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Optimal Factor Income Taxation in the Presence of Unemployment

  • Erkki Koskela
  • Ronnie Schöb

According to conventional wisdom internationally mobile capital should not be taxed or should be taxed at a lower rate than labour. An important underlying assumption behind this view is that there are no market imperfections, in particular that labour markets clear competitively. At least for Europe, which has been suffering from high unemployment f or a long time, this assumption does not seem appropriate. This paper studies the optimal factor taxation in the presence of unemployment which results from the union-firm wage bargaining both with optimal and restricted profit taxation when capital is internationally mobile and labour immobile. In setting tax rates the government is assumed to behave as a Stackelberg leader towards the private sector playing a Nash game. The main conclusion is that in the presence of unemployment, the conventional wisdom turns on its head; capital should generally be taxed at a higher rate than labour.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 279.

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Date of creation: 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_279
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  1. Guesnerie Roger & Laffont Jean-jacques, 1978. "Taxing price makers," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 7806, CEPREMAP.
  2. 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.
  3. Huizinga, H.P. & Nielsen, S.B., 1997. "Capital income and profit taxation with foreign ownership of firms," Other publications TiSEM b4f6a916-7f7f-4fe1-9cf0-c, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  4. Stefan Boeters & Kerstin Schneider, 1999. "Government versus Union. The Structure of Optimal Taxation in a Unionized Labor Market," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 56(2), pages 174-, June.
  5. Michael Keen & Hannu Piekkola, 1996. "Simple rules for the optimal taxation of international capital income," IFS Working Papers W96/18, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  6. Nash, John, 1950. "The Bargaining Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 18(2), pages 155-162, April.
  7. Assaf Razin & Efraim Sadka, 1989. "International Tax Competition and Gains from Tax Harmonization," NBER Working Papers 3152, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Koskela, Erkki & Schöb, Ronnie, 2001. "Optimal Factor Income Taxation in the Presence of Unemployment," Discussion Papers 758, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
  9. Bruce, Neil, 1992. "A Note on the Taxation of International Capital Income Flows," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 68(202), pages 217-21, September.
  10. Ken Binmore & Ariel Rubinstein & Asher Wolinsky, 1986. "The Nash Bargaining Solution in Economic Modelling," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 17(2), pages 176-188, Summer.
  11. Stefan Homburg, 1999. "Competition and Co-ordination in International Capital Income Taxation," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 56(1), pages 1-17, March.
  12. Richard Layard & Stephen Nickell, 1998. "Labour Market Institutions and Economic Performance," CEP Discussion Papers dp0407, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  13. MINTZ, Jacques & TULKENSÂ , Henry, 1994. "Optimality Properties of Alternative Systems of Taxation of Foreign Capital Income," CORE Discussion Papers 1994078, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  14. Wolfram F. Richter & Kerstin Schneider, 2001. "Taxing Mobile Capital with Labor Market Imperfections," CESifo Working Paper Series 477, CESifo Group Munich.
  15. Erkki Koskela & Ronnie Schöb, . "Why Governments Should Tax Mobile Capital in the Presence of Unemployment," EPRU Working Paper Series 98-08, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  16. Bovenberg, A.L. & van der Ploeg, F., 1996. "Optimal taxation, public goods and environmental policy with involuntary unemployment," Other publications TiSEM 2a1a87d9-2ed9-41a7-b3aa-b, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  17. Holm, Pasi & Honkapohja, Seppo & Koskela, Erkki, 1994. "A monopoly-union model of wage determination with capital and taxes: An empirical application to the Finnish manufacturing," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 285-303, February.
  18. Erkki Koskela & Ronnie Schöb & Hans-Werner Sinn, 1998. "Pollution, Factor Taxation and Unemployment," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 5(3), pages 379-396, July.
  19. Eggert, Wolfgang & Haufler, Andreas, 1999. "Capital taxation and production efficiency in an open economy," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 85-90, January.
  20. Bucovetsky, Sam & Wilson, John Douglas, 1991. "Tax competition with two tax instruments," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 333-350, November.
  21. G. D. A. MacDougall, 1960. "THE BENEFITS and COSTS OF PRIVATE INVESTMENT FROM ABROAD: A THEORETICAL APPROACH," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 36(73), pages 13-35, 03.
  22. Fuest, Clemens & Huber, Bernd, 1999. "Tax Coordination and Unemployment," Munich Reprints in Economics 20298, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  23. repec:oup:qjecon:v:108:y:1993:i:2:p:385-411 is not listed on IDEAS
  24. Hersoug, Tor, 1984. "Union Wage Responses to Tax Changes," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 36(1), pages 37-51, March.
  25. Lockwood, Ben & Manning, Alan, 1993. "Wage setting and the tax system theory and evidence for the United Kingdom," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 1-29, August.
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