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Optimal indirect and capital taxation

  • Mikhail Golosov
  • Narayana R. Kocherlakota
  • Aleh Tsyvinski

In this paper, we consider an environment in which agents’ productivities are private information, potentially multi-dimensional, and follow arbitrary stochastic processes. We allow for arbitrary incentive-compatible and physically feasible tax schemes. We prove that it is typically Pareto optimal to have positive capital taxes. As well, we prove that in any given period, it is Pareto optimal to tax consumption goods at a uniform rate.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis in its series Working Papers with number 615.

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Date of creation: 2001
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Publication status: Published in Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Staff Report 293
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedmwp:615
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  1. Judd, Kenneth L., 1985. "Redistributive taxation in a simple perfect foresight model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 59-83, October.
  2. Aiyagari, S Rao, 1995. "Optimal Capital Income Taxation with Incomplete Markets, Borrowing Constraints, and Constant Discounting," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(6), pages 1158-75, December.
  3. Casey B. Mulligan & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1999. "Social Security in Theory and Practice (II): Efficiency Theories, Narrative Theories, and Implications for Reform," NBER Working Papers 7119, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  8. Andrew Atkeson & Robert E Lucas, 2010. "On Efficient Distribution with Private Information," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2179, David K. Levine.
  9. Mirrlees, J. A., 1976. "Optimal tax theory : A synthesis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 327-358, November.
  10. 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.
  11. Thomas, Jonathan & Worrall, Tim, 1990. "Income fluctuation and asymmetric information: An example of a repeated principal-agent problem," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 367-390, August.
  12. V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe, 1998. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy," Staff Report 251, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  13. Rogerson, William P, 1985. "The First-Order Approach to Principal-Agent Problems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(6), pages 1357-67, November.
  14. Kocherlakota, Narayana R., 1998. "The effects of moral hazard on asset prices when financial markets are complete," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 39-56, February.
  15. Townsend, Robert M, 1982. "Optimal Multiperiod Contracts and the Gain from Enduring Relationships under Private Information," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(6), pages 1166-86, December.
  16. 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.
  17. Carlos E. da Costa & Iván Werning, 2008. "On the Optimality of the Friedman Rule with Heterogeneous Agents and Nonlinear Income Taxation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(1), pages 82-112, 02.
  18. Chamley, Christophe, 1986. "Optimal Taxation of Capital Income in General Equilibrium with Infinite Lives," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 607-22, May.
  19. Phelan, Christopher, 1994. "Incentives and Aggregate Shocks," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(4), pages 681-700, October.
  20. Rogerson, William P, 1985. "Repeated Moral Hazard," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(1), pages 69-76, January.
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