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Dynamic Optimal Taxation in Open Economies

This paper analyzes optimal capital taxation in open economies with strategic interaction in a neo-classical growth model. With a territorial or source-based tax system, I show that optimal capital taxes in steady state are zero for a large open economy, thereby generalizing the result previously established only for the special cases of a closed and a small open economy. If the steady-state assumption is relaxed, optimal capital taxes are still zero when marginal utilities of private and public consumption are bounded, or when the utility function is quasi- linear in consumption. Moreover, in the latter case the solution is also time-consistent. For the residential or world-wide tax principle, however, countries are not able to tax all factors of production, so capital income taxes are generally non-zero except in the limiting cases of a closed or small open economy. Allowing for both residential and territorial taxes restores zero capital taxes.

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Paper provided by Carleton University, Department of Economics in its series Carleton Economic Papers with number 13-06.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: 06 Aug 2013
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published: Carleton Economic Papers
Handle: RePEc:car:carecp:13-06
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  1. Chamley, Christophe, 1986. "Optimal Taxation of Capital Income in General Equilibrium with Infinite Lives," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 607-22, May.
  2. Lansing, Kevin J., 1999. "Optimal redistributive capital taxation in a neoclassical growth model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(3), pages 423-453, September.
  3. Kenneth L. Judd, 1982. "Redistributive Taxation in a Simple Perfect Foresight Model," Discussion Papers 572, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  4. Emmanuel Farhi, 2010. "Capital Taxation and Ownership When Markets Are Incomplete," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(5), pages 908 - 948.
  5. N. Gregory Mankiw & Matthew Weinzierl & Danny Yagan, 2009. "Optimal Taxation in Theory and Practice," NBER Working Papers 15071, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Tian, Guoqiang, 1992. "On the Existence of Equilibria in Generalized Games," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 20(3), pages 247-54.
  7. Assaf Razin & Efraim Sadka, 1989. "International Tax Competition and Gains from Tax Harmonization," NBER Working Papers 3152, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Mendoza, Enrique G. & Tesar, Linda L., 2005. "Why hasn't tax competition triggered a race to the bottom? Some quantitative lessons from the EU," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 163-204, January.
  9. S. Rao Aiyagari & Albert Marcet & Thomas J. Sargent & Juha Seppala, 2002. "Optimal Taxation without State-Contingent Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(6), pages 1220-1254, December.
  10. Andrés Erosa & Martin Gervais, 1998. "Optimal Taxation in Life-Cycle Economies," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 9812, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
  11. V.V. Chari & Lawrence J. Christiano & Patrick J. Kehoe, 1993. "Optimal fiscal policy in a business cycle model," Staff Report 160, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  12. Peter Diamond & Emmanuel Saez, 2011. "The Case for a Progressive Tax: From Basic Research to Policy Recommendations," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 25(4), pages 165-90, Fall.
  13. 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 473-91, June.
  14. Correia, Isabel H., 1996. "Dynamic optimal taxation in small open economies," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 691-708, April.
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