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Optimal Factor Income Taxation in the Presence of Unemployment

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  • Koskela, Erkki
  • Schöb, Ronnie

Abstract

According to conventional wisdom internationally mobile capital should not be taxed or should be taxed at a lower rate than labour. An important underlying assumption behind this view is that there are no market imperfections, in particular that labour markets clear competitively. At least for Europe, which has been suffering from high unemployment f or a long time, this assumption does not seem appropriate. This paper studies the optimal factor taxation in the presence of unemployment which results from the union-firm wage bargaining both with optimal and restricted profit taxation when capital is internationally mobile and labour immobile. In setting tax rates the government is assumed to behave as a Stackelberg leader towards the private sector playing a Nash game. The main conclusion is that in the presence of unemployment, the conventional wisdom turns on its head; capital should generally be taxed at a higher rate than labour.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy in its series Discussion Papers with number 758.

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Length: 16 pages
Date of creation: 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rif:dpaper:758

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References

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  12. Guesnerie Roger & Laffont Jean-jacques, 1978. "Taxing price makers," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 7806, CEPREMAP.
  13. Koskela, Erkki & Schob, Ronnie, 2002. " Optimal Factor Income Taxation in the Presence of Unemployment," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 4(3), pages 387-404.
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  18. Bovenberg, A.L. & Ploeg, F. van der, 1996. "Optimal taxation, public goods and environmental policy with involuntary unemployment," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-73563, Tilburg University.
  19. Koskela, Erkki & Schöb, Ronnie & Sinn, Hans-Werner, 1998. "Pollution, Factor Taxation and Unemployment," Munich Reprints in Economics 19493, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  20. Stefan Homburg, 1999. "Competition and Co-ordination in International Capital Income Taxation," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 56(1), pages 1-17, March.
  21. G. D. A. MacDougall, 1960. "THE BENEFITS and COSTS OF PRIVATE INVESTMENT FROM ABROAD: A THEORETICAL APPROACH," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 36(73), pages 13-35, 03.
  22. Diamond, Peter A & Mirrlees, James A, 1971. "Optimal Taxation and Public Production: I--Production Efficiency," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(1), pages 8-27, March.
  23. Eggert, Wolfgang & Haufler, Andreas, 1999. "Capital taxation and production efficiency in an open economy," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 85-90, January.
  24. Erkki Koskela & Ronnie Schöb, . "Why Governments Should Tax Mobile Capital in the Presence of Unemployment," EPRU Working Paper Series 98-08, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  25. Michael Keen & Hannu Piekkola, 1996. "Simple rules for the optimal taxation of international capital income," IFS Working Papers W96/18, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
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