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Income Taxation in a Life Cycle Model with Human Capital

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  • Michael P. Keane

    ()
    (Nuffield College, University of Oxford)

Abstract

I examine the effect of labor income taxation in life-cycle models where work experience builds human capital. In this case, the wage no longer equals the opportunity cost of time – which is, instead, the wage plus returns to work experience. This has a number of interesting consequences. First, the data appear consistent with much larger labor supply elasticities than most prior work suggests. Second, again contrary to conventional wisdom, permanent tax changes can have larger effects on current labor supply than temporary tax changes. Third, human capital amplifies the labor supply response to permanent tax changes in the long-run, as a permanent tax reduces the rate of human capital accumulation (reducing worker productivity). Fourth, for plausible parameter values, welfare losses from proportional income taxation are likely to be much larger than conventional wisdom suggests.

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File URL: http://www.nuffield.ox.ac.uk/economics/papers/2012/Taxes_HC_42_Nuffield.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford in its series Economics Papers with number 2012-W08.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: 15 Oct 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nuf:econwp:1208

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Web page: http://www.nuff.ox.ac.uk/economics/

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  1. Michael Keane, 2010. "Labor Supply and Taxes: A Survey," Working Paper Series 160, Finance Discipline Group, UTS Business School, University of Technology, Sydney.
  2. Edward C. Prescott, 1986. "Theory ahead of business cycle measurement," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Fall, pages 9-22.
  3. Ellen R. McGrattan & Richard Rogerson, 1998. "Changes in hours worked since 1950," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Win, pages 2-19.
  4. Michael P. Keane & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 2006. "The Role of Labor and Marriage Markets, Preference Heterogeneity and the Welfare System in the Life Cycle Decisions of Black, Hispanic and White Women," PIER Working Paper Archive 06-004, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  5. Emmanuel Saez & Joel B. Slemrod & Seth H. Giertz, 2009. "The Elasticity of Taxable Income with Respect to Marginal Tax Rates: A Critical Review," NBER Working Papers 15012, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. MaCurdy, Thomas E, 1981. "An Empirical Model of Labor Supply in a Life-Cycle Setting," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(6), pages 1059-85, December.
  7. van der Klaauw, Wilbert & Wolpin, Kenneth I., 2008. "Social security and the retirement and savings behavior of low-income households," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 145(1-2), pages 21-42, July.
  8. Patrick Bajari & Ali Hortacsu, 2005. "Are Structural Estimates of Auction Models Reasonable? Evidence from Experimental Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(4), pages 703-741, August.
  9. Richard Blundell & Thomas MaCurdy, 1998. "Labour supply: a review of alternative approaches," IFS Working Papers W98/18, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  10. Eric French, 2000. "The effects of health, wealth, and wages on labor supply and retirement behavior," Working Paper Series WP-00-2, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  11. Saez, Emmanuel, 2001. "Using Elasticities to Derive Optimal Income Tax Rates," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(1), pages 205-29, January.
  12. Goeree, Jacob K. & Holt, Charles A. & Palfrey, Thomas R., 2003. "Risk averse behavior in generalized matching pennies games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 97-113, October.
  13. Keane, Michael P & Wolpin, Kenneth I, 2001. "The Effect of Parental Transfers and Borrowing Constraints on Educational Attainment," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 42(4), pages 1051-1103, November.
  14. Low, Hamish & Maldoom, Daniel, 2004. "Optimal taxation, prudence and risk-sharing," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(3-4), pages 443-464, March.
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  16. repec:bla:restud:v:72:y:2005:i:2:p:395-427 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. Richard Rogerson & Johanna Wallenius, 2007. "Micro and Macro Elasticities in a Life Cycle Model With Taxes," NBER Working Papers 13017, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Kimmel, Jean & Kniesner, Thomas J., 1998. "New evidence on labor supply:: Employment versus hours elasticities by sex and marital status," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 289-301, July.
  19. Edward C. Prescott, 2006. "Nobel Lecture: The Transformation of Macroeconomic Policy and Research," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(2), pages 203-235, April.
  20. Geweke, John & Keane, Michael, 2000. "An empirical analysis of earnings dynamics among men in the PSID: 1968-1989," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 96(2), pages 293-356, June.
  21. David Domeij & Martin Floden, 2006. "The Labor-Supply Elasticity and Borrowing Constraints: Why Estimates are Biased," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 9(2), pages 242-262, April.
  22. Keane, Michael P & Wolpin, Kenneth I, 1997. "The Career Decisions of Young Men," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(3), pages 473-522, June.
  23. James J. Heckman, 1976. "Estimates of a Human Capital Production Function Embedded in a Life-Cycle Model of Labor Supply," NBER Chapters, in: Household Production and Consumption, pages 225-264 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Susumu Imai & Michael P. Keane, 2004. "Intertemporal Labor Supply and Human Capital Accumulation," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(2), pages 601-641, 05.
  25. Shaw, Kathryn L, 1989. "Life-Cycle Labor Supply with Human Capital Accumulation," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 30(2), pages 431-56, May.
  26. Sheshinski, Eytan, 1972. "The Optimal Linear Income-Tax," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(3), pages 297-302, July.
  27. Heckman, James J & MaCurdy, Thomas, 1982. "Corrigendum on a Life Cycle Model of Female Labour Supply," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(4), pages 659-60, October.
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Cited by:
  1. P. Rupert & G. Zanella, 2014. "Revisiting wage, earnings, and hours profiles," Working Papers wp936, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  2. Michael P. Keane, 2011. "Labor Supply and Taxes: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(4), pages 961-1075, December.

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