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Tax Policy in a Life Cycle Model

  • Lawrence H. Summers

This study departs from earlier analyses of the effects of taxes on capital income in several respects. Probably the most important difference between this treatment and most preceding ones lies in the assumptions about the interest elasticity of saving. It is shown below that the common two-period formulation of saving decisions yields quite misleading results. A more realistic model of life cycle savings demonstrates that, for a wide variety of plausible parameter values, savings are very interest elastic. This implies that shifting away from capital income taxation would significantly increase capital formation, making possible long-run increases in consumption.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w0302.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 0302.

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Date of creation: Nov 1978
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Publication status: published as Summers, Lawrence H. "Capital Taxation and Accumulation in a Life Cycle Growth Model." The American Economic Review, Vol. 71, No. 4, (September 1981),pp. 533-544.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:0302
Note: PE
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  1. Michael J. Boskin, 1978. "Taxation, Saving, and the Rate of Interest," NBER Chapters, in: Research in Taxation, pages 3-27 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Kotlikoff, Laurence J & Summers, Lawrence H, 1979. "Tax Incidence in a Life Cycle Model with Variable Labor Supply," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 93(4), pages 705-18, November.
  3. Boskin, Michael J, 1978. "Taxation, Saving, and the Rate of Interest," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(2), pages S3-27, April.
  4. Martin Feldstei & Jerry Green & Eytan Sheshinski, 1978. "Inflation and Taxes in a Growing Economy with Debt and Equity Finance," NBER Chapters, in: Research in Taxation, pages 53-70 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Merton, Robert C, 1969. "Lifetime Portfolio Selection under Uncertainty: The Continuous-Time Case," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 51(3), pages 247-57, August.
  6. Martin Feldstein & Lawrence Summers, 1977. "Is the Rate of Profit Falling?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 8(1), pages 211-228.
  7. Drazen, Allan, 1978. "Government Debt, Human Capital, and Bequests in a Life-Cycle Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(3), pages 505-16, June.
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