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Optimal Taxation and Constrained Inefficiency in an Infinite-Horizon Economy with Incomplete Markets

  • Piero Gottardi
  • Atsushi Kajii
  • Tomoyuki Nakajima

We study the dynamic Ramsey problem of finding optimal public debt and linear taxes on capital and labor income within a tractable infinite horizon model with incomplete markets. With zero public expenditure and debt, it is optimal to tax the risky labor income and subsidize capital, while a positive amount of public debt is welfare improving. A steady state optimality condition is derived which implies that the tax on capital is positive, when savings are sufficiently inelastic to returns. A calibration of our model to the US economy indicates positive optimal taxes and a small but positive optimal debt level.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 3560.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3560
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  1. Albert Marcet & Francesc Obiols-Homs & Philippe Weil, 2003. "Incomplete Markets, Labor Supply and Capital Accumulation," Sciences Po publications 659, Sciences Po.
  2. Piero Gottardi & Atsushi Kajii & Tomoyuki Nakajima, 2014. "Constrained Inefficiency and Optimal Taxation with Uninsurable Risks," KIER Working Papers 694, Kyoto University, Institute of Economic Research.
  3. Juan Carlos Conesa & Sagiri Kitao & Dirk Krueger, 2007. "Taxing Capital? Not a Bad Idea After All!," NBER Working Papers 12880, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Atsushi Kajii & Antonio Villanacci & Alessandro Citanna, 1998. "Constrained suboptimality in incomplete markets: a general approach and two applications," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 495-521.
  5. Eva Carceles Poveda & Arpad Abraham, 2004. "Endogenous Trading Constraints with Incomplete Asset Markets," 2004 Meeting Papers 667, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  6. Marco Bassetto & Narayana Kocherlakota, 2010. "On the Irrelevance of Government Debt When Taxes are Distortionary," Levine's Working Paper Archive 506439000000000295, David K. Levine.
  7. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/8623 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Lars Ljungqvist & Thomas J. Sargent, 2004. "Recursive Macroeconomic Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 2, volume 1, number 026212274x, June.
  9. Tom Krebs, 2003. "Human Capital Risk And Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(2), pages 709-744, May.
  10. Julio Dávila & Jay H. Hong & Per Krusell & José‐Víctor Ríos‐Rull, 2012. "Constrained Efficiency in the Neoclassical Growth Model With Uninsurable Idiosyncratic Shocks," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 80(6), pages 2431-2467, November.
  11. Jones, Larry E. & Manuelli, Rodolfo E. & Rossi, Peter E., 1997. "On the Optimal Taxation of Capital Income," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 93-117, March.
  12. George-Marios Angeletos, 2007. "Uninsured Idiosyncratic Investment Risk and Aggregate Saving," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 10(1), pages 1-30, January.
  13. Larry E. Jones & Rodolfo Manuelli, 1990. "A Convex Model of Equilibrium Growth," NBER Working Papers 3241, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Zhu, Xiaodong, 1992. "Optimal fiscal policy in a stochastic growth model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 250-289, December.
  15. Constantinides,George & Duffie,Darrel, 1992. "Asset pricing with heterogeneous consumers," Discussion Paper Serie A 381, University of Bonn, Germany.
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