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Revisiting the Capital Tax Ambiguity Result

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Abstract

We provide a welfare based interpretation of the capital tax ambiguity result (due to Guo & Lansing, 1999). We show that the sign ambiguity of optimal capital tax rate in an imperfectly competitive economy is mainly due to the welfare cost of investment. The substitution and income effects of profit seeking investment reinforce each other which create a deadweight loss in welfare. Investors cannot perceive this effect and never invest at the right level. This loss is perceived only by the government which motivates capital taxation.

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  • Selim, Sheikh, 2006. "Revisiting the Capital Tax Ambiguity Result," Cardiff Economics Working Papers E2006/20, Cardiff University, Cardiff Business School, Economics Section, revised Feb 2010.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdf:wpaper:2006/20
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    1. Kenneth L. Judd, 1997. "The Optimal Tax Rate for Capital Income is Negative," NBER Working Papers 6004, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Kenneth L. Judd, 2002. "Capital-Income Taxation with Imperfect Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 417-421, May.
    3. Guo, Jang-Ting & Lansing, Kevin J., 1999. "Optimal taxation of capital income with imperfectly competitive product markets," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 23(7), pages 967-995, June.
    4. 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.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Optimal taxation; Monopoly power; Ramsey policy;

    JEL classification:

    • D42 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Monopoly
    • 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
    • H30 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - General

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