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Hypergeorgism: When is Rent Taxation as a Remedy for Insufficient Capital Accumulation Socially Optimal?

  • Ottmar Edenhofer
  • Linus Mattauch
  • Jan Siegmeier

Imperfect altruism between generations may lead to insufficient capital accumulation. We study the welfare consequences of taxing the rent on a fixed production factor, such as land, in this setting. We prove that taxing the rent is welfare-enhancing as it increases capital investment. This holds for any tax level and any recycling of the tax revenues except for combinations of high taxes and strongly redistributive recycling. Specific forms of redistribution of the land rent tax - a capital subsidy or a transfer directed at fundless newborns – allow to reproduce the social optimum under parameter restrictions valid for most economies.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 4144.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_4144
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  1. Petrucci, Alberto, 2006. "The incidence of a tax on pure rent in a small open economy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(4-5), pages 921-933, May.
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  11. Hiroyuki Hashimoto & Masaya Sakuragawa, 1998. "Land-Tax, Transfer and Growth in an Endogenously Growing Economy with Overlapping Generations," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 49(4), pages 412-425, December.
  12. Shlomo Benartzi & Richard Thaler, 2007. "Heuristics and Biases in Retirement Savings Behavior," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(3), pages 81-104, Summer.
  13. Feldstein, Martin S, 1977. "The Surprising Incidence of a Tax on Pure Rent: A New Answer to an Old Question," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(2), pages 349-60, April.
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