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Taxes and Pensions

  • Peter Diamond

Pension benefit rules depend on individual history far more than taxes do, and age plays a much larger role in pension determination than in tax determination. Apart from some simulation studies, theoretical studies of optimal tax design typically contain neither a mandatory pension system nor the behavioral dimensions that lie behind justifications commonly offered for mandatory pensions. Conversely, optimizing models of pension design typically do not include annual taxation of labor and capital incomes. After spelling out this contrast and reviewing (and rejecting) zero taxation of capital income based on the Atkinson-Stiglitz and Chamley-Judd results, this article raises the issue of tax-favored retirement savings, a topic where the two subjects come together.

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Paper provided by Center for Retirement Research in its series Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College with number wp2009-12.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2009
Date of revision: May 2009
Handle: RePEc:crr:crrwps:wp2009-12
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  1. John Beshears & James J. Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte C. Madrian, 2009. "The Importance of Default Options for Retirement Saving Outcomes: Evidence from the United States," NBER Chapters, in: Social Security Policy in a Changing Environment, pages 167-195 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Laroque, Guy R., 2005. "Indirect taxation is superfluous under separability and taste homogeneity: a simple proof," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 141-144, April.
  3. CREMER, Helmuth & PESTIEAU, Pierre & ROCHET, Jean-Charles, 2001. "Capital income taxation when inherited wealth is not observable," CORE Discussion Papers 2001020, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
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  7. Peter A. Diamond & Johannes Spinnewijn, 2009. "Capital Income Taxes with Heterogeneous Discount Rates," NBER Working Papers 15115, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Mikhail Golosov & Narayana Kocherlakota & Aleh Tsyvinski, 2003. "Optimal Indirect and Capital Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(3), pages 569-587, 07.
  9. Kenneth L. Judd, 1982. "Redistributive Taxation in a Simple Perfect Foresight Model," Discussion Papers 572, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  10. Kaplow, Louis, 2006. "On the undesirability of commodity taxation even when income taxation is not optimal," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(6-7), pages 1235-1250, August.
  11. Boadway, Robin & Marchand, Maurice & Pestieau, Pierre, 2000. " Redistribution with Unobservable Bequests: A Case for Taxing Capital Income," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 102(2), pages 253-67, June.
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  13. Nielsen, Soren Bo & Sorensen, Peter Birch, 1997. "On the optimality of the Nordic system of dual income taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 311-329, February.
  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. LOZACHMEUR, Jean-Marie, 2002. "Optimal age specific income taxation," CORE Discussion Papers 2002046, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
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  19. repec:oup:restud:v:78:y::i:4:p:1490-1518 is not listed on IDEAS
  20. Pirttilä, Jukka & Selin, Håkan, 2006. "How Successful is the Dual Income Tax? Evidence from the Finnish Tax Reform of 1993," Working Paper Series 2006:26, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
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  24. Blomquist, Sören & Micheletto, Luca, 2003. "Age Related Optimal Income Taxation," Working Paper Series 2003:7, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  25. 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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  27. Roger H. Gordon & Joel Slemrod, 1998. "Are "Real" Responses to Taxes Simply Income Shifting Between Corporate and Personal Tax Bases?," NBER Working Papers 6576, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  28. Gervais, Martin, 2009. "On the optimality of age-dependent taxes and the progressive U.S. tax system," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 0905, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
  29. Rogerson, William P, 1985. "Repeated Moral Hazard," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(1), pages 69-76, January.
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  32. Konishi, Hideo, 1995. "A Pareto-improving commodity tax reform under a smooth nonlinear income tax," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 413-446, March.
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