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The risk-properties of human capital and the design of government policies

  • Costa, Carlos Eugênio da
  • Maestri, Lucas Jóver

Whether human capital increases or decreases wage uncertainty is an open question from an empirical standpoint. Yet, most policy prescriptions regarding human capital formation are based on models that impose riskiness on this type of investment. In a two period and finite type optimal income taxation problem we derive prescriptions that are robust to the risk characteristics of human capital: savings should be discouraged, human capital investments encouraged and both types of investment driven to an efficient level from an aggregate perspective. These prescriptions are also robust to the assumptions regarding what choices are observed, despite policy instruments being not.

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Paper provided by FGV/EPGE Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil) in its series Economics Working Papers (Ensaios Economicos da EPGE) with number 554.

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Date of creation: 01 Jul 2004
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Handle: RePEc:fgv:epgewp:554
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  12. Cremer, Helmuth & Gahvari, Firouz, 1995. "Uncertainty, Optimal Taxation and the Direct versus Indirect Tax Controversy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(432), pages 1165-79, September.
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  18. Mikhail Golosov & Aleh Tsyvinski, 2003. "Designing Optimal Disability Insurance," Levine's Working Paper Archive 506439000000000217, David K. Levine.
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