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The long run effects of changes in tax progressivity

  • Carroll, Daniel R.
  • Young, Eric R.

This paper compares the steady-state outcomes of revenue-neutral changes to the progressivity of the tax schedule. Our economy features heterogeneous households who differ in their preferences and permanent labor productivities, but it does not have idiosyncratic risk. We find that increases in the progressivity of the tax schedule are associated with long-run distributions with greater aggregate income, wealth, and labor input. Average hours generally declines as the tax schedule becomes more progressive implying that the economy substitutes away from less-productive workers toward more-productive workers. Finally, as progressivity increases, income inequality is reduced and wealth inequality rises. Many of these results are qualitatively different than those found in models with idiosyncratic risk, and therefore suggest closer attention should be paid to modeling the insurance opportunities of households.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control.

Volume (Year): 35 (2011)
Issue (Month): 9 (September)
Pages: 1451-1473

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Handle: RePEc:eee:dyncon:v:35:y:2011:i:9:p:1451-1473
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  1. Julio Davila & Jay H. Hong & Per Krusell & Jose-Victor Rios-Rull, 2005. "Constrained efficiency in the neoclassical growth model with uninsurable idiosyncratic shocks," PIER Working Paper Archive 05-023, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  2. Gouveia, Miguel & Strauss, Robert P., 1994. "Effective Federal Individual Tax Functions: An Exploratory Empirical Analysis," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 47(2), pages 317-39, June.
  3. Alejandro Badel & Mark Huggett, 2014. "Interpreting Life Cycle Inequality Patterns as an Efficient Allocation: Mission Impossible?," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 17(4), pages 613-629, October.
  4. Juan Carlos Conesa & Dirk Krueger, 2005. "On the Optimal Progressivity of the Income Tax Code," NBER Working Papers 11044, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Krueger, Dirk & Perri, Fabrizio, 2010. "Public versus Private Risk Sharing," CEPR Discussion Papers 7625, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Emmanuel Saez, 2002. "Optimal Progressive Capital Income Taxes in the Infinite Horizon Model," NBER Working Papers 9046, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Conesa, Juan Carlos & Kitao, Sagiri & Krueger, Dirk, 2006. "Taxing capital? Not a bad idea after all!," CFS Working Paper Series 2006/21, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  8. S. Rao Aiyagari, 1993. "Uninsured idiosyncratic risk and aggregate saving," Working Papers 502, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  9. Ventura, G., 1997. "Flat Tax Reform: A Quantitative Exploration," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 9706, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
  10. Sarte, Pierre-Daniel G., 1997. "Progressive taxation and income inequality in dynamic competitive equilibrium," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 145-171, October.
  11. Díaz-Giménez, Javier & Pijoan-Mas, Josep, 2006. "Flat Tax Reforms in the US: A Boon for the Income Poor," CEPR Discussion Papers 5812, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Per Krusell & Toshihiko Mukoyama & Aysegul Sahin & Anthony A. Smith, Jr., 2009. "Revisiting the Welfare Effects of Eliminating Business Cycles," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 12(3), pages 393-402, July.
  13. Daniel R. Carroll, 2013. "The demand for income tax progressivity in the growth model," Working Paper 1106, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  14. Cesaire Meh, 2005. "Entrepreneurship, Wealth Inequality, and Taxation," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 8(3), pages 688-719, July.
  15. Daniel R. Carroll & Eric R. Young, 2009. "The Stationary Distribution of Wealth under Progressive Taxation," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 12(3), pages 469-478, July.
  16. Kakwani, Nanok C, 1977. "Measurement of Tax Progressivity: An International Comparison," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 87(345), pages 71-80, March.
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