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Income Tax, Consumption Value of Education, and the Choice of Educational Type

  • Annette Alstadsæter

How the tax system might affect the individual’s educational level is well studied. But the question of how the tax system affects the individual’s choice of educational type is mostly ignored. This is an important issue, since the educational choice of today’s young generation determines the skill composition of tomorrow’s labor force and hence the future production possibilities of the country. This paper studies the problem in a partial model. A progressive tax system might in fact introduce distortions in the individuals’s educational choice and induce him to choose more of the educational type with the higher consumption value. If he also puts more weight on the present than on the future, this effect is strengthened further.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1055.

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Date of creation: 2003
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1055
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  1. Nerlove, Marc & Razin, Assaf & Sadka, Efraim & von Weizsacker, Robert K., 1993. "Comprehensive income taxation, investments in human and physical capital, and productivity," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 397-406, March.
  2. Michael J. Boskin, 1975. "Notes on the Tax Treatment of Human Capital," NBER Working Papers 0116, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Fredriksson, Peter, 1997. " Economic Incentives and the Demand for Higher Education," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 99(1), pages 129-42, March.
  4. Psacharopoulos, George & Patrinos, Harry Anthony, 2002. "Returns to investment in education : a further update," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2881, The World Bank.
  5. Trostel, Philip A, 1993. "The Effect of Taxation on Human Capital," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(2), pages 327-50, April.
  6. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
  7. Nielsen, Soren Bo & Sorensen, Peter Birch, 1997. "On the optimality of the Nordic system of dual income taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 311-329, February.
  8. Edward P. Lazear, 1975. "Education: Consumption or Production," NBER Working Papers 0104, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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