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On the Distributional Effects of Reducing Capital Taxes (previously: Factor Taxation with Heterogeneous Agents)

We investigate the welfare implications of changing the mix between capital and labor taxes for a model economy in which heterogeneous households face uninsurable labor income risk. The stochastic process for labor earnings we construct is consistent with empirical estimates of earnings risk, and also implies a distribution of asset holdings across households closely resembling that in the United States. We find that a vast majority of households prefers the status quo to eliminating capital taxes. This finding is interesting in light of the fact that this reform would be optimal if we abstracted from heterogeneity and assumed a representative agent. A second finding is that a utilitarian government prefers the current calibrated U.S. capital income tax rate (39.7 percent) to any increase or decrease in the capital tax rate.

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Paper provided by Georgetown University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number gueconwpa~03-03-22.

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Date of creation: 03 Sep 2003
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Handle: RePEc:geo:guwopa:gueconwpa~03-03-22
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Georgetown University Department of Economics Washington, DC 20057-1036

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Web page: http://econ.georgetown.edu/
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Order Information: Postal: Roger Lagunoff Professor of Economics Georgetown University Department of Economics Washington, DC 20057-1036
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  1. Krusell, Per & Quadrini, Vincenzo & Rios-Rull, Jose-Victor, 1996. "Are consumption taxes really better than income taxes?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 475-503, June.
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  9. Teresa Garcia-Milà & Albert Marcet & Eva Ventura, 1995. "Supply side interventions and redistribution," Economics Working Papers 115, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  10. Chatterjee, Satyajit, 1994. "Transitional dynamics and the distribution of wealth in a neoclassical growth model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 97-119, May.
  11. S. Rao Aiyagari, 1994. "Optimal capital income taxation with incomplete markets, borrowing constraints, and constant discounting," Working Papers 508, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  12. Ellen R. McGrattan, 1991. "The macroeconomic effects of distortionary taxation," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 37, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  13. Orazio P. Attanasio & Martin Browning, 1993. "Consumption over the Life Cycle and over the Business Cycle," NBER Working Papers 4453, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Heathcote, Jonathan, 2001. "Fiscal Policy with Heterogeneous Agents and Incomplete Markets," Working Papers 01-03, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  15. Chamley, Christophe, 2001. "Capital income taxation, wealth distribution and borrowing constraints," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(1), pages 55-69, January.
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  24. repec:crs:wpaper:9811 is not listed on IDEAS
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  26. ColemanII, Wilbur John, 2000. "Welfare and optimum dynamic taxation of consumption and income," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 1-39, April.
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