital," 2006 Meeting Papers 59, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  8. Vasia Panousi & Catarina Reis, 2012. "Optimal capital taxation with idiosyncratic investment risk," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2012-70, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  9. Césaire Meh & Yaz Terajima, 2009. "Uninsurable investment risks and capital income taxation," Annals of Finance, Springer, vol. 5(3), pages 521-541, June.

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