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Optimal Taxation with Risky Human Capital

Author

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  • Marek Kapicka
  • Julian Neira

Abstract

We study optimal tax policies in a life-cycle economy with risky human capital and permanent ability differences. The optimal policies balance redistribution across agents, insurance against human capital shocks, and incentives to learn and work. In the optimum, i) if utility is separable in labor and learning effort, the inverse labor wedge follows a random walk, ii) if the utility is not separable then the “no distortion at the top” result does not apply, and iii) quantitatively, high-ability agents face very risky consumption while lowability agents are insured. The welfare gains from switching to an optimal tax system are large.

Suggested Citation

  • Marek Kapicka & Julian Neira, 2015. "Optimal Taxation with Risky Human Capital," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp553, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
  • Handle: RePEc:cer:papers:wp553
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Battaglini, Marco & Coate, Stephen, 2008. "Pareto efficient income taxation with stochastic abilities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(3-4), pages 844-868, April.
    2. Ivan Werning & Emmanuel Farhi, 2005. "Inequality, Social Discounting and Estate Taxation," 2005 Meeting Papers 358, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    3. Stefania Albanesi & Christopher Sleet, 2006. "Dynamic Optimal Taxation with Private Information," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(1), pages 1-30.
    4. Alexander Ludwig & Dirk Krueger, 2010. "Optimal Progressive Taxation and Education Subsidies in a Model of Endogenous Human Capital Formation," 2010 Meeting Papers 388, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    5. repec:mea:meawpa:13267 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Sebastian Koehne & Nicola Pavoni & Arpad Abraham, 2011. "Optimal Income Taxation with Asset Accumulation," 2011 Meeting Papers 1161, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    7. Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1982. "Self-selection and Pareto efficient taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 213-240, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Dominik Sachs & Sebastian Findeisen, 2016. "Optimal Financial Aid Policies for Students," 2016 Meeting Papers 1421, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. Sebastian Findeisen & Dominik Sachs, 2015. "Designing Efficient College and Tax Policies," CESifo Working Paper Series 5435, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. Findeisen, Sebastian & Sachs, Dominik, 2017. "Redistribution and insurance with simple tax instruments," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 146(C), pages 58-78.
    4. Ábrahám, Árpád & Koehne, Sebastian & Pavoni, Nicola, 2016. "Optimal income taxation when asset taxation is limited," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 136(C), pages 14-29.
    5. Findeisen, Sebastian & Sachs, Dominik, 2016. "Education and optimal dynamic taxation: The role of income-contingent student loans," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 138(C), pages 1-21.
    6. Suehuyn Kwon, 2017. "Mechanism Design with Moral Hazard," CESifo Working Paper Series 6621, CESifo Group Munich.
    7. OBARA, Takuya, 2018. "Optimal human capital policies under the endogenous choice of educational types," CCES Discussion Paper Series 66_v2, Center for Research on Contemporary Economic Systems, Graduate School of Economics, Hitotsubashi University.
    8. OBARA, Takuya, 2017. "Optimal human capital policies under the endogenous choice of educational types," CCES Discussion Paper Series 66, Center for Research on Contemporary Economic Systems, Graduate School of Economics, Hitotsubashi University.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    optimal taxation; income taxation; human capital;

    JEL classification:

    • E6 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook
    • H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue

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