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Self-control Preferences and Taxation: A Quantitative Analysis in a Life Cycle Model

  • Cagri S. Kumru

    ()

  • Athanasios C. Thanopoulos

This paper examines the impact of various .fiscal policies, namely, taxes on consumption, lab and capital when agents have self-control preferences. Agents trade in a stochastic overlapping generations economy while facing borrowing constraints. We quantitatively show that modelling choices, such as, liquidity constraints, life-cycle structure and idiosyncratic earnings risks, that were previously considered to be critical in delivering a positive capital income tax, need not be binding in this regard. We argue and quantitatively show that for a sufficiently large measure of individuals having self-control preferences instead of CRRA preferences, or alternatively, for a sufficiently high cost of exercising self control when all individuals are self-control types, the optimal capital income tax is zero. Given there is strong empirical and experimental evidence regarding the existence of self-control problems, our model provides quite an interesting insight: as agents.self-control costs rise, the optimal capital income tax rate will converge to Chamley and Judd value.

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File URL: https://www.cbe.anu.edu.au/researchpapers/econ/wp546.pdf
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Paper provided by Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics in its series ANU Working Papers in Economics and Econometrics with number 2011-546.

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Length: 28 Pages
Date of creation: Jun 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:acb:cbeeco:2011-546
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  1. Imrohoroglu, Ayse & Imrohoroglu, Selahattin & Joines, Douglas H, 1998. "The Effect of Tax-Favored Retirement Accounts on Capital Accumulation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 749-68, September.
  2. Chamley, Christophe, 1986. "Optimal Taxation of Capital Income in General Equilibrium with Infinite Lives," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 607-22, May.
  3. Kevin X. D. Huang & Zheng Liu & Qi Zhu, 2013. "Temptation and self-control: some evidence and applications," Working Paper Series 2013-23, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
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  11. Finn E. Kydland & Edward C. Prescott, 1994. "The computational experiment: an econometric tool," Staff Report 178, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  12. Imrohoroglu, Ayse & Imrohoroglu, Selahattin & Joines, Douglas H, 1995. "A Life Cycle Analysis of Social Security," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 6(1), pages 83-114, June.
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  17. Cagri S. Kumru & Athanasios C. Thanopoulos, 2010. "Social Security Reform with Self-Control Preferences," Discussion Papers 2010-11, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.
  18. Alessandro Bucciol, 2012. "Measuring Self-Control Problems: A Structural Estimation," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 10(5), pages 1084-1115, October.
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  23. Ted O'Donoghue & Matthew Rabin, 2003. "Studying Optimal Paternalism, Illustrated by a Model of Sin Taxes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 186-191, May.
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  27. Kumru, Çagri S. & Thanopoulos, Athanasios C., 2008. "Social security and self control preferences," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 757-778, March.
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