Optimal Redistributive Tax and Education Policies in General Equilibrium
Should a redistributive government optimally subsidize education to provoke a reduction in the skill premium through general equilibrium effects on wages? To answer this question, this paper studies optimal linear and non-linear redistributive income taxes and education subsidies in two-type models with endogenous human capital formation, endogenous labor supply, and endogenous wage rates. Under optimal linear policies, education should not be subsidized so as to reduce the skill premium. Linear income taxes are distributionally equivalent to (negative) linear education subsidies, but linear taxes do not distort investment in human capital, whether general equilibrium effects are present or not. If skilled labor supply is more elastic than unskilled labor supply, optimal redistributive linear income taxes are lowered as the distributional gains of linear taxes are offset by a rise in the skill premium. Moreover, the optimal linear income tax may even become negative if general equilibrium effects are sufficiently strong. Under non-linear taxation, governments can directly steer the skill premium by exploiting non-linearities in the policy schedules. At the top, the optimal marginal income tax rate is negative, and the optimal marginal education subsidy is positive. At the bottom, the optimal marginal income tax rate is positive, and education is optimally taxed at the margin. Hence, optimal non-linear tax and education policies compress wage differentials, which contributes to redistribution. Simulations show that the top rate and marginal education subsidies are close to zero for a wide range of plausible parameters. Only when high-ability and low-ability workers are rather poor substitutes in production, marginal education subsidies on the high type and marginal education taxes on the low type substantially differ from zero.
|Date of creation:||2007|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Poschingerstrasse 5, 81679 Munich|
Phone: +49 (89) 9224-0
Fax: +49 (89) 985369
Web page: http://www.cesifo-group.de
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Robert Dur & Coen Teulings, 2003.
"Are Education Subsides an Efficient Redistributive Device?,"
CEE Discussion Papers
0030, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
- Dur, Robert & Teulings, Coen, 2003. "Are education subsides an efficient redistributive device?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19493, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
- Robert A.J. Dur & Coen N. Teulings, 2003. "Are Education Subsidies an Efficient Redistributive Device?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 03-024/3, Tinbergen Institute, revised 19 Sep 2003.
- Gruber, Jon & Saez, Emmanuel, 2002. "The elasticity of taxable income: evidence and implications," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 1-32, April.
- Jon Gruber & Emmanuel Saez, 2000. "The Elasticity of Taxable Income: Evidence and Implications," NBER Working Papers 7512, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Stephen V. Cameron & Christopher Taber, 2004. "Estimation of Educational Borrowing Constraints Using Returns to Schooling," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(1), pages 132-182, February.
- Robert A. J. Dur & Coenraad N. Teulings, 2001. "Education and Efficient Redistribution," CESifo Working Paper Series 592, CESifo Group Munich.
- Robert A.J. Dur & Coen N. Teulings, 2001. "Education and Efficient Redistribution," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 01-090/3, Tinbergen Institute, revised 12 Jun 2003.
- Saez, Emmanuel, 2004. "Direct or indirect tax instruments for redistribution: short-run versus long-run," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(3-4), pages 503-518, March.
- Emmanuel Saez, 2002. "Direct or Indirect Tax Instruments for Redistribution: Short-run versus Long-run," NBER Working Papers 8833, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Allen, Franklin, 1982. "Optimal linear income taxation with general equilibrium effects on wages," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 135-143, March.
- Naito, Hisahiro, 1999. "Re-examination of uniform commodity taxes under a non-linear income tax system and its implication for production efficiency," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 165-188, February.
- Seade, J. K., 1977. "On the shape of optimal tax schedules," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 203-235, April.
- Katz, Lawrence F. & Autor, David H., 1999. "Changes in the wage structure and earnings inequality," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 26, pages 1463-1555 Elsevier.
- Carneiro, Pedro & Heckman, James J., 2003. "Human Capital Policy," IZA Discussion Papers 821, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- James Heckman & Pedro Carneiro, 2003. "Human Capital Policy," NBER Working Papers 9495, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Dixit, Avinash K & Sandmo, Angar, 1977. " Some Simplified Formulae for Optimal Income Taxation," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 79(4), pages 417-423.
- Naito Hisahiro, 2007. "Atkinson-Stiglitz Theorem with Endogenous Human Capital Accumulation," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 1-19, September.
- Diamond, Peter A & Mirrlees, James A, 1971. "Optimal Taxation and Public Production: I--Production Efficiency," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(1), pages 8-27, March.
- Naito, Hisahiro, 2004. "Endogenous human capital accumulation, comparative advantage and direct vs. indirect redistribution," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(12), pages 2685-2710, December.
- Hisahiro Naito, 2003. "Endogenous Human Capital Accumulation, Comparative Advantage and Direct vs. Indirect Redistribution," ISER Discussion Paper 0590, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
- Eytan Sheshinski, 1972. "The Optimal Linear Income-tax," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 39(3), pages 297-302.
- Card, David, 1999. "The causal effect of education on earnings," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 30, pages 1801-1863 Elsevier.
- Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1982. "Self-selection and Pareto efficient taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 213-240, March.
- Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1981. "Self-Selection and Pareto Efficient Taxation," NBER Working Papers 0632, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- J. A. Mirrlees, 1971. "An Exploration in the Theory of Optimum Income Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(2), pages 175-208.
- Emmanuel Saez, 2001. "Using Elasticities to Derive Optimal Income Tax Rates," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 68(1), pages 205-229.
- Emmanuel Saez, 2000. "Using Elasticities to Derive Optimal Income Tax Rates," NBER Working Papers 7628, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Atkinson, A. B. & Stiglitz, J. E., 1976. "The design of tax structure: Direct versus indirect taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1-2), pages 55-75.
- Feldstein, Martin, 1973. "On the optimal progressivity of the income tax," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(4), pages 357-376. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)