IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/bar/bedcje/200166.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Optimal Fiscal Policy in Overlapping Generations Models

Author

Listed:
  • Carlos Garriga

    (Universitat de Barcelona)

Abstract

This paper provides, from a theoretical and quantitative point of view, an explanation of why taxes on capital returns are high (around 35%) by analyzing the optimal fiscal policy in an economy with intergenerational redistribution. For this purpose, the government is modeled explicitly and can choose (and commit to) an optimal tax policy in order to maximize society's welfare. In an infinitely lived economy with heterogeneous agents, the long run optimal capital tax is zero. If heterogeneity is due to the existence of overlapping generations, this result in general is no longer true. I provide sufficient conditions for zero capital and labor taxes, and show that a general class of preferences, commonly used on the macro and public finance literature, violate these conditions. For a version of the model, calibrated to the US economy, the main results are: first, if the government is restricted to a set of instruments, the observed fiscal policy cannot be disregarded as sub optimal and capital taxes are positive and quantitatively relevant. Second, if the government can use age specific taxes for each generation, then the age profile capital tax pattern implies subsidizing asset returns of the younger generations and taxing at higher rates the asset returns of the older ones.

Suggested Citation

  • Carlos Garriga, 2001. "Optimal Fiscal Policy in Overlapping Generations Models," Working Papers in Economics 66, Universitat de Barcelona. Espai de Recerca en Economia.
  • Handle: RePEc:bar:bedcje:200166
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.ere.ub.es/dtreball/E0166.rdf/at_download/file
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Juster, F Thomas & Stafford, Frank P, 1991. "The Allocation of Time: Empirical Findings, Behavioral Models, and Problems of Measurement," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 29(2), pages 471-522, June.
    2. Aiyagari, S Rao, 1995. "Optimal Capital Income Taxation with Incomplete Markets, Borrowing Constraints, and Constant Discounting," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(6), pages 1158-1175, December.
    3. Barro, Robert J. & Gordon, David B., 1983. "Rules, discretion and reputation in a model of monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 101-121.
    4. Chari, V V & Christiano, Lawrence J & Kehoe, Patrick J, 1994. "Optimal Fiscal Policy in a Business Cycle Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(4), pages 617-652, August.
    5. Chari, V.V. & Kehoe, Patrick J., 1999. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy," Handbook of Macroeconomics,in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 26, pages 1671-1745 Elsevier.
    6. Chari, V V & Kehoe, Patrick J, 1990. "Sustainable Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(4), pages 783-802, August.
    7. R. H. Strotz, 1955. "Myopia and Inconsistency in Dynamic Utility Maximization," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(3), pages 165-180.
    8. Lucas, Robert Jr. & Stokey, Nancy L., 1983. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy in an economy without capital," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 55-93.
    9. Juan C. Conesa & Carlos Garriga, 2008. "Optimal Fiscal Policy In The Design Of Social Security Reforms," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 49(1), pages 291-318, February.
    10. Matthew Weinzierl, 2011. "The Surprising Power of Age-Dependent Taxes," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 78(4), pages 1490-1518.
    11. Tabellini, Guido, 1991. "The Politics of Intergenerational Redistribution," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(2), pages 335-357, April.
    12. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1990. "Supply-Side Economics: An Analytical Review," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 42(2), pages 293-316, April.
    13. Paul A. Samuelson, 1958. "An Exact Consumption-Loan Model of Interest with or without the Social Contrivance of Money," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66, pages 467-467.
    14. Judd, Kenneth L., 1999. "Optimal taxation and spending in general competitive growth models," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 1-26, January.
    15. Atkinson, A B & Sandmo, A, 1980. "Welfare Implications of the Taxation of Savings," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(359), pages 529-549, September.
    16. Pestieau, P. M., 1974. "Optimal taxation and discount rate for public investment in a growth setting," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 217-235, August.
    17. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-491, June.
    18. Judd, Kenneth L., 1985. "Redistributive taxation in a simple perfect foresight model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 59-83, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bar:bedcje:200166. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Espai de Recerca en Economia). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/feubaes.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.