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Financiers vs. Engineers: Should the Financial Sector be Taxed or Subsidized?

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  • Thomas Philippon

Abstract

I study the allocation of human capital in an economy with production externalities, financial constraints and career choices. Agents choose to become entrepreneurs, workers or financiers. Entrepreneurship has positive externalities, but innovators face borrowing constraints and require the services of financiers in order to invest efficiently. When investment and education subsidies are chosen optimally, I find that the financial sector should be taxed in exactly the same way as the non-financial sector. When direct subsidies to investment and scientific education are not feasible, giving a preferred tax treatment to the financial sector can improve welfare by increasing aggregate investment in research and development.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas Philippon, 2007. "Financiers vs. Engineers: Should the Financial Sector be Taxed or Subsidized?," NBER Working Papers 13560, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13560
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Romer, Paul M, 1986. "Increasing Returns and Long-run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(5), pages 1002-1037, October.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Cecchetti, Stephen G & Kharroubi, Enisse, 2015. "Why does financial sector growth crowd out real economic growth?," CEPR Discussion Papers 10642, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Pierre Cahuc & Edouard Challe, 2012. "Produce Or Speculate? Asset Bubbles, Occupational Choice, And Efficiency," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 53(4), pages 1105-1131, November.
    3. NYU-Stern, 2008. "Why Has the US Financial Sector Grown So Much?," 2008 Meeting Papers 714, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    4. Creel, Jérôme & Hubert, Paul & Labondance, Fabien, 2015. "Financial stability and economic performance," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 25-40.
    5. Beck, Thorsten & Degryse, Hans & Kneer, Christiane, 2014. "Is more finance better? Disentangling intermediation and size effects of financial systems," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 10(C), pages 50-64.
    6. Kneer, E.C., 2013. "Essays on the size of the financial aector, financial liberalization and growth," Other publications TiSEM e0f0b672-ce74-40a3-8222-2, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    7. Crettez, Bertrand & Hayek, Naila & Morhaim, Lisa, 2017. "Optimal growth with investment enhancing labor," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 23-36.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E2 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment
    • G18 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • G2 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services
    • H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights
    • O41 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models
    • O43 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Institutions and Growth

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