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Optimal Taxation of Education with an Initial Endowment of Human Capital

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  • Christoph Braun

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Abstract

Bovenberg and Jacobs (2005) and Richter (2009) derive the education efficiency theorem: In a second-best optimum, the education decision is undistorted if the function expressing the stock of human capital features a constant elasticity with respect to education. I drop this assumption. The household inherits an initial stock of human capital, implying that the aforementioned elasticity is increasing. In a two-period Ramsey model of optimal taxation, I show that the education efficiency theorem does not hold. In a second-best optimum, the discounted marginal social return to education is smaller than the marginal social cost. The household overinvests in human capital relative to the first best. The government effectively subsidizes the return to education.

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File URL: http://repec.rwi-essen.de/files/REP_10_210.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen in its series Ruhr Economic Papers with number 0210.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rwi:repape:0210

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Keywords: Optimal taxation; human capital;

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Cited by:
  1. Nicholas Lawson, 2014. "Liquidity Constraints, Fiscal Externalities and Optimal Tuition Subsidies," Working Papers halshs-00964527, HAL.
  2. Richter, Wolfram F. & Braun, Christoph, 2009. "Efficient Subsidization of Human Capital Accumulation with Overlapping Generations and Endogenous Growth," IZA Discussion Papers 4629, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Nicholas Lawson, 2014. "Liquidity Constraints, Fiscal Externalities and Optimal Tuition Subsidies Optimal College Tuition Subsidies," AMSE Working Papers 1404, Aix-Marseille School of Economics, Marseille, France, revised 18 Mar 2014.
  4. Wolfram F. Richter, 2011. "Efficient Education Policy - A Second-Order Elasticity Rule," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 67(1), pages 1-7, March.

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