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Optimal Asset Taxes in Financial Markets with Aggregate Uncertainty

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  • Florian Scheuer

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Florian Scheuer, 2012. "Optimal Asset Taxes in Financial Markets with Aggregate Uncertainty," NBER Working Papers 17817, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17817
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty
    • E2 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment
    • E6 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook
    • G1 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets
    • H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue

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