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Optimal dynamic taxation with indivisible labor

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  • Thomas Renstrom
  • Parantap Basu

Abstract

How should a government arrange taxes on labour and capital over time? To provide an answer, we develop the field of optimal dynamic taxation further by (i) incorporating indivisible labour and (ii) analysing the short-run dynamics of the capital and labour taxes under the second-best programme. We derive two classes of preferences for which the optimal capital tax reaches zero in a finite time. If leisure is normal, the labour tax is gradually increased for a period and then kept constant, and, if leisure is neutral, labour is not taxed at all. Finally, we analyse the dynamics of labour supply under the optimal tax programme. Copyright Blackwell Publishing Ltd and The Victoria University of Manchester, 2004.

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Paper provided by Money Macro and Finance Research Group in its series Money Macro and Finance (MMF) Research Group Conference 2003 with number 78.

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Date of creation: 27 Sep 2004
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Handle: RePEc:mmf:mmfc03:78

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  1. Kenneth L. Judd, 1982. "Redistributive Taxation in a Simple Perfect Foresight Model," Discussion Papers 572, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  2. S. Rao Aiyagari & Albert Marcet & Thomas J. Sargent & Juha Seppala, 2002. "Optimal Taxation without State-Contingent Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(6), pages 1220-1254, December.
  3. Casey B. Mulligan, 1999. "Microfoundations and Macro Implications of Indivisible Labor," NBER Working Papers 7116, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Richard Rogerson, 2010. "Indivisible Labor, Lotteries and Equilibrium," Levine's Working Paper Archive 250, David K. Levine.
  5. Chamley, Christophe, 1986. "Optimal Taxation of Capital Income in General Equilibrium with Infinite Lives," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 607-22, May.
  6. Jeremy Greenwood & Gregory W. Huffman, 1988. "On Modelling the Natural Rate of Unemployment with Indivisible Labour," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 21(3), pages 587-609, August.
  7. Andrew Atkeson & V.V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe, 1999. "Taxing capital income: a bad idea," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Sum, pages 3-17.
  8. Gary Hansen, 2010. "Indivisible Labor and the Business Cycle," Levine's Working Paper Archive 233, David K. Levine.
  9. Robert B. Barsky & N. Gregory Mankiw & Stephen P. Zeldes, 1987. "Ricardian Consumers With Keynesian Propensities," NBER Working Papers 1400, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Chamley, Christophe, 1985. "Efficient Taxation in a Stylized Model of Intertemporal General Equilibrium," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 26(2), pages 451-68, June.
  11. Gary D. Hansen & Thomas J. Sargent, 1987. "Straight Time and Overtime in Equilibrium," UCLA Economics Working Papers 455, UCLA Department of Economics.
  12. Chan, Louis Kuo Chi, 1983. "Uncertainty and the neutrality of government financing policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 351-372.
  13. Hamilton, Jonathan H, 1987. "Optimal Wage and Income Taxation with Wage Uncertainty," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 28(2), pages 373-88, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Spataro, Luca & Renström, Thomas I., 2012. "Optimal taxation, critical-level utilitarianism and economic growth," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(9-10), pages 727-738.

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