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Optimal taxation and constrained inefficiency in an infinite-horizon economy with incomplete markets

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  • Piero Gottardi
  • Atsushi Kajii
  • Tomoyuki Nakajima

Abstract

We study the dynamic Ramsey problem of finding optimal public debt and linear taxes on capital and labor income within a tractable infinite horizon model with incomplete markets. With zero public expenditure and debt, it is optimal to tax the risky labor income and subsidize capital, while a positive amount of public debt is welfare improving. A steady state optimality condition is derived which implies that the tax on capital is positive, when savings are sufficiently inelastic to returns. A calibration of our model to the US economy indicates positive optimal taxes and a small but positive optimal debt level.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by European University Institute in its series Economics Working Papers with number ECO2011/18.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:eui:euiwps:eco2011/18

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Keywords: incomplete markets; Ramsey equilibrium; optimal taxation; optimal public debt; constrained inefficiency;

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  1. Constantinides,George & Duffie,Darrel, 1992. "Asset pricing with heterogeneous consumers," Discussion Paper Serie A 381, University of Bonn, Germany.
  2. Jones, Larry E. & Manuelli, Rodolfo E. & Rossi, Peter E., 1997. "On the Optimal Taxation of Capital Income," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 93-117, March.
  3. Albert Marcet & Francesc Obiols-Homs & Philippe Weil, 2003. "Incomplete Markets, Labor Supply and Capital Accumulation," Sciences Po publications 659, Sciences Po.
  4. Bassetto, Marco & Kocherlakota, Narayana, 2004. "On the irrelevance of government debt when taxes are distortionary," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 299-304, March.
  5. Tom Krebs, 2003. "Human Capital Risk And Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(2), pages 709-744, May.
  6. George-Marios Angeletos, 2007. "Uninsured Idiosyncratic Investment Risk and Aggregate Saving," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 10(1), pages 1-30, January.
  7. Piero Gottardi & Atsushi Kajii & Tomoyuki Nakajima, 2010. "Constrained Inefficiency and Optimal Taxation with Uninsurable Risks," Economics Working Papers ECO2010/02, European University Institute.
  8. Juan Carlos Conesa & Sagiri Kitao & Dirk Krueger, 2007. "Taxing Capital? Not a Bad Idea After All!," NBER Working Papers 12880, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Julio Davila & Jay H. Hong & Per Krusell & José-Victor Rios Rull, 2005. "Constrained efficiency in the neoclassical growth model with uninsurable idiosyncratic shocks," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00196183, HAL.
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  11. Atsushi Kajii & Antonio Villanacci & Alessandro Citanna, 1998. "Constrained suboptimality in incomplete markets: a general approach and two applications," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 495-521.
  12. Ábrahám, Árpád & Cárceles-Poveda, Eva, 2010. "Endogenous trading constraints with incomplete asset markets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 145(3), pages 974-1004, May.
  13. Lars Ljungqvist & Thomas J. Sargent, 2004. "Recursive Macroeconomic Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 2, volume 1, number 026212274x, December.
  14. Larry E. Jones & Rodolfo Manuelli, 1990. "A Convex Model of Equilibrium Growth," NBER Working Papers 3241, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Zhu, Xiaodong, 1992. "Optimal fiscal policy in a stochastic growth model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 250-289, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Piero Gottardi & Atsushi Kajii & Tomoyuki Nakajima, 2014. "Constrained inefficiency and optimal taxation with uninsurable risks," CIGS Working Paper Series 14-002E, The Canon Institute for Global Studies.
  2. Acikgoz, Omer, 2013. "Transitional Dynamics and Long-run Optimal Taxation Under Incomplete Markets," MPRA Paper 50160, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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