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|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: +49 (89) 9224-0
Fax: +49 (89) 985369
Web page: http://www.cesifo.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.:
- 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.
- 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.
- Robert Dur & Coen Teulings, 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 Dur & Coen Teulings, 2003. "Are Education Subsides an Efficient Redistributive Device?," CEE Discussion Papers 0030, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
- repec:cup:cbooks:9780521873161 is not listed on IDEAS
- 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.
- 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.
- Dixit, Avinash K & Sandmo, Angar, 1977. " Some Simplified Formulae for Optimal Income Taxation," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 79(4), pages 417-23.
- 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.
- Saez, Emmanuel, 2001.
"Using Elasticities to Derive Optimal Income Tax Rates,"
Review of Economic Studies,
Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(1), pages 205-29, January.
- Emmanuel Saez, 2000. "Using Elasticities to Derive Optimal Income Tax Rates," NBER Working Papers 7628, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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.
- Jon Gruber & Emmanuel Saez, 2000.
"The Elasticity of Taxable Income: Evidence and Implications,"
NBER Working Papers
7512, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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.
- James Heckman & Pedro Carneiro, 2003.
"Human Capital Policy,"
NBER Working Papers
9495, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Mirrlees, James A, 1971. "An Exploration in the Theory of Optimum Income Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(114), pages 175-208, April.
- 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.
- Sheshinski, Eytan, 1972. "The Optimal Linear Income-Tax," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(3), pages 297-302, July.
- 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.
- Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1981.
"Self-Selection and Pareto Efficient Taxation,"
NBER Working Papers
0632, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Robert A. J. Dur & Coenraad N. Teulings, 2001.
"Education and Efficient Redistribution,"
CESifo Working Paper Series
592, CESifo Group Munich.
- 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.
- Seade, J. K., 1977. "On the shape of optimal tax schedules," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 203-235, April.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2162. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Julio Saavedra)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.