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The Optimal Taxation of Risky Capital Income: The Rate of Return Allowance

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  • Kevin Spiritus
  • Robin Boadway

Abstract

We study the optimality of taxing capital income according to a Rate-of-Return Allowance proposed by the Mirrlees Review. In a mean-variance framework the optimal tax on risk-free returns is zero with constant returns to scale in private investment, but positive with decreasing returns to scale, and vice versa. The optimal tax rate on excess returns to risky assets is positive if the stochastic tax revenue is returned to the household by variable public good provision. If it is returned as a stochastic lump sum, the optimal tax on excess returns is irrelevant with only aggregate risk, and approaches 100 % if there is also idiosyncratic risk.

Suggested Citation

  • Kevin Spiritus & Robin Boadway, 2017. "The Optimal Taxation of Risky Capital Income: The Rate of Return Allowance," CESifo Working Paper Series 6297, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_6297
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    File URL: https://www.cesifo-group.de/DocDL/cesifo1_wp6297.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    3. J. A. Mirrlees, 1971. "An Exploration in the Theory of Optimum Income Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(2), pages 175-208.
    4. Andreas Fagereng & Luigi Guiso & Davide Malacrino & Luigi Pistaferri, 2016. "Heterogeneity and Persistence in Returns to Wealth," EIEF Working Papers Series 1615, Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF), revised Nov 2016.
    5. Jack M. Mintz, 1981. "Some Additional Results on Investment, Risk Taking, and Full Loss Offset Corporate Taxation with Interest Deductibility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 96(4), pages 631-642.
    6. Emmanuel Saez, 2001. "Using Elasticities to Derive Optimal Income Tax Rates," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 68(1), pages 205-229.
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    Cited by:

    1. Dirk Schindler, 2017. "Wealth Taxation, Non-listed Firms, and the Risk of Entrepreneurial Investment," CESifo Working Paper Series 6537, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. Dirk Schindler, 2017. "Wealth Taxation, Non-listed Firms, and the Risk of Entrepreneurial Investment," CESifo Working Paper Series 6537, CESifo Group Munich.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    optimal capital taxation; rate of return allowance;

    JEL classification:

    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies

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