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Time-consistent taxation in a dynastic family model with human and physical capital and a balanced government budget


  • James B. Davies
  • Jinli Zeng
  • Jie Zhang


This paper analyzes optimal, time consistent taxation in a dynastic family model with human and physical capital and with a balanced government budget. When tax revenue is used for publicly provided consumption or lump-sum transfers, leisure would be higher than its social optimum. Pareto optimal taxation requires taxing capital income more heavily than labour income and subsidizing investment at the same rate of the tax. Also, it requires either subsidizing labour at the same rate as a consumption tax or subsidizing consumption at the same rate as a labour income tax, and hence it is not a practical guide to policy. Further, a consumption tax, or equivalently a uniform income tax with investment subsidies at the same rate, can be improved on by taxing capital income more heavily than labour income.

Suggested Citation

  • James B. Davies & Jinli Zeng & Jie Zhang, 2009. "Time-consistent taxation in a dynastic family model with human and physical capital and a balanced government budget," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 42(3), pages 1023-1049, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:42:y:2009:i:3:p:1023-1049

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Buchholz, Wolfgang & Konrad, Kai A., 1995. "Strategic transfers and private provision of public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(3), pages 489-505, July.
    2. Sandler,Todd, 1997. "Global Challenges," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521587495, March.
    3. Warr, Peter G., 1983. "The private provision of a public good is independent of the distribution of income," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 13(2-3), pages 207-211.
    4. Richard Cornes & Roger Hartley, 2007. "Aggregative Public Good Games," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 9(2), pages 201-219, April.
    5. Bergstrom, Theodore & Blume, Lawrence & Varian, Hal, 1986. "On the private provision of public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 25-49, February.
    6. Boadway, Robin & Hayashi, Masayoshi, 1999. "Country size and the voluntary provision of international public goods," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 619-638, November.
    7. Robert H. Haveman, 1973. "Common Property, Congestion, and Environmental Pollution," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 87(2), pages 278-287.
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    Cited by:

    1. Reinhorn Leslie J., 2009. "Dynamic Optimal Taxation with Human Capital," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 1-21, October.
    2. Igor Kotlán & Zuzana Machová & Lenka Janíčková, 2011. "Vliv zdanění na dlouhodobý ekonomický růst
      [Taxation Influence on the Economic Growth]
      ," Politická ekonomie, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2011(5), pages 638-658.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E60 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General
    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General


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