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Optimal Taxation of Entrepreneurial Capital with Private Information

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  • Albanesi, Stefania

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Albanesi, Stefania, 2006. "Optimal Taxation of Entrepreneurial Capital with Private Information," CEPR Discussion Papers 5647, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5647
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    Cited by:

    1. da Costa, Carlos E. & Severo, Tiago, 2008. "Education, preferences for leisure and the optimal income tax schedule," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1-2), pages 113-138, February.
    2. Emmanuel Farhi & Mikhail Golosov & Aleh Tsyvinski, 2009. "A Theory of Liquidity and Regulation of Financial Intermediation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(3), pages 973-992.
    3. Zhang, Yuzhe, 2009. "Dynamic contracting with persistent shocks," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(2), pages 635-675, March.
    4. Florian Scheuer, 2014. "Entrepreneurial Taxation with Endogenous Entry," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 6(2), pages 126-163, May.
    5. Vasia Panousi & Catarina Reis, 2012. "Optimal capital taxation with idiosyncratic investment risk," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2012-70, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    6. Césaire Meh & Yaz Terajima, 2009. "Uninsurable investment risks and capital income taxation," Annals of Finance, Springer, pages 521-541.
    7. 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 147-174, Fall.
    8. Vasia Panousi, 2008. "Capital Taxation with Entrepreneurial Risk," 2008 Meeting Papers 36, Society for Economic Dynamics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    entrepreneurial capital; optimal taxation; private information;

    JEL classification:

    • E6 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook
    • H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue

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