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Optimal Asset Taxes in Financial Markets with Aggregate Uncertainty

  • Florian Scheuer

    (Stanford University)

This paper studies Pareto-optimal risk-sharing arrangements in a private information economy with aggregate uncertainty and ex ante heterogeneous agents. I show how to implement Pareto-optima as equilibria when agents can trade claims to consumption contingent on aggregate shocks in financial markets. The first result is that if aggregate and idiosyncratic shocks are independent, the implementation of optimal allocations does not require any interventions in financial markets. This result can be extended to dynamic settings in the sense that, in this case, only savings need to be distorted, but not trades in financial markets. Second, I characterize optimal trading distortions in financial markets when aggregate and idiosyncratic shocks are not independent. In this case, optimal asset taxes must be higher for those securities that pay out in aggregate states in which consumption is more volatile. For instance, this can provide an efficiency justification for the frequently observed differential tax treatment of different asset classes, such as debt and equity claims. (Copyright: Elsevier)

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.red.2012.03.002
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Article provided by Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics in its journal Review of Economic Dynamics.

Volume (Year): 16 (2013)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
Pages: 405-420

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Handle: RePEc:red:issued:11-235
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  1. Stefania Albanesi & Christopher Sleet, 2006. "Dynamic Optimal Taxation with Private Information," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(1), pages 1-30.
  2. Mikhail Golosov & Aleh Tsyvinski & Ivan Werning, 2007. "New Dynamic Public Finance: A User's Guide," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2006, Volume 21, pages 317-388 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Florian Scheuer, 2013. "Optimal Asset Taxes in Financial Markets with Aggregate Uncertainty," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 16(3), pages 405-420, July.
  4. Narayana Kocherlakota, 2004. "Zero Expected Wealth Taxes: A Mirrlees Approach to Dynamic Optimal Taxation," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000729, UCLA Department of Economics.
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  17. Matthew Weinzierl, 2011. "The Surprising Power of Age-Dependent Taxes," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 78(4), pages 1490-1518.
  18. Narayana R. Kocherlakota & Luigi Pistaferri, 2007. "Asset Pricing Implications of Pareto Optimality with Private Information," Levine's Bibliography 321307000000000701, UCLA Department of Economics.
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