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Ramsey meets Hosios: the optimal capital tax and labor market efficiency

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  • David M. Arseneau
  • Sanjay K. Chugh

Abstract

Heterogeneity between unemployed and employed individuals matters for optimal fiscal policy. This paper considers the consequences of welfare heterogeneity between these two groups for the determination of optimal capital and labor income taxes in a model with matching frictions in the labor market. In line with a recent finding in the literature, we find that the optimal capital tax is typically non-zero because it is used to indirectly mitigate an externality along the extensive labor margin that arises from search and matching frictions. However, the consideration of heterogeneity makes our result differ in an important way: even for a well-known parameter configuration (the Hosios condition) that typically eliminates this externality, we show that the optimal capital income tax is still non-zero. We also show that labor adjustment along the intensive margin has an important effect on efficiency at the extensive margin, and hence on the optimal capital tax, independent of welfare heterogeneity. Taken together, our results show that these two empirically-relevant features of the labor market can have a quantitatively-important effect on the optimal capital tax.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series International Finance Discussion Papers with number 870.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgif:870

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Keywords: Labor market ; Employment ; Fiscal policy;

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  1. V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe, 1998. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy," Staff Report 251, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  2. Merz, Monika, 1995. "Search in the labor market and the real business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 269-300, November.
  3. Chamley, Christophe, 1981. "The Welfare Cost of Capital Income Taxation in a Growing Economy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(3), pages 468-96, June.
  4. Krause, M.U. & Lubik, T.A., 2003. "The (Ir)relevance of Real Wage Rigidity in the New Keynesian Model with Search Frictions," Discussion Paper 2003-113, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  5. Richard Rogerson & Robert Shimer & Randall Wright, 2004. "Search-Theoretic Models of the Labor Market-A Survey," NBER Working Papers 10655, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Sanjay K. Chugh, 2006. "Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy with Sticky Wages and Sticky Prices," Computing in Economics and Finance 2006 228, Society for Computational Economics.
  7. Schmitt-Grohé, Stephanie & Uribe, Martín, 2006. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy in a medium-scale macroeconomic model," Working Paper Series 0612, European Central Bank.
  8. Andolfatto, David, 1996. "Business Cycles and Labor-Market Search," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 112-32, March.
  9. Lucas, Robert Jr. & Stokey, Nancy L., 1983. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy in an economy without capital," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 55-93.
  10. Shi, Shouyong & Wen, Quan, 1999. "Labor market search and the dynamic effects of taxes and subsidies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 457-495, April.
  11. Antonella Trigari, 2009. "Equilibrium Unemployment, Job Flows, and Inflation Dynamics," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 41(1), pages 1-33, 02.
  12. Walsh, Carl E., 2003. "Labor Market Search, Sticky Prices, and Interest Rate Policies," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt6tg550dv, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  13. Kenneth L. Judd, 2002. "Capital-Income Taxation with Imperfect Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 417-421, May.
  14. David Domeij, 2005. "Optimal Capital Taxation and Labor Market Search," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 8(3), pages 623-650, July.
  15. Hosios, Arthur J, 1990. "On the Efficiency of Matching and Related Models of Search and Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(2), pages 279-98, April.
  16. Oliver Jean Blanchard & Peter Diamond, 1989. "The Beveridge Curve," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 20(1), pages 1-76.
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Cited by:
  1. Sanjay K. Chugh, 2006. "Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy with Sticky Wages and Sticky Prices," Computing in Economics and Finance 2006 228, Society for Computational Economics.
  2. Sanjay K. Chugh & David M. Arseneau, 2009. "Tax Smoothing in Frictional Labor Markets," 2009 Meeting Papers 202, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  3. Arseneau, David M. & Chugh, Sanjay K., 2008. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy with costly wage bargaining," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(8), pages 1401-1414, November.
  4. Brecher, Richard A. & Chen, Zhiqi & Choudhri, Ehsan U., 2010. "A dynamic model of shirking and unemployment: Private saving, public debt, and optimal taxation," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 34(8), pages 1392-1402, August.
  5. David M. Arseneau & Ryan Chahrour & Sanjay K. Chugh & Alan Finkelstein Shapiro, 2013. "Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy in Customer Markets," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 842, Boston College Department of Economics.
  6. David M. Arseneau & Sanjay K. Chugh, 2007. "Bargaining, fairness, and price rigidity in a DSGE environment," International Finance Discussion Papers 900, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  7. Sanjay K. Chugh & Andre Kurmann & David M. Arseneau, 2009. "Optimal Capital Taxation in an Economy with Capital Allocation Frictions," 2009 Meeting Papers 147, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  8. Carl Walsh, 2007. "Inflation Targeting and the Role of Real Objectives," Research and Policy Notes 2007/02, Czech National Bank, Research Department.
  9. Jung, Philip, 2007. "Optimal Taxation and (Female)-Labor Force Participation over the Cycle," MPRA Paper 8744, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 13 May 2008.

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