IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/bge/wpaper/887.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Pareto-Improving Optimal Capital and Labor Taxes

Author

Listed:
  • Katharina Greulich
  • Sarolta Laczó
  • Albert Marcet

Abstract

We study Pareto-optimal fiscal policy in a model with agents who are heterogeneous in their labor productivity and wealth. We show a natural modification of the standard Ramsey problem to guarantee that long-run capital taxes are zero. We focus on Pareto-improving policies and we find that a gradual reform is crucial in achieving a Pareto improvement: labor taxes should be cut and capital taxes should remain high for a very long time before reaching zero. Therefore, the long-run optimal tax mix is the opposite of the short- and medium-run one. This policy redistributes wealth in favor of workers so that all agents benefit, and it favors quick capital growth after the reform. The labor tax cut is financed by deficits which lead to a positive level of government debt in the long run, reversing the standard prediction that the government accumulates savings in models with optimal capital taxes. The welfare benefits from the tax reform are relatively large and they can be shifted entirely to capitalists or workers by varying the length of the transition. We address a number of technical issues such as sufficiency of Lagrangian solutions in a Ramsey problem, relation of Pareto-improving allocations with welfare functions, asymptotic behavior, and solution algorithms.

Suggested Citation

  • Katharina Greulich & Sarolta Laczó & Albert Marcet, 2016. "Pareto-Improving Optimal Capital and Labor Taxes," Working Papers 887, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:887
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.barcelonagse.eu/sites/default/files/working_paper_pdfs/887.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Marcet, Albert & Obiols-Homs, Francesc & Weil, Philippe, 2007. "Incomplete markets, labor supply and capital accumulation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(8), pages 2621-2635, November.
    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. Faraglia, Elisa & Marcet, Albert & Scott, Andrew, 2010. "In search of a theory of debt management," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(7), pages 821-836, October.
    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. Floden, Martin, 2009. "Why Are Capital Income Taxes So High?," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(03), pages 279-304, June.
    6. 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.
    7. Conesa, Juan Carlos & Krueger, Dirk, 2006. "On the optimal progressivity of the income tax code," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(7), pages 1425-1450, October.
    8. David Domeij & Jonathan Heathcote, 2004. "On The Distributional Effects Of Reducing Capital Taxes," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(2), pages 523-554, May.
    9. McGrattan, Ellen R & Rogerson, Richard & Wright, Randall, 1997. "An Equilibrium Model of the Business Cycle with Household Production and Fiscal Policy," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 38(2), pages 267-290, May.
    10. Albert Marcet & Ramon Marimon, 1994. "Recursive contracts," Economics Working Papers 337, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Oct 1998.
    11. Giannitsarou, Chryssi, 2006. "Supply-side reforms and learning dynamics," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 291-309, March.
    12. Lawrence J. Lau & Yingyi Qian & Gerard Roland, 2000. "Reform without Losers: An Interpretation of China's Dual-Track Approach to Transition," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(1), pages 120-143, February.
    13. Iván Werning, 2007. "Optimal Fiscal Policy with Redistribution," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(3), pages 925-967.
    14. Correia, Isabel H., 1999. "On the efficiency and equity trade-off," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 581-603, December.
    15. Dirk Niepelt, 2004. "Tax Smoothing versus Tax Shifting," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 7(1), pages 27-51, January.
    16. Isabel Correia, 2010. "Consumption Taxes and Redistribution," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(4), pages 1673-1694, September.
    17. Judd, Kenneth L., 1985. "Redistributive taxation in a simple perfect foresight model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 59-83, October.
    18. Correia, Isabel, 1995. "Efficiency and Equity: Is There a Trade-off?," CEPR Discussion Papers 1218, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    19. Chamley, Christophe, 1986. "Optimal Taxation of Capital Income in General Equilibrium with Infinite Lives," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 607-622, May.
    20. Ludwig Straub & Iván Werning, 2014. "Positive Long Run Capital Taxation: Chamley-Judd Revisited," NBER Working Papers 20441, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    21. Andrew Atkeson & V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe, 1999. "Taxing capital income: a bad idea," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Sum, pages 3-17.
    22. Marco Bassetto, 2014. "Optimal fiscal policy with heterogeneous agents," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 5(3), pages 675-704, November.
    23. Jones, Larry E & Manuelli, Rodolfo E & Rossi, Peter E, 1993. "Optimal Taxation in Models of Endogenous Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 485-517, June.
    24. Teresa Garcia-Milà & Albert Marcet & Eva Ventura, 2010. "Supply Side Interventions and Redistribution," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(543), pages 105-130, March.
    25. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1990. "Supply-Side Economics: An Analytical Review," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 42(2), pages 293-316, April.
    26. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/8623 is not listed on IDEAS
    27. Chamley, Christophe, 2001. "Capital income taxation, wealth distribution and borrowing constraints," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(1), pages 55-69, January.
    28. Ljungqvist, Lars & Sargent, Thomas J., 2012. "Recursive Macroeconomic Theory, Third Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 3, volume 1, number 0262018748.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Konstantinos Angelopoulos & Jim Malley & Apostolis Philippopoulos, 2011. "Time-consistent Fiscal Policy under Heterogeneity: Conflicting or Common Interests?," CESifo Working Paper Series 3444, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. Chari, V. V. & Nicolini, Juan Pablo & Teles, Pedro, 2018. "Optimal Capital Taxation Revisited," Working Papers 752, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    3. Röhrs, Sigrid & Winter, Christoph, 2017. "Reducing government debt in the presence of inequality," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 1-20.
    4. Sofía Bauducco, 2011. "Seigniorage and Distortionary Taxation in a Model with Heterogeneous Agents and Idiosyncratic Uncertainty," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 611, Central Bank of Chile.
    5. Ferrara, Maria & Tirelli, Patrizio, 2017. "Equitable fiscal consolidations," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 207-223.
    6. Tobon Orozco, David & Molina Guerra, Carlos & Vargas Cano, John Harvey, 2016. "Extent of Expected Pigouvian Taxes and Permits for Environmental Services in a General Equilibrium Model with a natural capital constraint," BORRADORES DEPARTAMENTO DE ECONOMÍA 015258, UNIVERSIDAD DE ANTIOQUIA - CIE.
    7. Roberta, Cardani & Lorenzo, Menna & Patrizio, Tirelli, 2016. "Optimal Public Debt Consolidation with Distributional Conflicts," Working Papers 350, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised 05 Oct 2016.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    fiscal policy; Pareto-improving tax reform; redistribution;

    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

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    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:bge:wpaper:887. 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: (Bruno Guallar). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/bargses.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.