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Measuring the Efficiency Cost of Taxing Risky Capital Income

  • Gordon, Roger H
  • Wilson, John Douglas

This paper derives a measure of the efficiency cost of taxing risky capital income in an infinite horizon stochastic model. The resulting expression differs from all those proposed in the existing literature. The correct measure of efficiency cost will normally be smaller than any of those used in policy studies, possibly dramatically so. Uncertainty changes the expression for efficiency cost through effects arising not only from stochastic capital gains on existing capital, but also from stochastic costs of replacing existing capital. The latter effect reduces efficiency costs and normally outweighs the first effect. Copyright 1989 by American Economic Association.

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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 79 (1989)
Issue (Month): 3 (June)
Pages: 427-39

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:79:y:1989:i:3:p:427-39
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  1. Jeremy I. Bulow & Lawrence H. Summers, 1982. "The Taxation of Risky Assets," NBER Working Papers 0897, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. repec:oup:qjecon:v:100:y:1985:i:1:p:1-27 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Feldstein, Martin S, 1978. "The Welfare Cost of Capital Income Taxation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(2), pages S29-51, April.
  4. Don Fullerton & Roger H. Gordon, 1983. "A Reexamination of Tax Distortions in General Equilibrium Models," NBER Chapters, in: Behavioral Simulation Methods in Tax Policy Analysis, pages 369-426 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Alan J. Auerbach, 1983. "Corporate Taxation in the United States," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 14(2), pages 451-514.
  6. Fumio Hayashi, 1981. "Tobin's Marginal q and Average a : A Neoclassical Interpretation," Discussion Papers 457, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  7. Lawrence H. Summers, 1981. "Taxation and Corporate Investment: A q-Theory Approach," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 12(1), pages 67-140.
  8. Harberger, Arnold C, 1971. "Three Basic Postulates for Applied Welfare Economics: An Interpretive Essay," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 785-97, September.
  9. Joel Slemrod, 1981. "A General Equilibrium Model of Taxation with Endogenous Financial Behavior," NBER Working Papers 0799, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Charles L. Ballard & Don Fullerton & John B. Shoven & John Whalley, 1985. "General Equilibrium Analysis of Tax Policies," NBER Chapters, in: A General Equilibrium Model for Tax Policy Evaluation, pages 6-24 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Abel, Andrew B., 1980. "Empirical investment equations : An integrative framework," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 39-91, January.
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