Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Optimal Capital Income Taxation and Redistribution

Contents:

Author Info

  • Ulrike Ludden

    (University of Mannheim)

Abstract

This paper studies the effects of agent heterogeneity on optimal capital income taxes, where taxes are collected for redistributional purposes. In a finite horizon model with an arbitrary number of heterogeneous agents, we ask what forms of taxation are optimal for different causes of inequality and how correlations, e.g. between labor incomes and wealth levels, affect optimal tax rates. While steady state analyses such as Judd (1985) have found that the optimal capital income tax rate in the steady state is zero, we show that off the steady state this is generally not the case. In a two period model with arbitrarily many heterogeneous households, we find that if households are heterogeneous with respect to productivities and endowments, capital income taxes generally increase welfare. If they are heterogeneous only with respect to productivities, it is optimal not to tax capital income. The extent of the inequality and the joint distribution of its different components (productivities and endowments in our model) are crucial for the size of the marginal welfare effects of taxation. A positive correlation between endowments and productivities, for example, increases the marginal welfare effects of capital income taxation. The paper emphasizes the analogy between commodity taxes and capital income taxes, which effectively tax consumption goods at different points in time. With the help of the literature on optimal commodity taxation based on Atkinson and Stiglitz (1976), we can check the robustness of our results. We find that zero capital income taxation is optimal only if endowments are homogeneous and production is weakly separable between labor and capital and utility functions are homothetic and identical across agents. When we link our model to the infinite horizon steady state analyses as described in Judd (1985), we find that the models are compatible under appropriate assumptions.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://fmwww.bc.edu/RePEc/es2000/0658.pdf
File Function: main text
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Econometric Society in its series Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers with number 0658.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: 01 Aug 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ecm:wc2000:0658

Contact details of provider:
Phone: 1 212 998 3820
Fax: 1 212 995 4487
Email:
Web page: http://www.econometricsociety.org/pastmeetings.asp
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords:

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Gian Maria Milesi-Ferrett & Nouriel Roubini, 1995. "Growth Effects of Income and Consumption Taxes: Positive and Normative Analysis," NBER Working Papers 5317, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. A. B. Atkinson, 1977. "Optimal Taxation and the Direct versus Indirect Tax Controversy," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 10(4), pages 590-606, November.
  3. V.V. Chari & Lawrence J. Christiano & Patrick J. Kehoe, 1993. "Optimal fiscal policy in a business cycle model," Staff Report 160, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  4. Paul Klein & JosÈ-VÌctor RÌos-Rull, 2003. "Time-consistent optimal fiscal policy," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 44(4), pages 1217-1245, November.
  5. V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe, 1998. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy," Staff Report 251, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  6. Jonathan Heathcote & David Domeij, 2000. "Capital Versus Labor Income Taxation With Heterogeneous Agents," Computing in Economics and Finance 2000 346, Society for Computational Economics.
  7. Judd, Kenneth L., 1985. "Redistributive taxation in a simple perfect foresight model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 59-83, October.
  8. Larry E. Jones & Rodolfo E. Manuelli & Peter E. Rossi, 1993. "On the Optimal Taxation of Capital Income," NBER Working Papers 4525, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. CREMER, Helmuth & PESTIEAU , Pierre & ROCHET, Jean-Charles, . "Direct versus indirect taxation: the design of the tax structure revisited," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1528, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  10. Deaton, Angus, 1979. "Optimally uniform commodity taxes," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 2(4), pages 357-361.
  11. Naito, Hisahiro, 1999. "Re-examination of uniform commodity taxes under a non-linear income tax system and its implication for production efficiency," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 165-188, February.
  12. repec:fth:louvco:9910 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. S. Rao Aiyagari, 1994. "Optimal capital income taxation with incomplete markets, borrowing constraints, and constant discounting," Working Papers 508, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  14. Plug, Erik J. S. & van Praag, Bernard M. S. & Hartog, Joop, 1999. "If we knew ability, how would we tax individuals?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 183-211, May.
  15. Sheshinski, Eytan, 1972. "The Optimal Linear Income-Tax," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(3), pages 297-302, July.
  16. Chamley, Christophe, 1986. "Optimal Taxation of Capital Income in General Equilibrium with Infinite Lives," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 607-22, May.
  17. David R. Stockman, 2001. "Balanced-Budget Rules: Welfare Loss and Optimal Policies," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 4(2), pages 438-459, July.
  18. Atkinson, A. B. & Stiglitz, J. E., 1976. "The design of tax structure: Direct versus indirect taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1-2), pages 55-75.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. CREMER, Helmuth & PESTIEAU, Pierre & ROCHET, Jean-Charles, 2001. "Capital income taxation when inherited wealth is not observable," CORE Discussion Papers 2001020, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ecm:wc2000:0658. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Christopher F. Baum).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.