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Second-Best Optimal Taxation of Capital and Labor in a Developing Economy

This paper examines how the tax burden in a developing economy should be distributed between capital income and labor income. We study a two-sector model, where the traditional sector is "informal" and consequently cannot be taxed by the government. In this set up, we find that the optimal (second-best) tax structure in order to raise a certain amount of revenue requires to tax capital income at least as much as labor income, and possibly more.

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Paper provided by Institut d'economie publique (IDEP), Marseille, France in its series IDEP Working Papers with number 0307.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: May 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iep:wpidep:0307
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  1. Lucas, Robert Jr. & Stokey, Nancy L., 1983. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy in an economy without capital," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 55-93.
  2. Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1969. "Distribution of Income and Wealth among Individuals," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 37(3), pages 382-97, July.
  3. 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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  5. Chamley, Christophe, 1985. "Efficient Taxation in a Stylized Model of Intertemporal General Equilibrium," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 26(2), pages 451-68, June.
  6. Stephen Turnovsky, 1998. "Fiscal Policy, Elastic Labor Supply, and Endogenous Growth," Discussion Papers in Economics at the University of Washington 0068, Department of Economics at the University of Washington.
  7. Garcia-Penalosa, Cecilia & Aghion, Philippe & Caroli, Eve, 1999. "Inequality and Economic Growth: The Perspective of the New Growth Theories," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/10091, Paris Dauphine University.
  8. Maurice Obstfeld., 1993. "Risk-Taking, Global Diversification, and Growth," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers C93-016, University of California at Berkeley.
  9. Larry E. Jones & Rodolfo E. Manuelli & Peter E. Rossi, 1993. "On the Optimal Taxation of Capital Income," NBER Working Papers 4525, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Garcia-Penalosa, Cecilia & Turnovsky, Stephen J., 2005. "Production risk and the functional distribution of income in a developing economy: tradeoffs and policy responses," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 175-208, February.
  11. Skoufias, Emmanuel, 1996. "Intertemporal substitution in labor supply: Micro evidence from rural India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 217-237, December.
  12. 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.
  13. Fuest, Clemens & Huber, Bernd, 2001. "Labor and capital income taxation, fiscal competition, and the distribution of wealth," Munich Reprints in Economics 20294, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  14. CREMER, Helmuth & PESTIEAU, Pierre & ROCHET, Jean-Charles, 2001. "Capital income taxation when inherited wealth is not observable," CORE Discussion Papers 2001020, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  15. Giuseppe Bertola, 1991. "Factor Shares and Savings in Endogenous Growth," NBER Working Papers 3851, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Kormendi, Roger C. & Meguire, Philip G., 1985. "Macroeconomic determinants of growth: Cross-country evidence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 141-163, September.
  17. Deininger, K & Squire, L, 1996. "Measuring Income Inequality : A New Data-Base," Papers 537, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
  18. Fuest, Clemens & Huber, Bernd, 2001. "Labor and capital income taxation, fiscal competition, and the distribution of wealth," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(1), pages 71-91, January.
  19. Chamley, Christophe, 1986. "Optimal Taxation of Capital Income in General Equilibrium with Infinite Lives," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 607-22, May.
  20. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521265638 is not listed on IDEAS
  21. Angus Deaton, 1979. "Optimal Taxes and the Structure of Preferences," Working Papers 506, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  22. Stephen J. Turnovsky, 2000. "Methods of Macroeconomic Dynamics, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 2, volume 1, number 0262201232, June.
  23. Dessy, Sylvain & Pallage, Stéphane, 2001. "Taxes, Inequality and the Size of the Informal Sector," Cahiers de recherche 0112, Université Laval - Département d'économique.
  24. Correia, Isabel H., 1996. "Should capital income be taxed in the steady state?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 147-151, April.
  25. Bourguignon, Francois, 1981. "Pareto Superiority of Unegalitarian Equilibria in Stiglitz' Model of Wealth Distribution with Convex Saving Function," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1469-75, November.
  26. Howell H. Zee & Vito Tanzi, 2000. "Tax Policy for Emerging Markets; Developing Countries," IMF Working Papers 00/35, International Monetary Fund.
  27. Fortin, Bernard & Marceau, Nicolas & Savard, Luc, 1997. "Taxation, wage controls and the informal sector," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 293-312, November.
  28. Judd, Kenneth L., 1999. "Optimal taxation and spending in general competitive growth models," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 1-26, January.
  29. Kevin J. Lansing, 1998. "Optimal redistributive capital taxation in a neoclassical growth model," Working Papers in Applied Economic Theory 99-01, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  30. Edward N. Wolff, 1998. "Recent Trends in the Size Distribution of Household Wealth," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(3), pages 131-150, Summer.
  31. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1990. "Supply-Side Economics: An Analytical Review," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 42(2), pages 293-316, April.
  32. Romer, Paul M, 1986. "Increasing Returns and Long-run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(5), pages 1002-37, October.
  33. Futagami, Koichi & Morita, Yuichi & Shibata, Akihisa, 1993. " Dynamic Analysis of an Endogenous Growth Model with Public Capital," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 95(4), pages 607-25, December.
  34. Jane Ihrig & Karine S. Moe, 2000. "The dynamics of informal employment," International Finance Discussion Papers 664, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  35. Koskela, Erkki & Schöb, Ronnie, 2001. "Optimal Factor Income Taxation in the Presence of Unemployment," Discussion Papers 758, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
  36. Turnovsky, Stephen J., 1996. "Optimal tax, debt, and expenditure policies in a growing economy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 21-44, April.
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