The political economy of labor subsidies
We explore a political economy model of labor subsidies, extending Meltzer and Richard's median voter model to a dynamic setting. We explore only one source of heterogeneity: initial wealth. As a consequence, given an operative wealth effect, poorer agents work harder, and if the agent with median wealth is poorer than average, a politico-economic equilibrium will feature a subsidy to labor. The dynamic model does not have capital, but it has perfect markets for borrowing and lending. Because tax rates influence interest rates, another channel for redistribution appears, since a decrease in current interest rates favors agents with a negative (below-average) asset position. ; By the same token—and as is typically the case in dynamic politico-economic models with rational agents—the setting features time-inconsistency: the median voter would like to commit to not manipulating interest rates in the future. Under commitment, and under the assumption that preferences admit aggregation, we show that labor subsidies subsist only for one period; after that, subsidies are zero. That is, under commitment, the median voter takes advantage of the voting power once and for all. His wealth moves closer to that of the mean (which is zero), but afterwards he refrains voluntarily from further subsidization. Under lack of commitment, which we analyze formally by looking at the Markov-perfect (time-consistent) equilibrium in a game between successive median voters in the same environment. Instead, subsidies persist—they are constant over time—and are more distortionary than under commitment. Moreover, in the situation without commitment, the median voter does not manage to reduce asset inequality, unlike in the commitment case.
|Date of creation:||2006|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.richmondfed.org/|
More information through EDIRC
|Order Information:|| Web: http://www.richmondfed.org/publications/ Email: |
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Marco Bassetto & Jess Benhabib, 2006.
"Redistribution, taxes, and the median voter,"
Working Paper Series
WP-06-02, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
- Per Krusell & Jose-Victor Rios-Rull, 1997.
"On the size of U.S. government: political economy in the neoclassical growth model,"
234, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
- Jose-Victor Rios-Rull & Per Krusell, 1999. "On the Size of U.S. Government: Political Economy in the Neoclassical Growth Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1156-1181, December.
- Laibson, David I., 1997.
"Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting,"
4481499, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Per Krusell & Anthony A Smith, Jr., 2001.
"Consumption Savings Decisions with Quasi-Geometric Discounting,"
NajEcon Working Paper Reviews
- Per Krusell & Anthony A. Smith, Jr., 2003. "Consumption--Savings Decisions with Quasi--Geometric Discounting," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(1), pages 365-375, January.
- Per Krusell & Anthony A. Smith, Jr., . "Consumption-Savings Decisions with Quasi-Geometric Discounting," GSIA Working Papers 2001-05, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
- Per Krusell & Anthony A Smith, Jr., 2001. "Consumption Savings Decisions with Quasi-Geometric Discounting," Levine's Working Paper Archive 625018000000000251, David K. Levine.
- Krusell, Per & Smith Jr., Anthony A, 2001. "Consumption-Savings Decisions with Quasi-Geometric Discounting," CEPR Discussion Papers 2651, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Krusell, Per & Kuruscu, Burhanettin & Smith Jr., Anthony A, 2001.
"Equilibrium Welfare and Government Policy with Quasi-Geometric Discounting,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
2693, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Krusell, Per & Kuruscu, Burhanettin & Smith, Anthony Jr., 2002. "Equilibrium Welfare and Government Policy with Quasi-geometric Discounting," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 105(1), pages 42-72, July.
- Per Krusell & Burhanettin Kuruscu & Anthony A. Smtih, Jr., . "Equilibrium Welfare and Government Policy with Quasi-Geometric Discounting," GSIA Working Papers 2001-06, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
- Per Krusell & Burhanettin Kuruscu & Anthony A. Smith Jr., 2001. "Equilibrium Welfare and Government Policy with Quasi-Geometric Discounting," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 413, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
- Klein, Paul & Krusell, Per & Ríos-Rull, José-Víctor, 2004.
"Time Consistent Public Expenditures,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
4582, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Marina Azzimonti & Eva de Francisco & Per Krusell, 2006. "Median-voter Equilibria in the Neoclassical Growth Model under Aggregation," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 108(4), pages 587-606, December.
- Chamley, Christophe, 1986. "Optimal Taxation of Capital Income in General Equilibrium with Infinite Lives," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 607-22, May.
- Kenneth L. Judd, 1982.
"Redistributive Taxation in a Simple Perfect Foresight Model,"
572, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Judd, Kenneth L., 1985. "Redistributive taxation in a simple perfect foresight model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 59-83, October.
- Meltzer, Allan H & Richard, Scott F, 1981. "A Rational Theory of the Size of Government," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 914-27, October.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fip:fedrwp:06-09. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (William Perkins)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.