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Growth and Welfare Analysis of Tax Progressivity in a Heterogeneous-Agent Model

Author

Listed:
  • Elizabeth M. Caucutt

    (University of Rochester)

  • Selahattin Imrohoroglu

    (University of Southern California)

  • Krishna B. Kumar

    (University of Southern California)

Abstract

In this paper, we use a general equilibrium model of endogenous growth in which there is heterogeneity in skill, income, and tax rates to evaluate the effect of progressivity of taxes on growth and welfare. In this framework, changes in the progressivity of tax rates can have positive growth effects even in situations where changes in flat rate taxes have no effect. Experiments on a calibrated model indicate that the quantitative effects of moving to a flat rate system are economically significant. The assumption made about the "engine" of growth - an external effect arising from production activities of skilled workers or intentional employment of skilled workers for research and other productivity enhancing activities - has an important effect on the impact of a change in progressivity. Welfare is unambiguously higher in a flat rate system when comparisons are made across balanced growth equilibria; however, when the costs of transition to the higher growth equilibrium are taken into account, only the currently skilled slightly prefer the flat system. (Copyright: Elsevier)

Suggested Citation

  • Elizabeth M. Caucutt & Selahattin Imrohoroglu & Krishna B. Kumar, 2003. "Growth and Welfare Analysis of Tax Progressivity in a Heterogeneous-Agent Model," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 6(3), pages 546-577, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:issued:v:6:y:2003:i:3:p:546-577
    DOI: 10.1016/S1094-2025(03)00013-9
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Chakraborty, Indraneel & Holter, Hans A. & Stepanchuk, Serhiy, 2015. "Marriage stability, taxation and aggregate labor supply in the U.S. vs. Europe," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 1-20.
    2. Conesa, Juan Carlos & Krueger, Dirk, 2006. "On the optimal progressivity of the income tax code," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(7), pages 1425-1450, October.
    3. Holter, Hans A. & Krueger, Dirk & Stepanchuk, Serhiy, 2014. "How does tax progressivity and household heterogeneity affect Laffer curves?," CFS Working Paper Series 490, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
    4. Nezih Guner & Remzi Kaygusuz & Gustavo Ventura, 2014. "Income Taxation of U.S. Households: Facts and Parametric Estimates," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 17(4), pages 559-581, October.
    5. Alison Felix, 2007. "The incidence of capital taxation and the magnitude of its burden," Regional Research Working Paper RRWP 07-02, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
    6. Cruz A. Echevarría & Amaia Iza, 2011. "Social security, education retirement and growth," Hacienda Pública Española, IEF, vol. 198(3), pages 9-36, September.
    7. Brinca, Pedro & Holter, Hans A. & Krusell, Per & Malafry, Laurence, 2016. "Fiscal multipliers in the 21st century," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 53-69.
    8. Heinz Handler & Andreas Knabe & Bertrand Koebel & Margit Schratzenstaller & Sven Wehke, 2005. "The Impact of Public Budgets on Overall Productivity Growth," WIFO Working Papers 255, WIFO.
    9. Steven P. Cassou & Kevin J. Lansing, 2006. "Tax Reform with Useful Public Expenditures," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 8(4), pages 631-676, October.
    10. Dirk Krueger, 2006. "Public Insurance against Idiosyncratic and Aggregate Risk: The Case of Social Security and Progressive Income Taxation," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 52(4), pages 587-620, December.
    11. Alessandra Casarico & Luca Micheletto & Alessandro Sommacal, 2015. "Intergenerational transmission of skills during childhood and optimal public policy," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 28(2), pages 353-372, April.
    12. Nicolas Dromel & Patrick-Antoine Pintus, 2006. "Are Progressive Fiscal Rules Stabilizing?," Working Papers halshs-00410452, HAL.
    13. Patrick Pintus, 2004. "International Capital Mobility and Aggregate Volatility: the Case of Credit-Rationed Open Economies," Computing in Economics and Finance 2004 193, Society for Computational Economics.
    14. Di Nola, Alessandro & Kocharkov, Georgi & Vasilev, Aleksandar, 2016. "Productivity, Taxation and Evasion: A Quantitative Exploration of the Determinants of the Informal Economy," EconStor Preprints 144164, ZBW - German National Library of Economics.
    15. Cecilia García-Peñalosa & Jean-François Wen, 2008. "Redistribution and entrepreneurship with Schumpeterian growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 57-80, March.
    16. Echevarría, Cruz A., 2012. "Income tax progressivity, physical capital, aggregate uncertainty and long-run growth in an OLG economy," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 955-974.
    17. Jean-François Wen & Cecilia García-Peñalosa, 2004. "Redistribution and Occupational Choice in a Schumpeterian Growth Model," CESifo Working Paper Series 1323, CESifo Group Munich.
    18. Nicolas Dromel & Patrick-Antoine Pintus, 2006. "Are Progressive Fiscal Rules Stabilizing?," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00410452, HAL.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    tax progressivity; skill accumulation; human capital externality;

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General

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