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Constrained inefficiency and optimal taxation with uninsurable risks

  • Piero Gottardi
  • Atsushi Kajii
  • Tomoyuki Nakajima

When individuals' labor and capital income are subject to uninsurable idiosyncratic risks, should capital and labor be taxed, and if so how? In a two period general equilibrium model with production, we derive a decomposition formula of the welfare e ects of these taxes into insurance and distribution e ects. This allows us to determine how the sign of the optimal taxes on capital and labor depend on the nature of the shocks, the degree of heterogeneity among consumers' income as well as on the way in which the tax revenue is used to provide lump sum transfers to consumers. When shocks a ect primarily labor income and heterogeneity is small, the optimal tax on capital is positive. However in other cases a negative tax on capital is welfare improving.

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Paper provided by The Canon Institute for Global Studies in its series CIGS Working Paper Series with number 14-002E.

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Length: 25
Date of creation: Jan 2014
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Handle: RePEc:cnn:wpaper:14-002e
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  1. N. Gregory Mankiw & Matthew Weinzierl & Danny Yagan, 2009. "Optimal Taxation in Theory and Practice," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(4), pages 147-74, Fall.
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  3. Julio Davila & Jay H. Hong & Per Krusell & Jose-Victor Rios-Rull, 2005. "Constrained efficiency in the neoclassical growth model with uninsurable idiosyncratic shocks," PIER Working Paper Archive 05-023, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
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  7. Tomoyuki Nakajima & Atsushi Kajii & Piero Gottardi, 2011. "Optimal taxation and constrained inefficiency in an in finite-horizon economy with incomplete markets," 2011 Meeting Papers 455, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  8. Chamley, Christophe, 1986. "Optimal Taxation of Capital Income in General Equilibrium with Infinite Lives," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 607-22, May.
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  12. Lars Ljungqvist & Thomas J. Sargent, 2004. "Recursive Macroeconomic Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 2, volume 1, number 026212274x, June.
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  14. S. Rao Aiyagari, 1994. "Optimal capital income taxation with incomplete markets, borrowing constraints, and constant discounting," Working Papers 508, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
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