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Financiers vs. Engineers: Should the Financial Sector be Taxed or Subsidized?

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  • Thomas Philippon

Abstract

I study the allocation of human capital in an economy with production externalities, financial constraints and career choices. Agents choose to become entrepreneurs, workers or financiers. Entrepreneurship has positive externalities, but innovators face borrowing constraints and require the services of financiers in order to invest efficiently. When investment and education subsidies are chosen optimally, I find that the financial sector should be taxed in exactly the same way as the non-financial sector. When direct subsidies to investment and scientific education are not feasible, giving a preferred tax treatment to the financial sector can improve welfare by increasing aggregate investment in research and development.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 13560.

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Date of creation: Oct 2007
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Publication status: published as Philippon, Thomas. 2010. "Financiers versus Engineers: Should the Financial Sector Be Taxed or Subsidized?" American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, 2(3): 158-82. DOI: 10.1257/mac.2.3.158
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13560

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  1. Greenwood, Jeremy & Sanchez, Juan M & Wang, Cheng, 2007. "Financing Development: The Role of Information Costs," Staff General Research Papers 12848, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
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Cited by:
  1. Cahuc, P. & Challe, E., 2010. "Produce or speculate? Asset bubbles, occupational choice and efficiency," Working papers 298, Banque de France.

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