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Dynamic Optimal Taxation with Human Capital

  • Reinhorn Leslie J.

    ()

    (University of Durham)

This paper revisits the dynamic optimal taxation results of Jones, Manuelli, and Rossi (1993, 1997). They use a growth model with human capital and find that optimal taxes on both capital income and labor income converge to zero in steady state. For one of the models under consideration, I show that the representative household's problem does not have an interior solution. This raises concerns since these corners are inconsistent with aggregate data. Interiority is restored if preferences are modified so that human capital augments the value of leisure time. With this change, the optimal tax problem is analyzed and, reassuringly, the Jones, Manuelli, and Rossi results are confirmed: neither capital income nor labor income should be taxed in steady state.

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Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics.

Volume (Year): 9 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (October)
Pages: 1-21

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Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejmac:v:9:y:2009:i:1:n:38
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  1. Judd, Kenneth L., 1985. "Redistributive taxation in a simple perfect foresight model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 59-83, October.
  2. Diamond, Peter A & Mirrlees, James A, 1971. "Optimal Taxation and Public Production: I--Production Efficiency," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(1), pages 8-27, March.
  3. Chamley, Christophe, 1986. "Optimal Taxation of Capital Income in General Equilibrium with Infinite Lives," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 607-22, May.
  4. Ortigueira, Salvador & Santos, Manuel S., 2001. "Equilibrium Dynamics in a Two-Sector Model with Taxes," Working Papers 01-17, Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics.
  5. Larry E. Jones & Rodolfo E. Manuelli & Peter E. Rossi, 1993. "On the Optimal Taxation of Capital Income," NBER Working Papers 4525, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Ladron-de-Guevara, Antonio & Ortigueira, Salvador & Santos, Manuel S, 1999. "A Two-Sector Model of Endogenous Growth with Leisure," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(3), pages 609-31, July.
  7. 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.
  8. Kenneth L. Judd, 2002. "Capital-Income Taxation with Imperfect Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 417-421, May.
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