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Optimal Taxation of Entrepreneurial Capital with Private Information

  • Albanesi, Stefania

This paper studies optimal taxation of entrepreneurial capital and financial assets in economies with private information. Returns to entrepreneurial capital are risky and depend on entrepreneurs’ effort, which is not observed. The presence of idiosyncratic risk in capital returns implies that constrained-efficient allocations display an intertemporal wedge on entrepreneurial capital that can be positive or negative. The properties of optimal marginal taxes on entrepreneurial capital depend on the sign of this wedge. If the wedge is positive, the marginal capital tax should be decreasing in capital returns, while the opposite is true when the wedge is negative. The optimal tax system equalizes after tax returns on all assets, thus reducing the variance of capital returns after tax relative to other assets. If entrepreneurs are allowed to sell shares of their capital to outside investors, returns to externally owned capital are subject to double taxation at the level of the entrepreneur and at the level of the outside investors. Even if entrepreneurs can purchase private insurance against their idiosyncratic risk, optimal asset taxes are essential to implement the constrained-efficient allocation if entrepreneurial portfolios are private information.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5647.

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Date of creation: Apr 2006
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5647
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  1. Aubhik Khan & B. Ravikumar, 1999. "Growth and risk-sharing with private information," Working Papers 99-12, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
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  8. Judd, Kenneth L., 1985. "Redistributive taxation in a simple perfect foresight model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 59-83, October.
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  20. 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.
  21. Roger H. Gordon & Joel Slemrod, 1988. "Do We Collect Any Revenue from Taxing Capital Income?," NBER Chapters, in: Tax Policy and the Economy: Volume 2, pages 89-130 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  24. Rogerson, William P, 1985. "Repeated Moral Hazard," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(1), pages 69-76, January.
  25. Tobias J. Moskowitz & Annette Vissing-Jorgensen, 2002. "The Returns to Entrepreneurial Investment: A Private Equity Premium Puzzle?," NBER Working Papers 8876, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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