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Factor Taxation with Heterogeneous Agents

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  • Domeij, David

    () (Dept. of Economics, Stockholm School of Economics)

  • Heathcote, Jonathan

    (Dept. of Economics, Stockholm School of Economics)

Abstract

We investigate the welfare implications of changing a proportional capital income tax for a model economy in which heterogeneous households face labor income risk and trade only one asset. Labor taxes are adjusted at the time of the reform to maintain long run budget balance. Our stochastic process for labor earnings 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 in the incomplete markets economy, a utilitarian government prefers the current calibrated U.S. capital income tax rate (39.7 percent) to any change in the capital tax rate. If markets were complete, on the other hand, average welfare would be maximized by reducing the capital tax rate to around 30 percent.

Suggested Citation

  • Domeij, David & Heathcote, Jonathan, 2000. "Factor Taxation with Heterogeneous Agents," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 372, Stockholm School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:hastef:0372
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Heathcote, Jonathan & Storesletten, Kjetil & Violante, Giovanni L, 2004. "The Cross-Sectional Implications of Rising Wage Inequality in the United States," CEPR Discussion Papers 4296, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Floden, Martin, 2001. "The effectiveness of government debt and transfers as insurance," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 81-108, August.
    3. Teresa Garcia-Milà & Albert Marcet & Eva Ventura, 2010. "Supply Side Interventions and Redistribution," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(543), pages 105-130, March.
    4. Jonathan Heathcote & Kjetil Storesletten & Giovanni L. Violante, 2010. "The Macroeconomic Implications of Rising Wage Inequality in the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(4), pages 681-722, August.
    5. Pierre-Daniel G. Sarte, 2006. "Stark optimal fiscal policies and sovereign lending," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Fall, pages 337-352.
    6. David Domeij & Paul Klein, 2002. "Private Pensions: To What Extent Do They Account for Swedish Wealth Inequality?," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 5(3), pages 503-534, July.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Factor taxation; redistribution; heterogeneous agents;

    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
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household

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