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The effects of population aging on optimal redistributive taxes in an overlapping generations model

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  • Brett, Craig

Abstract

The impact of population aging on the steady state solution to a Ordover-Phelps (1979) overlapping generations optimal nonlinear income tax problem with two types of workers and quasilinear-in-leisure preferences is investigated. A decrease in the rate of population growth, which leads to an aging population, increases the relative price of consumption per person in retirement, which tends to decrease optimal consumption for retirees of both skill types. It is also shown that the optimal steady state rate of interest equals the rate of population growth. As a result, the steady state interest rate unambiguously declines when the rate of population growth declines. The resulting adjustments in production plans has an ambiguous effect on the aggregate wage rate. This article identifies factors contributing to an increase in the aggregate wage when the population ages, namely normality of consumption in retirement, complementarity between capital and labor in production, and a large capital deepening effect relative to the increase in dependency owing to demographic change. Depending on the sign of this wage effect, ambiguities may arise in the direction of change in the optimal steady state consumption and production plans. It is also shown that the optimal marginal income tax rates are independent of the rate of population growth.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 8585.

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Date of creation: 25 Mar 2008
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:8585

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Keywords: optimal income taxation; overlapping generations model; population aging;

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  1. Robin Boadway & Pierre Pestieau, 2006. "Tagging and Redistributive Taxation," Working Papers 1071, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  2. Ordover, J. A. & Phelps, E. S., 1979. "The concept of optimal taxation in the overlapping-generations model of capital and wealth," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 1-26, August.
  3. 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.
  4. Simula, Laurent, 2009. "Optimal Nonlinear Income Tax and Nonlinear Pricing: Optimality Conditions and Comparative Static Properties," Working Paper Series, Center for Fiscal Studies 2009:11, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  5. Susan A. McDaniel, 2003. "Toward Disentangling Policy Implications of Economic and Demographic Changes in Canada's Aging Population," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 29(4), pages 491-509, December.
  6. Dillen, Mats & Lundholm, Michael, 1996. "Dynamic income taxation, redistribution, and the ratchet effect," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 69-93, January.
  7. Weymark, John A, 1987. "Comparative Static Properties of Optimal Nonlinear Income Taxes," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(5), pages 1165-85, September.
  8. HAMILTON, Jonathan & PESTIEAU, Pierre, 2002. "Optimal income taxation and the ability distribution: implications for migration equilibria," CORE Discussion Papers 2002036, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  9. Boadway, Robin & Cuff, Katherine & Marchand, Maurice, 2000. " Optimal Income Taxation with Quasi-linear Preferences Revisited," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 2(4), pages 435-60.
  10. Craig Brett & John A. Weymark, 2004. "Public Good Provision and the Comparative Statics of Optimal Nonlinear Income Taxation," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0415, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  11. Brett, Craig & Weymark, John A., 2008. "The impact of changing skill levels on optimal nonlinear income taxes," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(7), pages 1765-1771, July.
  12. Craig Brett & John Weymark, 2008. "Optimal Nonlinear Taxation of Income and Savings without Commitment," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0805, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  13. Meijdam, Lex & Verbon, Harrie A A, 1997. "Aging and Public Pensions in an Overlapping-Generations Model," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(1), pages 29-42, January.
  14. Berliant, Marcus & Ledyard, John, 2011. "Optimal Dynamic Nonlinear Income Taxes with No Commitment," MPRA Paper 31749, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  15. Laurent Simula, 2007. "Optimality conditions and comparative static properties of non-linear income taxes revisited," PSE Working Papers halshs-00588074, HAL.
  16. David M. Cutler & James M. Poterba & Louise M. Sheiner & Lawrence H. Summers, 1990. "An Aging Society: Opportunity or Challenge?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 21(1), pages 1-74.
  17. Weymark, John A., 1986. "A reduced-form optimal nonlinear income tax problem," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 199-217, July.
  18. Pirttila, Jukka & Tuomala, Matti, 2001. "On optimal non-linear taxation and public good provision in an overlapping generations economy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(3), pages 485-501, March.
  19. Myles,Gareth D., 1995. "Public Economics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521497695, April.
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Cited by:
  1. Philippe Choné & Guy Laroque, 2014. "Income Tax and retirement Schemes," Working Papers 2014-07, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.

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