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Optimal Taxation and Human Capital Policies over the Life Cycle

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  • Stefanie Stantcheva

Abstract

This paper derives optimal income tax and human capital policies in a life cycle model with risky human capital. The government faces asymmetric information regarding agents' ability, its evolution, and labor supply. When the wage elasticity with respect to ability is increasing in human capital, the optimal subsidy involves less than full deductibility of human capital expenses on the tax base and falls with age. Income-contingent loans or a deferred deductibility scheme can implement the optimum. Numerical results suggest that full deductibility of expenses is close to optimal and that simple linear age-dependent policies perform very well.

Suggested Citation

  • Stefanie Stantcheva, 2017. "Optimal Taxation and Human Capital Policies over the Life Cycle," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 125(6), pages 1931-1990.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:doi:10.1086/694291
    DOI: 10.1086/694291
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I22 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Educational Finance; Financial Aid
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality

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