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Optimal Asset Taxes in Financial Markets with Aggregate Uncertainty

  • Florian Scheuer

This paper studies Pareto-optimal risk-sharing arrangements in a private information economy with aggregate uncertainty and ex ante heterogeneous agents. I show how to implement Pareto-optima as equilibria when agents can trade claims to consumption contingent on aggregate shocks in financial markets. The first result is that if aggregate and idiosyncratic shocks are independent, the implementation of optimal allocations does not require any interventions in financial markets. This result can be extended to dynamic settings in the sense that, in this case, only savings need to be distorted, but not trades in financial markets. Second, I characterize optimal trading distortions in financial markets when aggregate and idiosyncratic shocks are not independent. In this case, optimal asset taxes must be higher for those securities that pay out in aggregate states in which consumption is more volatile. For instance, this can provide an efficiency justification for the frequently observed differential tax treatment of different asset classes, such as debt and equity claims.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17817.

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Date of creation: Feb 2012
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Publication status: published as Florian Scheuer, 2013. "Optimal Asset Taxes in Financial Markets with Aggregate Uncertainty," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 16(3), pages 405-420, July.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17817
Note: PE
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  1. Narayana Kocherlakota, 2004. "Zero Expected Wealth Taxes: A Mirrlees Approach to Dynamic Optimal Taxation," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000729, UCLA Department of Economics.
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  14. Kocherlakota, Narayana R. & Pistaferri, Luigi, 2005. "Asset pricing implications of Pareto optimality with private information," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2005,29, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  15. Camille Landais & Pascal Michaillat & Emmanuel Saez, 2010. "Optimal unemployment insurance over the business cycle," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 35596, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
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  20. repec:oup:restud:v:78:y::i:4:p:1490-1518 is not listed on IDEAS
  21. Florian Scheuer, 2012. "Optimal Asset Taxes in Financial Markets with Aggregate Uncertainty," NBER Working Papers 17817, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Mikhail Golosov & Narayana Kocherlakota & Aleh Tsyvinski, 2001. "Optimal indirect and capital taxation," Staff Report 293, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
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