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Ramsey Meets Hosios: The Optimal Capital Tax and Labor Market Efficiency

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  • David M. Arseneau

    (Federal Reserve Board)

  • Sanjay K. Chugh

    (Federal Reserve Board)

Abstract

Heterogeneity between unemployed and employed individuals matters for optimal fiscal policy. This paper considers the consequences of such heterogeneity for the determination of optimal capital and income taxes in a model with matching frictions in the labor market. In line with a recent finding in the literature, we find that the optimal capital tax is typically non-zero because it is used to indirectly mitigate and externality that arises from search and matching frictions, one that cannot be corrected by the labor tax. However, the consideration of heterogeneity makes our results differ in an important way: even for a well-known parameter configuration that typically eliminates this externality, we continue to find a non-zero optimal capital tax. This difference stems from heterogeneity in welfare between the employed and the unemployed that gives rise to an insider/outsider problem in wage bargaining. An employed individual does not internalize how the outcome of wage negotiations affects the welfare of the unemployed, while the Ramsey planner does internalize this effect

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Society for Computational Economics in its series Computing in Economics and Finance 2006 with number 222.

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Date of creation: 04 Jul 2006
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Handle: RePEc:sce:scecfa:222

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Keywords: Optimal fiscal policy; Labor market search;

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References

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  1. Krause, Michael U. & Lubik, Thomas A., 2007. "The (ir)relevance of real wage rigidity in the New Keynesian model with search frictions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 706-727, April.
  2. Walsh, Carl E., 2003. "Labor Market Search, Sticky Prices, and Interest Rate Policies," Santa Cruz Center for International Economics, Working Paper Series qt6tg550dv, Center for International Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  3. Chamley, Christophe, 1981. "The Welfare Cost of Capital Income Taxation in a Growing Economy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(3), pages 468-96, June.
  4. V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe, 1999. "Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 6891, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Shi, Shouyong & Wen, Quan, 1999. "Labor market search and the dynamic effects of taxes and subsidies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 457-495, April.
  6. Sanjay K. Chugh, 2005. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy with sticky wages and sticky prices," International Finance Discussion Papers 834, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  7. David Domeij, 2005. "Optimal Capital Taxation and Labor Market Search," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 8(3), pages 623-650, July.
  8. Kenneth L. Judd, 2002. "Capital-Income Taxation with Imperfect Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 417-421, May.
  9. Andolfatto, David, 1996. "Business Cycles and Labor-Market Search," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 112-32, March.
  10. Trigari, Antonella, 2004. "Equilibrium unemployment, job flows and inflation dynamics," Working Paper Series 0304, European Central Bank.
  11. Merz, Monika, 1995. "Search in the labor market and the real business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 269-300, November.
  12. Robert E. Lucas Jr. & Nancy L. Stokey, 1982. "Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy in an Economy Without Capital," Discussion Papers 532, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  13. Richard Rogerson & Robert Shimer & Randall Wright, 2004. "Search-Theoretic Models of the Labor Market-A Survey," NBER Working Papers 10655, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Hosios, Arthur J, 1990. "On the Efficiency of Matching and Related Models of Search and Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(2), pages 279-98, April.
  15. Schmitt-Grohé, Stephanie & Uribe, Martín, 2006. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy in a medium-scale macroeconomic model," Working Paper Series 0612, European Central Bank.
  16. Oliver Jean Blanchard & Peter Diamond, 1989. "The Beveridge Curve," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 20(1), pages 1-76.
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Cited by:
  1. Sanjay K. Chugh & David M. Arseneau, 2008. "Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy in Customer Markets," 2008 Meeting Papers 101, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. David M. Arseneau & Sanjay K. Chugh, 2007. "Bargaining, fairness, and price rigidity in a DSGE environment," International Finance Discussion Papers 900, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  3. Sanjay K. Chugh & Andre Kurmann & David M. Arseneau, 2009. "Optimal Capital Taxation in an Economy with Capital Allocation Frictions," 2009 Meeting Papers 147, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  4. Arseneau, David M. & Chugh, Sanjay K., 2008. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy with costly wage bargaining," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(8), pages 1401-1414, November.
  5. David M. Arseneau & Sanjay K. Chugh, 2009. "Tax smoothing in frictional labor markets," International Finance Discussion Papers 965, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  6. Brecher, Richard A. & Chen, Zhiqi & Choudhri, Ehsan U., 2010. "A dynamic model of shirking and unemployment: Private saving, public debt, and optimal taxation," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 34(8), pages 1392-1402, August.
  7. Carl Walsh, 2007. "Inflation Targeting and the Role of Real Objectives," Research and Policy Notes 2007/02, Czech National Bank, Research Department.
  8. Sanjay K. Chugh, 2006. "Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy with Sticky Wages and Sticky Prices," Computing in Economics and Finance 2006 228, Society for Computational Economics.
  9. Jung, Philip, 2007. "Optimal Taxation and (Female)-Labor Force Participation over the Cycle," MPRA Paper 8744, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 13 May 2008.

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