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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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    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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