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Consumption Taxes and Economic Efficiency in a Stochastic OLG Economy

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  • Shinichi Nishiyama
  • Kent Smetters

Abstract

Fundamental tax reform is examined in a heterogeneous overlapping-generations (OLG) model in which agents face idiosyncratic earnings shocks and uncertain life spans. Following Auerbach and Kotlikoff (1987), a Lump-Sum Redistribution Authority is used to rigorously examine efficiency gains over the transition path. A progressive income tax is replaced with a flat consumption tax (for example, a value-added tax or a national retail sales tax). If shocks are insurable (that is, no risk), this reform improves (interim) efficiency, a result consistent with the previous literature. But if, more realistically, shocks are uninsurable, this reform reduces efficiency, even though national wealth and output increase over the entire transition path. This efficiency loss, in large part, stems from reduced intragenerational risk sharing that was previously provided by the progressive tax system

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 9492.

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Date of creation: Feb 2003
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9492

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  1. Auerbach, Alan J. & Hines, James Jr., 2002. "Taxation and economic efficiency," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 21, pages 1347-1421 Elsevier.
  2. Gouveia, Miguel & Strauss, Robert P., 1994. "Effective Federal Individual Tax Functions: An Exploratory Empirical Analysis," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 47(2), pages 317-39, June Cita.
  3. Mariacristina De Nardi & Selahattin Imrohoroglu & Thomas J. Sargent, 1999. "Projected U.S. Demographics and Social Security," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 2(3), pages 575-615, July.
  4. Stokey, Nancy L & Rebelo, Sergio, 1995. "Growth Effects of Flat-Rate Taxes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(3), pages 519-50, June.
  5. Mark Huggett & Gustavo Ventura, 1999. "On the Distributional Effects of Social Security Reform," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 2(3), pages 498-531, July.
  6. David Altig, 2001. "Simulating Fundamental Tax Reform in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 574-595, June.
  7. Mirrlees, James A, 1971. "An Exploration in the Theory of Optimum Income Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(114), pages 175-208, April.
  8. Judd, Kenneth L., 1999. "Optimal taxation and spending in general competitive growth models," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 1-26, January.
  9. Engen, Eric M. & Gravelle, Jane G. & Smetters, Kent, 1997. "Dynamic Tax Models: Why They Do the Things They Do," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 50(3), pages 657-82, September.
  10. S. Rao Aiyagari, 1994. "Optimal capital income taxation with incomplete markets, borrowing constraints, and constant discounting," Working Papers 508, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  11. Shinichi Nishiyama, 2002. "Bequests, Inter Vivos Transfers, and Wealth Distribution," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 5(4), pages 892-931, October.
  12. Juan C. Conesa & Dirk Krueger, 1999. "Social Security Reform with Heterogeneous Agents," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 2(4), pages 757-795, October.
  13. Alan J. Auerbach & Jagadeesh Gokhale & Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 1994. "Generational Accounting: A Meaningful Way to Evaluate Fiscal Policy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 73-94, Winter.
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  1. Förespråkar OECD platt skatt för Sverige?
    by Martin Flodén in Ekonomistas on 2008-04-22 16:30:31
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Cited by:
  1. Shinichi Nishiyama, 2004. "Social Security Reform in an Economy with Population Aging," Econometric Society 2004 North American Winter Meetings 582, Econometric Society.
  2. Hans Fehr & Sabine Jokisch & Laurence J Kotlikoff, 2006. "Will China Eat Our Lunch or Take Us to Dinner? Simulating the Transition Paths of the US, EU, Japan and China," RBA Annual Conference Volume, in: Christopher Kent & Anna Park & Daniel Rees (ed.), Demography and Financial Markets Reserve Bank of Australia.
  3. Yamada, Tomoaki, 2012. "Income risk, macroeconomic and demographic change, and economic inequality in Japan," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 63-84.
  4. Hans Fehr & Sabine Jokisch & Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 2005. "Will China Eat Our Lunch or Take Us Out to Dinner? Simulating the Transition Paths of the U.S., EU, Japan, and China," NBER Working Papers 11668, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Yamada, Tomoaki, 2011. "A politically feasible social security reform with a two-tier structure," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 199-224, September.
  6. Hans Fehr & Christian Habermann, 2008. "Risk Sharing and Efficiency Implications of Progressive Pension Arrangements," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 110(2), pages 419-443, 06.
  7. Sabine Jokisch & Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 2005. "Simulating the Dynamic Macroeconomic and Microeconomic Effects of the FairTax," NBER Working Papers 11858, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Victor Duarte Lledo, 2005. "Tax Systems under Fiscal Adjustment: A Dynamic CGE Analysis of the Brazilian Tax Reform," IMF Working Papers 05/142, International Monetary Fund.

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