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Optimal Intertemporal Taxation and the Public Debt

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  • Christophe Chamley

Abstract

The optimal taxation problem is analyzed in a general equilibrium model of optimal growth. The private sector is represented by a single competitive household endowed with perfect foresight, and an infinite life. This household maximizes an intertemporal stationary utility function. Public consumption is financed by taxes on consumption, labor income and capital income (or wealth), or by borrowing. Different policies (first-best and second-best), are analyzed for various subsets of instruments. The problem of the optimal level of the public debt is also considered. The general conclusion supports the relative efficiency of the consumption tax with respect to the other instruments.

Suggested Citation

  • Christophe Chamley, 1980. "Optimal Intertemporal Taxation and the Public Debt," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 554, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  • Handle: RePEc:cwl:cwldpp:554
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    File URL: http://cowles.yale.edu/sites/default/files/files/pub/d05/d0554.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. Alan J. Auerbach & Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 1983. "National Savings, Economic Welfare, and the Structure of Taxation," NBER Chapters,in: Behavioral Simulation Methods in Tax Policy Analysis, pages 459-498 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1987. "Pareto efficient and optimal taxation and the new new welfare economics," Handbook of Public Economics,in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 15, pages 991-1042 Elsevier.
    3. Chamley, Christophe, 2001. "Capital income taxation, wealth distribution and borrowing constraints," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(1), pages 55-69, January.
    4. Fischer Black, 1981. "When Is a Positive Income Tax Optimal?," NBER Working Papers 0631, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Brecher, Richard A. & Chen, Zhiqi & Choudhri, Ehsan U., 2010. "A dynamic model of shirking and unemployment: Private saving, public debt, and optimal taxation," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 34(8), pages 1392-1402, August.
    6. Christophe Chamley, 1981. "On the Infinite Welfare Cost of Inflation and Other Second Order Effects," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 598, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.

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