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Nonseparable Preferences and Optimal Social Security Systems

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  • Borys Grochulski
  • Narayana Kocherlakota

Abstract

In this paper, we consider economies in which agents are privately informed about their skills, which are evolving stochastically over time. We require agents' preferences to be weakly separable between the lifetime paths of consumption and labor. However, we allow for intertemporal nonseparabilities in preferences like habit formation. We show that such nonseparabilities imply that optimal asset income taxes are necessarily retrospective in nature. We show that under weak conditions, it is possible to implement a socially optimal allocation using a social security system in which taxes on wealth are linear, and taxes/transfers are history-dependent only at retirement. The average asset income tax in this system is zero.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 13362.

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Date of creation: Sep 2007
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Publication status: published as Grochulski, Borys & Kocherlakota, Narayana, 2010. "Nonseparable preferences and optimal social security systems," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 145(6), pages 2055-2077, November.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13362

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  1. Borys Grochulski & Tomasz Piskorski, 2007. "Risky human capital and deferred capital income taxation," Working Paper 06-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  2. Mikhail Golosov & Narayana Kocherlakota & Aleh Tsyvinski, 2003. "Optimal Indirect and Capital Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(3), pages 569-587.
  3. Mikhail Golosov & Aleh Tsyvinski, 2005. "Designing Optimal Disability Insurance: A Case for Asset Testing," Levine's Bibliography 784828000000000450, UCLA Department of Economics.
  4. Mark Huggett & Juan Carlos Parra, 2010. "How Well Does the U.S. Social Insurance System Provide Social Insurance?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(1), pages 76-112, 02.
  5. Narayana R. Kocherlakota, 2005. "Zero Expected Wealth Taxes: A Mirrlees Approach to Dynamic Optimal Taxation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(5), pages 1587-1621, 09.
  6. Stefania Albanesi & Christopher Sleet, 2006. "Dynamic Optimal Taxation with Private Information," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(1), pages 1-30.
  7. Daron Acemoglu & Kenneth Rogoff & Michael Woodford, 2009. "NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2008, Volume 23," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number acem08-1.
  8. Diamond, P. A. & Mirrlees, J. A., 1978. "A model of social insurance with variable retirement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 295-336, December.
  9. Mikhail Golosov & Aleh Tsyvinski & Ivan Werning, 2007. "New Dynamic Public Finance: A User's Guide," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2006, Volume 21, pages 317-388 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Mikhail Golosov & Maxim Troshkin & Aleh Tsyvinski, 2011. "Optimal Dynamic Taxes," NBER Working Papers 17642, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Koehne, Sebastian & Kuhn, Moritz, 2013. "Optimal capital taxation for time-nonseparable preferences," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79951, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  3. Philippe Choné & Guy Laroque, 2014. "Income tax and retirement schemes," Sciences Po Economics Discussion Papers 2014-06, Sciences Po Departement of Economics.
  4. Philippe Choné & Guy Laroque, 2014. "Income tax and retirement schemes," Sciences Po publications 2014-06, Sciences Po.
  5. Jean-Baptiste Michau, 2011. "Optimal Redistribution with Intensive and Extensive Labor Supply Margins: A Life-Cycle Perspective," Working Papers hal-00639121, HAL.
  6. Sebastian Koehne & Moritz Kuhn, 2014. "Optimal Taxation in a Habit Formation Economy," CESifo Working Paper Series 4581, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. Luigi Balletta & Giovanni Immordino, 2013. "On Repeated Moral Hazard with a Present Biased Agent," CSEF Working Papers 341, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  8. Aspen Gorry & Ezra Oberfield, 2009. "Optimal Taxation Over the Life Cycle," 2009 Meeting Papers 536, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  9. Marco Bassetto, 2009. "The Research Agenda: Marco Bassetto on the Quantitative Evaluation of Fiscal Policy Rules," EconomicDynamics Newsletter, Review of Economic Dynamics, vol. 10(2), April.
  10. Oliver Denk & Jean-Baptiste Michau, 2013. "Optimal Social Security with Imperfect Tagging," Working Papers hal-00796521, HAL.
  11. Borys Grochulski, 2010. "On the optimality of Ramsey taxes in Mirless economies," Working Paper 10-14, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  12. Borys Grochulski, 2008. "Limits to redistribution and intertemporal wedges : implications of Pareto optimality with private information," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Spr, pages 173-196.

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