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Optimal Dynamic Taxation with Indivisible Labour

  • Parantap Basu
  • Laura Marsiliani
  • Thomas I. Renström

How should a government arrange taxes on labour and capital over time? To provide an answer, we develop the field of optimal dynamic taxation further by (i) incorporating indivisible labour and (ii) analysing the short-run dynamics of the capital and labour taxes under the second-best programme. We derive two classes of preferences for which the optimal capital tax reaches zero in a finite time. If leisure is normal, the labour tax is gradually increased for a period and then kept constant, and, if leisure is neutral, labour is not taxed at all. Finally, we analyse the dynamics of labour supply under the optimal tax programme. Copyright Blackwell Publishing Ltd and The Victoria University of Manchester, 2004.

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Article provided by University of Manchester in its journal The Manchester School.

Volume (Year): 72 (2004)
Issue (Month): s1 (09)
Pages: 34-54

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Handle: RePEc:bla:manchs:v:72:y:2004:i:s1:p:34-54
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  1. Robert B. Barsky & N. Gregory Mankiw & Stephen P. Zeldes, 1984. "Ricardian Consumers With Keynesian Propensities," NBER Working Papers 1400, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Hamilton, Jonathan H, 1987. "Optimal Wage and Income Taxation with Wage Uncertainty," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 28(2), pages 373-88, June.
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  6. Casey B. Mulligan, 1999. "Microfoundations and Macro Implications of Indivisible Labor," NBER Working Papers 7116, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Hansen, Gary D. & Sargent, Thomas J., 1988. "Straight time and overtime in equilibrium," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 281-308.
  8. Chan, Louis Kuo Chi, 1983. "Uncertainty and the neutrality of government financing policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 351-372.
  9. Rogerson, Richard, 1988. "Indivisible labor, lotteries and equilibrium," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 3-16, January.
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  11. Chamley, Christophe, 1986. "Optimal Taxation of Capital Income in General Equilibrium with Infinite Lives," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 607-22, May.
  12. Gary Hansen, 2010. "Indivisible Labor and the Business Cycle," Levine's Working Paper Archive 233, David K. Levine.
  13. Andrew Atkeson & V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe, 1999. "Taxing capital income: a bad idea," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Sum, pages 3-17.
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