IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/aea/aecrev/v105y2015i11p3443-70.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Optimal Taxation and Debt with Uninsurable Risks to Human Capital Accumulation

Author

Listed:
  • Piero Gottardi
  • Atsushi Kajii
  • Tomoyuki Nakajima

Abstract

We consider an economy where individuals face uninsurable risks to their human capital accumulation and analyze the optimal level of linear taxes on capital and labor income together with the optimal path of government debt. We show that in the presence of such risks, it is beneficial to tax both labor and capital and to issue public debt. We also assess the quantitative importance of these findings, and show that the benefits of government debt and capital taxes both increase with the magnitude of idiosyncratic risks and the degree of relative risk aversion. (JEL D52, H21, H24, H25, H63, J24)

Suggested Citation

  • Piero Gottardi & Atsushi Kajii & Tomoyuki Nakajima, 2015. "Optimal Taxation and Debt with Uninsurable Risks to Human Capital Accumulation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(11), pages 3443-3470, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:105:y:2015:i:11:p:3443-70
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.20110576
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.20110576
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://www.aeaweb.org/aer/app/10511/20110576_app.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://www.aeaweb.org/aer/data/10511/20110576_data.zip
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://www.aeaweb.org/aer/ds/10511/20110576_ds.zip
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to AEA members and institutional subscribers.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Costas Meghir & Luigi Pistaferri, 2004. "Income Variance Dynamics and Heterogeneity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(1), pages 1-32, January.
    2. Marcet, Albert & Obiols-Homs, Francesc & Weil, Philippe, 2007. "Incomplete markets, labor supply and capital accumulation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(8), pages 2621-2635, November.
    3. Jones, Larry E. & Manuelli, Rodolfo E. & Rossi, Peter E., 1997. "On the Optimal Taxation of Capital Income," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 93-117, March.
    4. Constantinides, George M & Duffie, Darrell, 1996. "Asset Pricing with Heterogeneous Consumers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(2), pages 219-240, April.
    5. Atkinson, A. B. & Stiglitz, J. E., 1976. "The design of tax structure: Direct versus indirect taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1-2), pages 55-75.
    6. Aiyagari, S Rao, 1995. "Optimal Capital Income Taxation with Incomplete Markets, Borrowing Constraints, and Constant Discounting," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(6), pages 1158-1175, December.
    7. Mark Huggett & Gustavo Ventura & Amir Yaron, 2011. "Sources of Lifetime Inequality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(7), pages 2923-2954, December.
    8. Bassetto, Marco & Kocherlakota, Narayana, 2004. "On the irrelevance of government debt when taxes are distortionary," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 299-304, March.
    9. Julio Dávila & Jay H. Hong & Per Krusell & José‐Víctor Ríos‐Rull, 2012. "Constrained Efficiency in the Neoclassical Growth Model With Uninsurable Idiosyncratic Shocks," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 80(6), pages 2431-2467, November.
    10. Piero Gottardi & Atsushi Kajii & Tomoyuki Nakajima, 2016. "Constrained Inefficiency and Optimal Taxation with Uninsurable Risks," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 18(1), pages 1-28, February.
    11. Chari, V V & Christiano, Lawrence J & Kehoe, Patrick J, 1994. "Optimal Fiscal Policy in a Business Cycle Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(4), pages 617-652, August.
    12. Chamley, Christophe, 1986. "Optimal Taxation of Capital Income in General Equilibrium with Infinite Lives," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 607-622, May.
    13. Epstein, Larry G & Zin, Stanley E, 1991. "Substitution, Risk Aversion, and the Temporal Behavior of Consumption and Asset Returns: An Empirical Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(2), pages 263-286, April.
    14. Piero Gottardi & Atsushi Kajii & Tomoyuki Nakajima, 2010. "Optimal taxation and constrained inefficiency in an infinite-horizon economy with incomplete markets," KIER Working Papers 745, Kyoto University, Institute of Economic Research.
    15. Narayana R. Kocherlakota, 2005. "Zero Expected Wealth Taxes: A Mirrlees Approach to Dynamic Optimal Taxation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(5), pages 1587-1621, September.
    16. Larry E. Jones & Rodolfo Manuelli, 1990. "A Convex Model of Equilibrium Growth," NBER Working Papers 3241, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Jones, Larry E & Manuelli, Rodolfo E & Rossi, Peter E, 1993. "Optimal Taxation in Models of Endogenous Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 485-517, June.
    18. Juan Carlos Conesa & Sagiri Kitao & Dirk Krueger, 2009. "Taxing Capital? Not a Bad Idea after All!," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 25-48, March.
