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The effect of endogenous human capital accumulation on optimal taxation

  • William B. Peterman

This paper considers the impact of endogenous human capital accumulation on optimal tax policy in a life cycle model. Including endogenous human capital accumulation, either through learning-by-doing or learning-or-doing, is analytically shown to create a motive for the government to use age-dependent labor income taxes. If the government cannot condition taxes on age, then it is optimal to use a tax on capital in order to mimic such taxes. Quantitatively, introducing learning-by-doing or learning-or-doing increases the optimal tax on capital by forty or four percent, respectively. Overall, the optimal tax on capital is thirty five percent higher in the model with learning-by-doing compared to the model with learning-or-doing implying that how human capital accumulates is of significant importance when determining the optimal tax policy.

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Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series Finance and Economics Discussion Series with number 2012-03.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2012-03
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