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Dynamic optimal taxation with human capital

  • Leslie Reinhorn

This paper revisits the dynamic optimal taxation results of Jones, Manuelli, and Rossi (1993, 1997). They use a growth model with human capital and find that optimal taxes on both capital income and labor income converge to zero in steady state. For one of the models under consideration, I show that the representative household's problem does not have an interior solution. This raises concerns since these corners are inconsistent with aggregate data. Interiority is restored if preferences are modified so that human capital augments the value of leisure time. With this change, the optimal tax problem is analyzed and, reassuringly, the Jones, Manuelli, and Rossi results are confirmed: neither capital income nor labor income should be taxed in steady state.

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Paper provided by Money Macro and Finance Research Group in its series Money Macro and Finance (MMF) Research Group Conference 2003 with number 77.

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Date of creation: 27 Sep 2004
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Handle: RePEc:mmf:mmfc03:77
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.essex.ac.uk/afm/mmf/index.html

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  1. Antonio Ladron de Guevara & Salvador Ortigueira & Manuel Santos, 1995. "A Two-Sector Model of Endogenous Growth with Leisure," Working Papers 9503, Centro de Investigacion Economica, ITAM.
  2. Ortigueira, Salvador & Santos, Manuel S., 2001. "Equilibrium Dynamics in a Two-Sector Model with Taxes," Working Papers 01-17, Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics.
  3. 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.
  4. Jones, Larry E & Manuelli, Rodolfo E & Rossi, Peter E, 1993. "Optimal Taxation in Models of Endogenous Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 485-517, June.
  5. Kenneth L. Judd, 2002. "Capital-Income Taxation with Imperfect Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 417-421, May.
  6. Judd, Kenneth L., 1985. "Redistributive taxation in a simple perfect foresight model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 59-83, October.
  7. Chamley, Christophe, 1986. "Optimal Taxation of Capital Income in General Equilibrium with Infinite Lives," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 607-22, May.
  8. 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.
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