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Endogenous Human Capital Accumulation, Comparative Advantage and Direct vs. Indirect Redistribution

  • Hisahiro Naito

Recently, several papers have re-examined the so-called production efficiency theorem and the Atkinson and Stiglitz theorem on commodity taxes in the optimal taxation literature. Naito (1999) showed that indirect redistribution through production distortion or consumption distortion can Pareto-improve welfare and that the two theorems do not necessarily hold when different factors are imperfect substitutes and factor prices are endogenous. On the other hand, Saez (2001) argued that in the long run where human capital accumulation is endogenous, the two theorems are still valid. This paper develops reasonable alternative models where individuals accumulate human capital based on their comparative advantage. The present paper shows that the production efficiency theorem is not necessarily valid and that indirect redistribution from the able to the less able such as tariffs and production subsidies can increase efficiency even when skill accumulation is endogenous.

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Paper provided by Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University in its series ISER Discussion Paper with number 0590.

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Date of creation: Jul 2003
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Handle: RePEc:dpr:wpaper:0590
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  1. Boadway, Robin & Cuff, Katherine, 2001. "A minimum wage can be welfare-improving and employment-enhancing," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 553-576, March.
  2. John DiNardo & Justin L. Tobias, 2001. "Nonparametric Density and Regression Estimation," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(4), pages 11-28, Fall.
  3. Cremer, Helmuth & Pestieau, Pierre & Rochet, Jean-Charles, 2001. "Direct versus Indirect Taxation: The Design of the Tax Structure Revisted," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 42(3), pages 781-99, August.
  4. Naito, Hisahiro, 1999. "Re-examination of uniform commodity taxes under a non-linear income tax system and its implication for production efficiency," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 165-188, February.
  5. Mirrlees, James A, 1971. "An Exploration in the Theory of Optimum Income Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(114), pages 175-208, April.
  6. Saez, Emmanuel, 2004. "Direct or indirect tax instruments for redistribution: short-run versus long-run," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(3-4), pages 503-518, March.
  7. Atkinson, A. B. & Stiglitz, J. E., 1976. "The design of tax structure: Direct versus indirect taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1-2), pages 55-75.
  8. Diamond, Peter A & Mirrlees, James A, 1971. "Optimal Taxation and Public Production II: Tax Rules," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(3), pages 261-78, June.
  9. Emmanuel Saez, 2000. "The Desirability of Commodity Taxation under Non-Linear Income Taxation and Heterogeneous Tastes," NBER Working Papers 8029, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Justin L. Tobias, 2003. "Are Returns to Schooling Concentrated Among The Most Able? A Semiparametric Analysis of The Ability--earnings Relationships," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 65(1), pages 1-29, February.
  11. Naito Hisahiro, 2007. "Atkinson-Stiglitz Theorem with Endogenous Human Capital Accumulation," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 1-19, September.
  12. Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1982. "Self-selection and Pareto efficient taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 213-240, March.
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