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Optimal Capital Taxation in Economies with Unionised and Competitive Labour Markets

  • Erkki Koskela
  • Ronnie Schöb

According to the existing literature, capital taxes should not be imposed in the presence of optimal profit taxation in either unionised or competitive labour markets. We show that this conclusion does not hold for an economy with both competitive and unionised sectors, where the competitive wage rate provides the outside option for unionised workers. Even with non-distortionary profit taxation it is optimal for such an economy to tax capital if the revenue share of capital in the unionised sector is lower than the revenue share of capital in the competitive sector. This is because taxing capital income reduces employment and lowers the outside option of workers in the unionised sector with the latter effect being stronger. A capital subsidy should be granted if the opposite relationship in terms of revenue shares holds.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 819.

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Date of creation: 2002
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_819
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  1. Harry Huizinga & Soeren Bo Nielsen, . "Capital Income and Profits Taxation with Foreign Ownerwhip of Firms," EPRU Working Paper Series 95-09, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  2. Koskela, Erkki & Schob, Ronnie, 2002. " Optimal Factor Income Taxation in the Presence of Unemployment," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 4(3), pages 387-404.
  3. Olivier Blanchard & Lawrence F. Katz, 1997. "What We Know and Do Not Know about the Natural Rate of Unemployment," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(1), pages 51-72, Winter.
  4. G. D. A. MacDougall, 1960. "THE BENEFITS and COSTS OF PRIVATE INVESTMENT FROM ABROAD: A THEORETICAL APPROACH," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 36(73), pages 13-35, 03.
  5. Summers, Lawrence H & Gruber, Jonathan & Vergara, Rodrigo, 1993. "Taxation and the Structure of Labor Markets: The Case of Corporatism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(2), pages 385-411, May.
  6. Koskela Erkki & Schöb Ronnie, 2002. "Why Governments Should Tax Mobile Capital in the Presence of Unemployment," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 1(1), pages 1-22, January.
  7. Wolfram Richter & Kerstin Schneider, 2001. "Taxing Mobile Capital with Labor Market Imperfections," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 8(3), pages 245-262, May.
  8. repec:ner:tilbur:urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-73857 is not listed on IDEAS
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