Taxation without Commitment
AbstractThis paper considers a Ramsey model of linear capital and labor income taxation in which a benevolent government cannot commit ex-ante to a sequence of taxes for the future. In this setup, if the government is allowed to borrow and lend to the consumers, the optimal capital income tax is zero in the long run. This result stands in marked contrast with the recent literature on optimal taxation without commitment, which imposes budget balance and typically finds that the optimal capital income tax does not converge to zero. Since it is efficient to backload incentives, breaking budget balance allows the government to generate surplus that reduces its debt or increases its assets over time until the lack of commitment is no longer binding and the economy is back in the full commitment solution. Therefore, while the lack of commitment does not change the optimal capital tax in the long run, it may impose an upper bound on the level of long run debt.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2007 Meeting Papers with number 470.
Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Society for Economic Dynamics Christian Zimmermann Economic Research Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis PO Box 442 St. Louis MO 63166-0442 USA
Web page: http://www.EconomicDynamics.org/society.htm
More information through EDIRC
Other versions of this item:
- H22 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Incidence
- E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
- H62 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Deficit; Surplus
- H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- V.V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe, 1989.
"Sustainable plans and debt,"
125, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
- Benveniste, L M & Scheinkman, J A, 1979. "On the Differentiability of the Value Function in Dynamic Models of Economics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(3), pages 727-32, May.
- Albert Marcet & Ramon Marimon, 1991.
"Communication, commitment and growth,"
Economics Working Papers
1, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
- Albert Marcet & Ramon Marimon, 1992. "Communication, commitment, and growth," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 74, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
- Mark Aguiar & Manuel Amador & Gita Gopinath, 2006. "Efficient expropriation: sustainable fiscal policy in a small open economy," Working Papers 06-9, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
- Chari, V V & Kehoe, Patrick J, 1993.
"Sustainable Plans and Mutual Default,"
Review of Economic Studies,
Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(1), pages 175-95, January.
- Robert E. Lucas Jr. & Nancy L. Stokey, 1982.
"Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy in an Economy Without Capital,"
532, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Lucas, Robert Jr. & Stokey, Nancy L., 1983. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy in an economy without capital," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 55-93.
- Narayana Kocherlakota, 2010.
"Implications of Efficient Risk Sharing Without Commitment,"
Levine's Working Paper Archive
2053, David K. Levine.
- Kocherlakota, Narayana R, 1996. "Implications of Efficient Risk Sharing without Commitment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(4), pages 595-609, October.
- Daron Acemoglu & Michael Golosov & Oleg Tsyvinski, 2006.
"Markets Versus Governments: Political Economy of Mechanisms,"
2006 Meeting Papers
348, Society for Economic Dynamics.
- Daron Acemoglu & Michael Golosov & Aleh Tsyvinski, 2006. "Markets Versus Governments: Political Economy of Mechanisms," Levine's Bibliography 321307000000000032, UCLA Department of Economics.
- Daron Acemoglu & Michael Golosov & Aleh Tsyvinski, 2006. "Markets Versus Governments: Political Economy of Mechanisms," NBER Working Papers 12224, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Abreu, Dilip, 1988. "On the Theory of Infinitely Repeated Games with Discounting," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(2), pages 383-96, March.
- S. Rao Aiyagari & Albert Marcet & Thomas J. Sargent & Juha Seppala, 2002.
"Optimal Taxation without State-Contingent Debt,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(6), pages 1220-1254, December.
- Dominguez, Begona, 2007. "Public debt and optimal taxes without commitment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 135(1), pages 159-170, July.
- Klein, Paul & Krusell, Per & Ríos-Rull, José-Víctor, 2004.
"Time Consistent Public Expenditures,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
4582, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-91, June.
- Christopher Phelan & Ennio Stacchetti, 2001.
"Sequential Equilibria in a Ramsey Tax Model,"
Econometric Society, vol. 69(6), pages 1491-1518, November.
- Chamley, Christophe, 1986. "Optimal Taxation of Capital Income in General Equilibrium with Infinite Lives," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 607-22, May.
- Kenneth L. Judd, 1982.
"Redistributive Taxation in a Simple Perfect Foresight Model,"
572, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Judd, Kenneth L., 1985. "Redistributive taxation in a simple perfect foresight model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 59-83, October.
- Benhabib, Jess & Rustichini, Aldo, 1997. "Optimal Taxes without Commitment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 231-259, December.
- Paul Klein & Per Krusell & José-V�ctor R�os-Rull, 2008. "Time-Consistent Public Policy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(3), pages 789-808.
- Debraj Ray, 2002. "The Time Structure of Self-Enforcing Agreements," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(2), pages 547-582, March.
- Chari, V V & Kehoe, Patrick J, 1990.
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(4), pages 783-802, August.
- GOBERT, Karine & POITEVIN, Michel, 1998.
"Non-Commitment and Savings in Dynamic Risk-Sharing Contracts,"
Cahiers de recherche
9806, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
- Karine Gobert & Michel Poitevin, 2006. "Non-commitment and savings in dynamic risk-sharing contracts," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 28(2), pages 357-372, 06.
- Klein Paul & Quadrini Vincenzo & Rios-Rull Jose-Victor, 2005. "Optimal Time-Consistent Taxation with International Mobility Of Capital," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-36, June.
- Jorge Soares, Marina Azzimonti, Pierre-Daniel Sarte & Pierre-Daniel Sarte & Jorge Soares, 2006. "Optimal Policy and (the Lack of) Time Inconsistency: Insights from Simple Models," Working Papers 06-08, University of Delaware, Department of Economics.
- Paul Klein & JosÈ-VÌctor RÌos-Rull, 2003. "Time-consistent optimal fiscal policy," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 44(4), pages 1217-1245, November.
- Jorge Soares & Marina Azzimonti & Pierre-Daniel Sarte, 2005. "Optimal Fiscal Policy and the (Lack of) Time Inconsistency Problem," 2005 Meeting Papers 481, Society for Economic Dynamics.
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Christian Zimmermann).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.