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Determining the motives for a positive optimal tax on capital

Listed author(s):
  • Peterman, William B.

Previous literature demonstrates that in a standard life cycle model the optimal tax on capital is large. This paper highlights that after changing two assumptions in the standard model the optimal tax drops by almost half. First, the utility function is altered such that it implies that an agent's Frisch labor supply elasticity is constant over his lifetime. Second, the government is allowed to tax accidental bequests and ordinary capital income at separate rates. Quantifying the effect of these assumptions is important because the first has limited empirical evidence and the second confounds a motive for taxing capital and accidental bequests.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S016518891200173X
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control.

Volume (Year): 37 (2013)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 265-295

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Handle: RePEc:eee:dyncon:v:37:y:2013:i:1:p:265-295
DOI: 10.1016/j.jedc.2012.08.004
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jedc

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  2. Andrés Erosa & Martin Gervais, 1998. "Optimal Taxation in Life-Cycle Economies," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 9812, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
  3. Fatih Guvenen & Burhanettin Kuruscu & Serdar Ozkan, 2009. "Taxation of human capital and wage inequality: a cross-country analysis," Staff Report 438, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
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  6. William B. Peterman, 2011. "Determining the motives for a positive optimal tax on capital," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2011-55, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  7. Rogerson, Richard & Wallenius, Johanna, 2009. "Micro and macro elasticities in a life cycle model with taxes," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(6), pages 2277-2292, November.
  8. Aiyagari, S Rao, 1995. "Optimal Capital Income Taxation with Incomplete Markets, Borrowing Constraints, and Constant Discounting," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(6), pages 1158-1175, December.
  9. Raj Chetty, 2009. "Bounds on Elasticities with Optimization Frictions: A Synthesis of Micro and Macro Evidence on Labor Supply," NBER Working Papers 15616, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Kenneth L. Judd, 1982. "Redistributive Taxation in a Simple Perfect Foresight Model," Discussion Papers 572, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
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  12. Juan Carlos Conesa & Dirk Krueger, 2002. "On the Optimal Progressivity of the Income Tax Code," Centro de Alti­simos Estudios Ri­os Pe©rez(CAERP) 4, Centro de Altisimos Estudios Rios Perez (CAERP).
  13. R. Glenn Hubbard & Kenneth L. Judd, 1986. "Liquidity Constraints, Fiscal Policy, and Consumption," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 17(1), pages 1-60.
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  15. Gervais, Martin, 2012. "On the optimality of age-dependent taxes and the progressive U.S. tax system," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 682-691.
  16. Carlos Garriga, 2001. "Optimal Fiscal Policy in Overlapping Generations Models," Working Papers in Economics 66, Universitat de Barcelona. Espai de Recerca en Economia.
  17. Correia, Isabel H., 1996. "Should capital income be taxed in the steady state?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 147-151, April.
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  19. William Peterman, 2016. "The effect of endogenous human capital accumulation on optimal taxation," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 21, pages 46-71, July.
  20. Lucas, Robert Jr. & Stokey, Nancy L., 1983. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy in an economy without capital," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 55-93.
  21. 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).
  22. Contreras, Juan & Sinclair, Sven, 2008. "Labor supply response in macroeconomic models: Assessing the empirical validity of the intertemporal labor supply response from a stochastic overlapping generations model with incomplete markets," MPRA Paper 10533, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  23. Fuster, Luisa & Imrohoroglu, Ayse & Imrohoroglu, Selahattin, 2008. "Altruism, incomplete markets, and tax reform," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 65-90, January.
  24. Susumu Imai & Michael P. Keane, 2004. "Intertemporal Labor Supply and Human Capital Accumulation," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(2), pages 601-641, 05.
  25. 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.
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  27. Chamley, Christophe, 1986. "Optimal Taxation of Capital Income in General Equilibrium with Infinite Lives," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 607-622, May.
  28. Makoto Nakajima, 2010. "Optimal capital income taxation with housing," Working Papers 10-11, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  29. Pistaferri, Luigi, 2002. "Anticipated and Unanticipated Wage Changes, Wage Risk, and Intertemporal Labour Supply," CEPR Discussion Papers 3628, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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