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Ramsey meets Hosios: the optimal capital tax and labor market efficiency

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  • David M. Arseneau
  • Sanjay K. Chugh

Abstract

Heterogeneity between unemployed and employed individuals matters for optimal fiscal policy. This paper considers the consequences of welfare heterogeneity between these two groups for the determination of optimal capital and labor income taxes in a model with matching frictions in the labor market. In line with a recent finding in the literature, we find that the optimal capital tax is typically non-zero because it is used to indirectly mitigate an externality along the extensive labor margin that arises from search and matching frictions. However, the consideration of heterogeneity makes our result differ in an important way: even for a well-known parameter configuration (the Hosios condition) that typically eliminates this externality, we show that the optimal capital income tax is still non-zero. We also show that labor adjustment along the intensive margin has an important effect on efficiency at the extensive margin, and hence on the optimal capital tax, independent of welfare heterogeneity. Taken together, our results show that these two empirically-relevant features of the labor market can have a quantitatively-important effect on the optimal capital tax.

Suggested Citation

  • David M. Arseneau & Sanjay K. Chugh, 2006. "Ramsey meets Hosios: the optimal capital tax and labor market efficiency," International Finance Discussion Papers 870, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgif:870
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Richard Rogerson & Robert Shimer & Randall Wright, 2004. "Search-Theoretic Models of the Labor Market-A Survey," NBER Working Papers 10655, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Chari, V.V. & Kehoe, Patrick J., 1999. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy," Handbook of Macroeconomics,in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 26, pages 1671-1745 Elsevier.
    3. David Domeij, 2005. "Optimal Capital Taxation and Labor Market Search," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 8(3), pages 623-650, July.
    4. Lucas, Robert Jr. & Stokey, Nancy L., 1983. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy in an economy without capital," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 55-93.
    5. Merz, Monika, 1995. "Search in the labor market and the real business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 269-300, November.
    6. Krause, Michael U. & Lubik, Thomas A., 2007. "The (ir)relevance of real wage rigidity in the New Keynesian model with search frictions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 706-727, April.
    7. Kenneth L. Judd, 2002. "Capital-Income Taxation with Imperfect Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 417-421, May.
    8. Sanjay K. Chugh, 2006. "Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy with Sticky Wages and Sticky Prices," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 9(4), pages 683-714, October.
    9. Carl E. Walsh, 2005. "Labor Market Search, Sticky Prices, and Interest Rate Policies," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 8(4), pages 829-849, October.
    10. Trigari, Antonella, 2004. "Equilibrium unemployment, job flows and inflation dynamics," Working Paper Series 304, European Central Bank.
    11. Stephanie Schmitt-Grohé & Martín Uribe, 2006. "Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy in a Medium-Scale Macroeconomic Model," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2005, Volume 20, pages 383-462 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Chamley, Christophe, 1981. "The Welfare Cost of Capital Income Taxation in a Growing Economy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(3), pages 468-496, June.
    13. Andolfatto, David, 1996. "Business Cycles and Labor-Market Search," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 112-132, March.
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    15. Shi, Shouyong & Wen, Quan, 1999. "Labor market search and the dynamic effects of taxes and subsidies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 457-495, April.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. David M. Arseneau & Ryan Chahrour & Sanjay K. Chugh & Alan Finkelstein Shapiro, 2015. "Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy in Customer Markets," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 47(4), pages 617-672, June.
    2. Sanjay K. Chugh, 2006. "Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy with Sticky Wages and Sticky Prices," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 9(4), pages 683-714, October.
    3. David M. Arseneau & Sanjay K. Chugh, 2012. "Tax Smoothing in Frictional Labor Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 120(5), pages 926-985.
    4. Sanjay K. Chugh & Andre Kurmann & David M. Arseneau, 2009. "Optimal Capital Taxation in an Economy with Capital Allocation Frictions," 2009 Meeting Papers 147, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    5. Arseneau, David M. & Chugh, Sanjay K., 2008. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy with costly wage bargaining," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(8), pages 1401-1414, November.
    6. 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.
    7. Lu, Chia-Hui, 2015. "Fiscal policies, frictional labor market, and endogenous growth," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 315-327.
    8. Jung, Philip, 2007. "Optimal Taxation and (Female)-Labor Force Participation over the Cycle," MPRA Paper 8744, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 13 May 2008.
    9. David M. Arseneau & Sanjay K. Chugh, 2007. "Bargaining, fairness, and price rigidity in a DSGE environment," International Finance Discussion Papers 900, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    10. Carl Walsh, 2007. "Inflation Targeting and the Role of Real Objectives," Research and Policy Notes 2007/02, Czech National Bank, Research Department.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Labor market ; Employment ; Fiscal policy;

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation

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