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Taxing Human Capital Efficiently: The Double Dividend of Taxing Non-Qualified Labour More Heavily Than Qualified Labour

  • Richter, Wolfram F.

    ()

    (TU Dortmund)

Assuming decreasing returns to education and the endogenous supply of qualified and non-qualified labour it is shown to be efficient to supplement a consumption tax with positive incentives for education. If the return from education is isoelastic and if the choice is between (i) subsidizing the monetary cost of education and (ii) taxing non-qualified labour income more heavily than qualified labour income while keeping the effective cost of education constant, the latter policy is shown to be second-best efficient. In particular, any tax distortions should be constrained to labour choices while the choice of education should remain undistorted. The result holds for arbitrary utility functions.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 2328.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2328
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  1. Lawrence Goulder, 1995. "Environmental taxation and the double dividend: A reader's guide," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 2(2), pages 157-183, August.
  2. Bas Jacobs & A. Bovenberg, 2010. "Human capital and optimal positive taxation of capital income," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 17(5), pages 451-478, October.
  3. Andersson, Fredrik & Konrad, Kai A., 2003. "Human capital investment and globalization in extortionary states," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(7-8), pages 1539-1555, August.
  4. Nerlove, Marc & Razin, Assaf & Sadka, Efraim & von Weizsacker, Robert K., 1993. "Comprehensive income taxation, investments in human and physical capital, and productivity," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 397-406, March.
  5. Huizinga, H.P. & Nielsen, S.B., 1995. "Capital income and profits taxation with foreign ownership of firms," Discussion Paper 1995-82, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  6. Eaton, Jonathan & Rosen, Harvey S., 1980. "Labor supply, uncertainty, and efficient taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 365-374, December.
  7. Trostel, Philip A, 1993. "The Effect of Taxation on Human Capital," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(2), pages 327-50, April.
  8. Heckman, James J, 1976. "A Life-Cycle Model of Earnings, Learning, and Consumption," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(4), pages S11-44, August.
  9. Bovenberg, A Lans & Jacobs, Bas, 2001. "Redistribution and Education Subsidies are Siamese Twins," CEPR Discussion Papers 3099, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Diamond, Peter A & Mirrlees, James A, 1971. "Optimal Taxation and Public Production: I--Production Efficiency," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(1), pages 8-27, March.
  11. Poutvaara, Panu, 2004. "Educating Europe: Should Public Education be Financed with Graduate Taxes or Income-contingent Loans?," Munich Reprints in Economics 19296, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  12. Schön, Wolfgang & Schreiber, Ulrich & Spengel, Christoph & Wiegard, Wolfgang, 2006. "Reform der Einkommens- und Unternehmensbesteuerung durch die duale Einkommensteuer," Wirtschaftsdienst – Zeitschrift für Wirtschaftspolitik (1998 - 2007), ZBW – German National Library of Economics / Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, vol. 86(3), pages 147-151.
  13. Garcia-Penalosa, Cecilia & Walde, Klaus, 2000. "Efficiency and Equity Effects of Subsidies to Higher Education," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(4), pages 702-22, October.
  14. Diamond, Peter A & Mirrlees, James A, 1971. "Optimal Taxation and Public Production II: Tax Rules," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(3), pages 261-78, June.
  15. Nielsen, Soren Bo & Sorensen, Peter Birch, 1997. "On the optimality of the Nordic system of dual income taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 311-329, February.
  16. Bovenberg, A.L. & de Mooij, R.A., 1994. "Environmental levies and distortionary taxation," Other publications TiSEM 4b32deaa-ec2f-4de7-b59b-9, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  17. Boadway, Robin & Marceau, Nicolas & Marchand, Maurice, 1996. "Investment in Education and the Time Inconsistency of Redistributive Tax Policy," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 63(250), pages 171-89, May.
  18. Bas Jacobs & A. Lans Bovenberg, 2005. "Human Capital and Optimal Positive Taxation of Capital Income," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 05-035/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  19. A. Lans Bovenberg & Bas Jacobs, 2005. "Redistribution and Education Subsidies are Siamese Twins," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 05-036/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  20. Varian, Hal R., 1980. "Redistributive taxation as social insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 49-68, August.
  21. Wolfram F. Richter, 2004. "Efficiency Effects of Tax Deductions for Work-Related Expenses," CESifo Working Paper Series 1311, CESifo Group Munich.
  22. Mirrlees, James A, 1971. "An Exploration in the Theory of Optimum Income Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(114), pages 175-208, April.
  23. Philip A. Trostel, 1996. "Should Education Be Subsidized?," Public Finance Review, , vol. 24(1), pages 3-24, January.
  24. repec:dgr:uvatin:2005036 is not listed on IDEAS
  25. repec:dgr:uvatin:2005035 is not listed on IDEAS
  26. Berthold U. Wigger, 2004. "Are Higher Education Subsidies Second Best?," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 106(1), pages 65-82, 03.
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