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Taxation of Labor Income and the Demand For Risky Assets

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  • Douglas W. Elmendorf
  • Miles S. Kimball

Abstract

The effect of uninsured labor income risk on the joint saving/portfolio composition decision is analyzed using new techniques from the theory of multiple risk-bearing. Applying this analysis, the effect of labor income taxes on the demand for risky securities is considered. It is well known that when private insurance markets are incomplete, the insurance afforded by labor income taxes can reduce overall saving. This paper establishes that - given plausible restrictions on preferences - the insurance afforded by labor income taxes increases the demand for risky securities, even when labor income is statistically independent of the returns to risky securities.

Suggested Citation

  • Douglas W. Elmendorf & Miles S. Kimball, 1991. "Taxation of Labor Income and the Demand For Risky Assets," NBER Working Papers 3904, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3904
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