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Optimal Income Taxation with Human Capital Accumulation and Limited Record Keeping

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  • Marek Kapicka

    (University of California, Santa Barbara)

Abstract

This paper characterizes optimal income taxes in a dynamic economy where human capital is unobservable and the government is restricted to use taxes that depend only on current income. I show that unobservability of human capital tends to decrease the labor wedge, while the effect on the human capital wedge is uncertain. I also analyze the relationship between optimal taxes in economies with and without endogenous human capital and identify two qualitative reasons why the optimal tax codes will differ. I perform numerical simulations to calculate the quantitative relevance of endogenous human capital formation for optimal tax policy. I find that endogenous human capital lowers marginal tax rates by about 9% on average, as compared with a static model without human capital. (Copyright: Elsevier)

Suggested Citation

  • Marek Kapicka, 2006. "Optimal Income Taxation with Human Capital Accumulation and Limited Record Keeping," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 9(4), pages 612-639, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:issued:05-24
    DOI: 10.1016/j.red.2006.05.003
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. da Costa, Carlos E. & Severo, Tiago, 2008. "Education, preferences for leisure and the optimal income tax schedule," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1-2), pages 113-138, February.
    2. Chen, Been-Lon & Lu, Chia-Hui, 2013. "Optimal factor tax incidence in two-sector human capital-based models," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 75-94.
    3. Findeisen, Sebastian & Sachs, Dominik, 2017. "Redistribution and insurance with simple tax instruments," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 146(C), pages 58-78.
    4. Marcus Berliant & John O. Ledyard, 2014. "Optimal Dynamic Nonlinear Income Taxes with No Commitment," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 16(2), pages 196-221, April.
    5. Bohacek, Radim & Kapicka, Marek, 2008. "Optimal human capital policies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 1-16, January.
    6. Matthew Weinzierl, 2014. "Revisiting the Classical View of Benefits-Based Taxation," 2014 Meeting Papers 344, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    7. Pedro Cavalcanti Ferreira & Samuel Pessôa & Marcelo Rodrigues Dos Santos, 2011. "The Impact Of Aids On Income And Human Capital," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 49(4), pages 1104-1116, October.
    8. Berliant, Marcus & Fujishima, Shota, 2012. "Optimal dynamic nonlinear income taxes: facing an uncertain future with a sluggish government," MPRA Paper 41947, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Zhang, Yuzhe, 2009. "Dynamic contracting with persistent shocks," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(2), pages 635-675, March.
    10. Marcus Berliant & Shota Fujishima, 2017. "Optimal income taxation with a stationarity constraint in a dynamic stochastic economy," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 19(3), pages 739-747, June.
    11. Grochulski, Borys & Piskorski, Tomasz, 2010. "Risky human capital and deferred capital income taxation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 145(3), pages 908-943, May.
    12. Findeisen, Sebastian & Sachs, Dominik, 2014. "Efficient Labor and Capital Income Taxation over the Life Cycle," Working Papers 14-17, University of Mannheim, Department of Economics.
    13. Oded Stark & Walter Hyll & Yong Wang, 2012. "Endogenous Selection of Comparison Groups, Human Capital Formation, and Tax Policy," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 79(313), pages 62-75, January.
    14. Findeisen, Sebastian & Sachs, Dominik, 2011. "Education and Optimal Dynamic Taxation," IZA Discussion Papers 6056, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    15. Alexander Gelber & Matthew Weinzierl, 2012. "Equalizing Outcomes vs. Equalizing Opportunities: Optimal Taxation when Children's Abilities Depend on Parents' Resources," Harvard Business School Working Papers 13-014, Harvard Business School, revised Mar 2014.
    16. Winfried Koeniger & Julien Prat, 2018. "Human Capital and Optimal Redistribution," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 27, pages 1-26, January.
    17. 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.
    18. Alexander M. Gelber & Matthew C. Weinzierl, 2012. "Equalizing Outcomes and Equalizing Opportunities: Optimal Taxation when Children's Abilities Depend on Parents' Resources," NBER Working Papers 18332, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Brent Kreider, 2008. "Optimal Wage Taxation When Human Capital And Employment Are Endogenous," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 46(4), pages 660-675, October.
    20. Michau, Jean-Baptiste, 2014. "Optimal redistribution: A life-cycle perspective," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 1-16.
    21. Findeisen, Sebastian & Sachs, Dominik, 2016. "Education and optimal dynamic taxation: The role of income-contingent student loans," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 138(C), pages 1-21.
    22. N. Gregory Mankiw & Matthew Weinzierl & Danny Yagan, 2009. "Optimal Taxation in Theory and Practice," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(4), pages 147-174, Fall.
    23. Jean-Baptiste Michau, 2011. "Optimal Redistribution with Intensive and Extensive Labor Supply Margins: A Life-Cycle Perspective," Working Papers hal-00639121, HAL.
    24. Sachs, Dominik & Findeisen, Sebastian, 2014. "Designing Efficient Education and Tax Policies," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100504, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Optimal taxation; Income taxation; Human capital;

    JEL classification:

    • E6 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook
    • H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue

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