The Welfare Enhancing Effects of a Selfish Government in the Presence of Uninsurable, Idiosyncratic Risk
This paper poses the following question: Is it possible to improve welfare by increasing taxes and throwing away the revenues? This paper demonstrates that the answer to this question is “yes.” We show that there may be welfare gains from taxing capital income even when the additional capital income tax revenues are wasted or consumed by a selfish government. Previous literature has assumed that government expenditures are exogenous or productive, or allowed for redistribution of tax revenue either via lump-sum transfers, unemployment compensation or other redistributive schemes. In our model a selfish government taxes capital above a given threshold and then consumes the proceeds. This raises the before-tax real return on capital and and thereby enhances the ability of agents to self-insure when they are long-term unemployed and have low savings. Since all agents have positive probability of finding themselves in that state there are cases where all agents prefer a selfish government to no government at all.
|Date of creation:||Sep 2006|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Spandauer Str. 1,10178 Berlin|
Web page: http://sfb649.wiwi.hu-berlin.de
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
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.:
- S. Rao Aiyagari, 1994.
"Uninsured Idiosyncratic Risk and Aggregate Saving,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
Oxford University Press, vol. 109(3), pages 659-684.
- S. Rao Aiyagari, 1993. "Uninsured idiosyncratic risk and aggregate saving," Working Papers 502, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
- 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 1158-1175, December.
- S. Rao Aiyagari, 1994. "Optimal capital income taxation with incomplete markets, borrowing constraints, and constant discounting," Working Papers 508, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
- Judd, Kenneth L., 1985. "Redistributive taxation in a simple perfect foresight model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 59-83, October.
- Kenneth L. Judd, 1982. "Redistributive Taxation in a Simple Perfect Foresight Model," Discussion Papers 572, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Glomm, Gerhard & Ravikumar, B., 1994. "Public investment in infrastructure in a simple growth model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 18(6), pages 1173-1187, November.
- Mikhail Golosov & Aleh Tsyvinski, 2007. "Optimal Taxation with Endogenous Insurance Markets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(2), pages 487-534.
- Tsyvinski, A. & Golosov, M., 2004. "Optimal Taxation with Endogenous Insurance Markets," 2004 Meeting Papers 124, Society for Economic Dynamics.
- Mikhail Golosov & Aleh Tsyvinski, 2006. "Optimal Taxation with Endogenous Insurance Markets," Levine's Bibliography 784828000000000445, UCLA Department of Economics.
- Mikhail Golosov & Aleh Tsyvinski, 2005. "Optimal Taxation with Endogenous Insurance Markets," NBER Working Papers 11185, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Mark Huggett, 1995. "The one-sector growth model with idiosyncratic shocks," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 105, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)