    19. Aiyagari, S. Rao & McGrattan, Ellen R., 1998. "The optimum quantity of debt," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 447-469, October.
    20. 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.
    21. Jonathan Heathcote & Kjetil Storesletten & Giovanni L. Violante, 2009. "Quantitative Macroeconomics with Heterogeneous Households," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 319-354, May.
    22. George-Marios Angeletos, 2007. "Uninsured Idiosyncratic Investment Risk and Aggregate Saving," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 10(1), pages 1-30, January.
    23. Zhu, Xiaodong, 1992. "Optimal fiscal policy in a stochastic growth model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 250-289, December.
    24. David Domeij & Jonathan Heathcote, 2004. "On The Distributional Effects Of Reducing Capital Taxes," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(2), pages 523-554, May.
    25. S. Rao Aiyagari, 1994. "Uninsured Idiosyncratic Risk and Aggregate Saving," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(3), pages 659-684.
    26. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/8623 is not listed on IDEAS
    27. Tom Krebs, 2003. "Human Capital Risk and Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(2), pages 709-744.
    28. Dirk Krueger & Alexander Ludwig, 2013. "Optimal Progressive Labor Income Taxation and Education Subsidies When Education Decisions and Intergenerational Transfers Are Endogenous," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 496-501, May.
    29. repec:cor:louvrp:-2463 is not listed on IDEAS
    30. Barsky, Robert B & Mankiw, N Gregory & Zeldes, Stephen P, 1986. "Ricardian Consumers with Keynesian Propensities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 676-691, September.
    31. Kjetil Storesletten & Chris I. Telmer & Amir Yaron, 2004. "Cyclical Dynamics in Idiosyncratic Labor Market Risk," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(3), pages 695-717, June.
    32. Jones, Larry E & Manuelli, Rodolfo E, 1990. "A Convex Model of Equilibrium Growth: Theory and Policy Implications," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 1008-1038, October.
    33. Philippe Weil, 1990. "Nonexpected Utility in Macroeconomics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(1), pages 29-42.
    34. Lars Ljungqvist & Thomas J. Sargent, 2004. "Recursive Macroeconomic Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 2, volume 1, number 026212274x.
    35. Ignacio Palacios-Huerta, 2003. "An Empirical Analysis of the Risk Properties of Human Capital Returns," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 948-964, June.
    36. Anastasios Karantounias, 2012. "Optimal fiscal policy with recursive preferences," 2012 Meeting Papers 1085, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    37. Judd, Kenneth L., 1985. "Redistributive taxation in a simple perfect foresight model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 59-83, October.
    38. Trostel, Philip A, 1993. "The Effect of Taxation on Human Capital," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(2), pages 327-350, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Braun, R. Anton & Nakajima, Tomoyuki, 2016. "Uninsured risk, stagnation, and fiscal policy," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2016-4, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, revised 01 Mar 2016.
    2. Krueger, Dirk & Ludwig, Alexander, 2018. "Optimal taxes on capital in the OLG model with uninsurable idiosyncratic income risk," SAFE Working Paper Series 201, Research Center SAFE - Sustainable Architecture for Finance in Europe, Goethe University Frankfurt.
    3. repec:eee:hapoch:v1_713 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Keshab Bhattarai, 2016. "Growth and Income Distributions in Four EU Economies," International Advances in Economic Research, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 22(3), pages 263-277, August.
    5. Krueger, Dirk & Ludwig, Alexander, 2018. "Optimal taxes on capital in the OLG model with uninsurable idiosyncratic income risk," ZEW Discussion Papers 18-014, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    6. Krebs, Tom & Scheffel, Martin, 2016. "Quantifizierung der gesamtwirtschaftlichen Effekte ausgewählter Reformvorschläge der Studie "Reforms, Investment and Growth: An Agenda for France, Germany and Europe"," Working Papers 16-04, University of Mannheim, Department of Economics.
    7. Tom Krebs & Moritz Kuhn & Mark Wright, 2017. "Under-Insurance in Human Capital Models with Limited Enforcement," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 25, pages 121-150, April.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D52 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Incomplete Markets
    • 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
    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • H63 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:105:y:2015:i:11:p:3443-70. See general 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: (Michael P. Albert). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/aeaaaea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.