IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

On the Theory of Optimal Taxation in a Growing Economy


  • Martin Feldstein


This paper considers the following question: Would a "golden rule" capital accumulation policy of equating the marginal product of capital to the rate of growth of population be appropriate in a mixed economy in which the government does not have direct control over resource allocation but can use distortionary taxes to obtain resources for augmenting the private capital stock? The key result derived hereis that the golden rule level of capital intensity remains optimal if the tax structure that prevails at the equilibrium does not alter the individual labor supply. This is true even if the constancy of labor supply represents a balancing of income effects and substitution effects of a distortionary tax. In contrast, if the form of the tax and the nature of the utility function imply that labor supply is distorted, the optimal capital intensity will in general not correspond to the golden rule level.

Suggested Citation

  • Martin Feldstein, 1984. "On the Theory of Optimal Taxation in a Growing Economy," NBER Working Papers 1435, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:1435
    Note: PE

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. David G. Hartman, 1985. "On the Optimal Taxation of Capital Income in the Open Economy," NBER Working Papers 1550, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:1435. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: () or (Joanne Lustig). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.