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Optimal Taxation with Current and Future Cohorts

Author

Listed:
  • Hans Fehr
  • Fabian Kindermann

Abstract

This note demonstrates that optimal tax calculations in overlapping generations models should not be based exclusively on long-run welfare changes. As the latter represent a mix of efficiency and intergenerational redistribution effects, they typically favor policies which redistribute towards future cohorts. Taking the recent study of Conesa et al. (2009) as an example, we explicitly consider short- and long-run welfare effects and isolate the aggregate efficiency consequences of a tax reform. Based on this aggregate efficiency measure, we find a much lower capital income tax rate and a significantly less progressive labor income tax schedule than Conesa et al. (2009) to be optimal. As we demonstrate, the optimality of capital income taxation is explained by the low interest elasticity of precautionary savings compared to that of life-cycle savings.

Suggested Citation

  • Hans Fehr & Fabian Kindermann, 2012. "Optimal Taxation with Current and Future Cohorts," CESifo Working Paper Series 3973, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3973
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    File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/DocDL/cesifo1_wp3973.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    6. Hans Fehr & Christian Habermann, 2008. "Risk Sharing and Efficiency Implications of Progressive Pension Arrangements," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 110(2), pages 419-443, June.
    7. Conesa, Juan Carlos & Krueger, Dirk, 2006. "On the optimal progressivity of the income tax code," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(7), pages 1425-1450, October.
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    12. Kitao, Sagiri, 2010. "Labor-dependent capital income taxation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(8), pages 959-974, November.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Kindermann, Fabian & Krueger, Dirk, 2014. "High Marginal Tax Rates on the Top 1%? Lessons from a Life Cycle Model with Idiosyncratic Income Risk," CEPR Discussion Papers 10208, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Fehr, Hans & Kindermann, Fabian, 2015. "Taxing capital along the transition—Not a bad idea after all?," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 64-77.
    3. Alexander Ludwig & Dirk Krueger, 2015. "Optimal Capital and Progressive Labor Income Taxation with Endogenous Schooling Decisions and Intergenerational Transfers," 2015 Meeting Papers 334, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    4. Kindermann, Fabian & Krueger, Dirk, 2014. "High marginal tax rates on the top 1%?," CFS Working Paper Series 473, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
    5. Alexander Ludwig & Dirk Krueger, 2010. "Optimal Progressive Taxation and Education Subsidies in a Model of Endogenous Human Capital Formation," 2010 Meeting Papers 388, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    6. Ozan Bakis & Baris Kaymak & Markus Poschke, 2015. "Transitional Dynamics and the Optimal Progressivity of Income Redistribution," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 18(3), pages 679-693, July.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    stochastic OLG model; precautionary savings; intragenerational risk sharing and redistribution;

    JEL classification:

    • C68 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Computable General Equilibrium Models
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making

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