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Income Taxation in a Life Cycle Model with Human Capital

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  • Michael Keane

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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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number 2012-W08.

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Date of creation: 26 Jul 2012
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Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:2012-w08

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  1. Michael P. Keane & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 1995. "The career decisions of young men," Working Papers 559, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  2. Ellen R. McGrattan & Richard Rogerson, 1998. "Changes in hours worked since 1950," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Win, pages 2-19.
  3. 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.
  4. Sheshinski, Eytan, 1972. "The Optimal Linear Income-Tax," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(3), pages 297-302, July.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Low, Hamish & Maldoom, Daniel, 2004. "Optimal taxation, prudence and risk-sharing," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(3-4), pages 443-464, March.
  8. Patrick Bajari & Ali Hortacsu, 2003. "Are Structural Estimates of Auction Models Reasonable? Evidence from Experimental Data," Working Papers 03002, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Richard Blundell & Thomas MaCurdy, 1998. "Labour supply: a review of alternative approaches," IFS Working Papers W98/18, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  12. 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.
  13. Emmanuel Saez & Joel Slemrod & Seth H. Giertz, 2012. "The Elasticity of Taxable Income with Respect to Marginal Tax Rates: A Critical Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 50(1), pages 3-50, March.
  14. repec:bla:restud:v:72:y:2005:i:2:p:395-427 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Eric French, 2005. "The Effects of Health, Wealth, and Wages on Labour Supply and Retirement Behaviour," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(2), pages 395-427.
  16. 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.
  17. Charles L. Ballard & Don Fullerton, 1993. "Distortionary Taxes and the Provision of Public Goods," NBER Working Papers 3506, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. 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.
  19. Michael Keane, 2010. "Labor Supply and Taxes: A Survey," Working Paper Series 160, Finance Discipline Group, UTS Business School, University of Technology, Sydney.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. Edward C. Prescott, 1986. "Theory ahead of business cycle measurement," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Fall, pages 9-22.
  23. 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.
  24. Domeij, David & Floden, Martin, 2001. "The labor-supply elasticity and borrowing constraints: Why estimates are biased," Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 480, Stockholm School of Economics.
  25. 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.
  26. Saez, Emmanuel, 2001. "Using Elasticities to Derive Optimal Income Tax Rates," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(1), pages 205-29, January.
  27. 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.
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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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