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Catalysts for Social Insurance: Education Subsidies vs. Real Capital Taxation

Author

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  • Dirk Schindler
  • Hongyan Yang

Abstract

To analyze the optimal social insurance package, we set up a two-period life-cycle model with risky human capital investment in which the government has access to labor taxation, education subsidies and capital taxation. Social insurance is provided by redistributive labor taxation. Moreover, both education subsidies and capital taxation are used as catalysts to facilitate social insurance by mitigating distortions from labor taxation. We derive a Ramsey-rule for the optimal combination of these two instruments. Relative to capital taxation, optimal education subsidies increase with their relative effectiveness to boost labor supply and with households’ underinvestment into education, but they decrease with their relative net distortions. For the optimal absolute levels, indirect complementarity effects (i.e., influencing the effectiveness of the other instrument) do matter. Generally, a decrease in capital taxes should be accompanied by an increase in education subsidies.

Suggested Citation

  • Dirk Schindler & Hongyan Yang, 2010. "Catalysts for Social Insurance: Education Subsidies vs. Real Capital Taxation," CESifo Working Paper Series 3278, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3278
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    File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/DocDL/cesifo1_wp3278.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. da Costa, Carlos E. & Maestri, Lucas J., 2007. "The risk properties of human capital and the design of government policies," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(3), pages 695-713, April.
    2. Ignacio Palacios-Huerta, 2003. "An Empirical Analysis of the Risk Properties of Human Capital Returns," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 948-964, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Robin Boadway & Motohiro Sato, 2015. "Optimal Income Taxation with Risky Earnings: A Synthesis," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 17(6), pages 773-801, December.
    2. Robin Boadway & Motohiro Sato, 2011. "Optimal Income Taxation with Uncertain Earnings: A Synthesis," CESifo Working Paper Series 3654, CESifo Group Munich.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    human capital investment; education subsidies; capital taxation; risk; social insurance;

    JEL classification:

    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • J20 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - General
    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General

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