Labor or consumption taxes? An application with a dynamic general equilibrium model with heterogeneous agents
This study analyzes the effects of tax reform that shifts tax burden from labor to consumption. In this context, I also deal with the issue of progressivity. Even though this kind of tax policy change has recently gained popularity, its positive effects are debatable while the offsetting effect of a consumption tax on labor supply makes the net output change rather ambiguous. I examine these effects using a dynamic general equilibrium model with heterogeneous agents. The model is calibrated to fit certain characteristics of the Finnish economy. In addition to output and employment effects, I study the tax reform's effect on income and wealth distribution. First, I find that eliminating progressivity in labor taxation increases output via increase in capital accumulation that comes, however, in expense of slightly more inequality. Then, tax reform that replaces progressive labor taxes with a flat-rate consumption tax leads to a significant rise in capital accumulation, a negligible change in labor supply and gross labor income distribution, but a relatively considerable increase in wealth concentration.
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