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Optimal Capital Taxation and Consumer Uncertainty

  • Justin Svec

    ()

    (Department of Economics, College of the Holy Cross)

  • Ryan Chahrour

    ()

    (Toulouse School of Economics, Boston College)

This paper analyzes the impact of consumer uncertainty on optimal scal policy in a model with capital. The consumers lack con dence about the probability model that characterizes the stochastic environment and so apply a max-min operator to their optimization problem. An altruistic fiscal authority does not face this Knightian uncertainty. We show analytically that, in responding to consumer uncertainty, the government no longer sets the expected capital tax rate exactly equal to zero, as is the case in the full-con dence benchmark model. Rather, our numerical results indicate that the government chooses to subsidize capital income, albeit at a modest rate. We also show that the government responds to consumer uncertainty by smoothing the labor tax across states and by making the labor tax persistent. JEL Codes: E62, H21

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File URL: http://web.holycross.edu/RePEc/hcx/HC1108-Chahrour-Svec_OptimalCapitalTaxation.pdf
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Paper provided by College of the Holy Cross, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 1108.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Journal of Macroeconomics, Volume 41, 2014, pp. 178-198.
Handle: RePEc:hcx:wpaper:1108
Contact details of provider: Phone: (508)793-3362
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Web page: http://www.holycross.edu/departments/economics/website/

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