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Bailouts and the Optimal Taxation of Bonus Pay

Author

Listed:
  • Timothy Besley
  • Maitreesh Ghatak

Abstract

This paper argues that the possibility of bailouts to financial intermediaries distorts the supply price of capital and creates an argument for taxing financial bonuses separately from other sources of income. We develop a model of financial contracting where intermediaries compete for workers whose actions affect productivity and risk-taking in the financial sector. This derives the second-best optimum and market equilibrium. The optimal taxes that we propose increase both equity and efficiency compared to the pure market outcome.

Suggested Citation

  • Timothy Besley & Maitreesh Ghatak, 2013. "Bailouts and the Optimal Taxation of Bonus Pay," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 163-167, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:103:y:2013:i:3:p:163-67
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.103.3.163
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. J. A. Mirrlees, 1971. "An Exploration in the Theory of Optimum Income Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(2), pages 175-208.
    2. Casey Rothschild & Florian Scheuer, 2016. "Optimal Taxation with Rent-Seeking," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 83(3), pages 1225-1262.
    3. Jean Tirole, 2006. "The Theory of Corporate Finance," Post-Print hal-00173191, HAL.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Andreas Haufler & Yukihiro Nishimura, 2020. "Taxing Mobile and Overconfident Top Earners," CESifo Working Paper Series 8550, CESifo.
    2. Casey Rothschild & Florian Scheuer, 2014. "A Theory of Income Taxation under Multidimensional Skill Heterogeneity," NBER Working Papers 19822, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Casey Rothschild & Florian Scheuer, 2016. "Optimal Taxation with Rent-Seeking," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 83(3), pages 1225-1262.
    4. Hilmer, Michael, 2014. "Too many to fail - How bonus taxation prevents gambling for bailouts," VfS Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100552, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    5. Gietl, Daniel, 2018. "Overconfidence and Bailouts," Rationality and Competition Discussion Paper Series 132, CRC TRR 190 Rationality and Competition.
    6. Michael Hilmer, 2014. "Bailouts, Bonuses and Bankers' Short-Termism," Working Papers tax-mpg-rps-2014-17, Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance.
    7. Acharya, Viral & Litov, Lubomir P. & Sepe, Simone M., 2014. "Seeking Alpha, Taking Risk: Evidence from Non-executive Pay in U.S. Bank Holding Companies," Working Papers 13-18, University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School, Weiss Center.
    8. Gietl, Daniel & Haufler, Andreas, 2018. "Bonus taxes and international competition for bank managers," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 41-60.
    9. Eberhard Feess & Ansgar Wohlschlegel, 2018. "Bank capital requirements and mandatory deferral of compensation," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 53(2), pages 206-242, April.
    10. Michael Hilmer, 2014. "Too Many to Fail - How Bonus Taxation Prevents Gambling for Bailouts," Working Papers tax-mpg-rps-2014-18, Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance.
    11. Marko Köthenbürger & Michael Stimmelmayr, 2015. "The Efficiency Costs of Dividend Taxation with Managerial Firms," CESifo Working Paper Series 5569, CESifo.
    12. Nicola Limodio, 2015. "The Development Impact of Financial Regulation: Evidence from Ethiopia and Antebellum USA," 2015 Meeting Papers 355, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    13. Gietl, Daniel & Kassner, Bernhard, 2020. "Managerial Overconfidence and Bank Bailouts," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 179(C), pages 202-222.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
    • J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods

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