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Capital Taxation and Ownership When Markets Are Incomplete

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  • Emmanuel Farhi

Abstract

This paper is a normative investigation of the properties of optimal capital taxation in the neoclassical growth model with aggregate shocks and incomplete markets. The model features a representative-agent economy with linear taxes on labor and capital. I first allow the government to trade only a real risk-free bond. Optimal policy has the following features: labor taxes fluctuate very little, capital taxes are volatile and feature a positive (negative) spike after a negative (positive) shock to the government budget, and capital taxes average to roughly zero across periods. I then consider the implications of allowing the government to trade capital.

Suggested Citation

  • Emmanuel Farhi, 2010. "Capital Taxation and Ownership When Markets Are Incomplete," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(5), pages 908-948.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:doi:10.1086/657996
    DOI: 10.1086/657996
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • A1 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity
    • E23 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Production
    • E6 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook
    • E60 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • E66 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General Outlook and Conditions
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • H3 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household

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