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Progressive Taxation and Irreversible Investment under Uncertainty


  • Luis H. R. Alvarez
  • Erkki Koskela


We analyze the impact of progressive taxation on irreversible investment under uncertainty. We show that if tax exemption is lower than sunk cost, higher tax rate will decelerate optimal investment by increasing the optimal investment threshold, while if tax exemption exceeds sunk cost, three different regimes arise. For "small" volatilities the optimal investment threshold is a positive function of volatility, but independent of tax rate. For "medium" volatilities it is independent of both tax rate and volatility. Finally, for "high" volatilities the optimal investment threshold depends positively on volatility, but negatively on tax rate so that we have "tax paradox".

Suggested Citation

  • Luis H. R. Alvarez & Erkki Koskela, 2005. "Progressive Taxation and Irreversible Investment under Uncertainty," CESifo Working Paper Series 1377, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1377

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hassett, Kevin A & Metcalf, Gilbert E, 1999. "Investment with Uncertain Tax Policy: Does Random Tax Policy Discourage Investment?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(457), pages 372-393, July.
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    13. Rainer Niemann, 1999. "Neutral Taxation under Uncertainty - a Real Options Approach," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 56(1), pages 51-66, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Luis H. R. Alvarez & Erkki Koskela, 2007. "Irreversible Capital Accumulation and Nonlinear Tax Policy: A Note," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 63(1), pages 46-53, March.
    2. Niemann, Rainer, 2007. "Risikoübernahme, Arbeitsanreiz und differenzierende Besteuerung," arqus Discussion Papers in Quantitative Tax Research 28, arqus - Arbeitskreis Quantitative Steuerlehre.

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    irreversible investments under uncertainty; progressive taxation;

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