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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. Mikhail Golosov & Narayana R. Kocherlakota & Aleh Tsyvinski, 2001. "Optimal indirect and capital taxation," Staff Report 293, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  2. Krueger, Dirk & Lustig, Hanno, 2010. "When is market incompleteness irrelevant for the price of aggregate risk (and when is it not)?," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 145(1), pages 1-41, January.
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  4. Stefania Albanesi & Christopher Sleet, 2004. "Dynamic optimal taxation with private information," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 140, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
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  6. 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.
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  8. Robert M. Townsend, . "Risk and Insurance in Village India," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 91-3a, Chicago - Population Research Center.
  9. Mikhail Golosov & Aleh Tsyvinski, 2005. "Designing Optimal Disability Insurance: A Case for Asset Testing," Levine's Bibliography 784828000000000450, UCLA Department of Economics.
  10. P. A. Diamond & J. A. Mirrlees, 1977. "A Model of Social Insurance With Variable Retirement," Working papers 210, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  11. Kocherlakota, Narayana R. & Pistaferri, Luigi, 2005. "Asset pricing implications of Pareto optimality with private information," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2005,29, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  12. Florian Scheuer, 2012. "Optimal Asset Taxes in Financial Markets with Aggregate Uncertainty," NBER Working Papers 17817, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Tsyvinski, A. & Golosov, M., 2004. "Optimal Taxation with Endogenous Insurance Markets," 2004 Meeting Papers 124, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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