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Capital Taxation: Quantitative Explorations of the Inverse Euler Equation

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  • Emmanuel Farhi
  • Iván Werning

Abstract

Economies with private information provide a rationale for capital taxation. In this paper we ask what the welfare gains from following this prescription are. We develop a method to answer this question in standard general equilibrium models with idiosyncratic uncertainty and incomplete markets. We find that general equilibrium forces are important and greatly reduce the welfare gains. Once these effects are taken into account, the gains are relatively small in our benchmark calibration. These results do not imply that dynamic aspects of social insurance design are unimportant, but they do suggest that capital taxation may play a modest role.

Suggested Citation

  • Emmanuel Farhi & Iván Werning, 2012. "Capital Taxation: Quantitative Explorations of the Inverse Euler Equation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 120(3), pages 000.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:doi:10.1086/666747
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    1. Julio Dávila & Jay H. Hong & Per Krusell & José‐Víctor Ríos‐Rull, 2012. "Constrained Efficiency in the Neoclassical Growth Model With Uninsurable Idiosyncratic Shocks," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 80(6), pages 2431-2467, November.
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    6. Mikhail Golosov & Aleh Tsyvinski, 2006. "Designing Optimal Disability Insurance: A Case for Asset Testing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(2), pages 257-279, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Slavík, Ctirad & Yazici, Hakki, 2014. "Machines, buildings, and optimal dynamic taxes," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 47-61.
    2. Dan Cao & Roger Lagunoff, 2016. "The Design of Optimal Collateralized Contracts," Working Papers gueconwpa~16-16-01, Georgetown University, Department of Economics, revised 01 Jun 2017.
    3. Maxim Troshkin & Aleh Tsyvinski & Mikhail Golosov, 2010. "Optimal Dynamic Taxes," 2010 Meeting Papers 320, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    4. Golosov, M. & Tsyvinski, A. & Werquin, N., 2016. "Recursive Contracts and Endogenously Incomplete Markets," Handbook of Macroeconomics, Elsevier.
    5. Dirk Krueger & Alexander Ludwig, 2018. "Optimal Taxes on Capital in the OLG Model with Uninsurable Idiosyncratic Income Risk," NBER Working Papers 24335, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Hosseini, Roozbeh & Shourideh, Ali, 2016. "Retirement Financing: An Optimal Reform Approach," MPRA Paper 71613, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 19 Jan 2016.
    7. Alex Edmans & Xavier Gabaix, 2016. "Executive Compensation: A Modern Primer," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 54(4), pages 1232-1287, December.
    8. Alexander Karaivanov & Robert M. Townsend, 2014. "Dynamic Financial Constraints: Distinguishing Mechanism Design From Exogenously Incomplete Regimes," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 82(3), pages 887-959, May.
    9. Jacobs, Bas & Boadway, Robin, 2014. "Optimal linear commodity taxation under optimal non-linear income taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 201-210.
    10. Edmans, Alex & Gabaix, Xavier & Sadzik, Tomasz & Sannikov, Yuliy, 2009. "Dynamic Incentive Accounts," CEPR Discussion Papers 7497, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    11. Chen, Yunmin & Chien, YiLi & Yang, C.C., 2015. "Individual and Aggregate Constrained Efficient Intertemporal Wedges in Dynamic Mirrleesian Economies," Working Papers 2015-43, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, revised 01 Apr 2016.
    12. repec:hrv:faseco:34651704 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Krueger, Dirk & Ludwig, Alexander, 2018. "Optimal taxes on capital in the OLG model with uninsurable idiosyncratic income risk," SAFE Working Paper Series 201, Research Center SAFE - Sustainable Architecture for Finance in Europe, Goethe University Frankfurt.
    14. Shu, Pian, 2015. "Asset accumulation and labor force participation of disability insurance applicants," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 129(C), pages 26-40.
    15. Bierbrauer Felix J., 2016. "Effizienz oder Gerechtigkeit?," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, De Gruyter, vol. 17(1), pages 2-24, April.
    16. Lee, Kyung-woo, 2015. "Optimal disability insurance with unobservable skill heterogeneity," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 122(C), pages 94-109.
    17. Felix Bierbrauer, 2016. "Effizienz oder Gerechtigkeit? Ungleiche Einkommen, ungleiche Vermögen und die Theorie der optimalen Besteuerung," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2016_03, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
    18. Ozan Bakis & Baris Kaymak & Markus Poschke, 2015. "Transitional Dynamics and the Optimal Progressivity of Income Redistribution," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 18(3), pages 679-693, July.

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