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Income Taxation in a Life Cycle Model with Human Capital

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  • Michael P. Keane

    () (Nuffield College, University of Oxford)

Abstract

I examine the effect of labor income taxation in life-cycle models where work experience builds human capital. In this case, the wage no longer equals the opportunity cost of time – which is, instead, the wage plus returns to work experience. This has a number of interesting consequences. First, the data appear consistent with much larger labor supply elasticities than most prior work suggests. Second, again contrary to conventional wisdom, permanent tax changes can have larger effects on current labor supply than temporary tax changes. Third, human capital amplifies the labor supply response to permanent tax changes in the long-run, as a permanent tax reduces the rate of human capital accumulation (reducing worker productivity). Fourth, for plausible parameter values, welfare losses from proportional income taxation are likely to be much larger than conventional wisdom suggests.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael P. Keane, 2012. "Income Taxation in a Life Cycle Model with Human Capital," Economics Papers 2012-W08, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  • Handle: RePEc:nuf:econwp:1208
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Rupert, Peter & Zanella, Giulio, 2015. "Revisiting wage, earnings, and hours profiles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 114-130.
    2. da Costa, Carlos E. & Pereira, Thiago, 2014. "On the efficiency of equal sacrifice income tax schedules," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 399-418.
    3. Michael P. Keane, 2011. "Labor Supply and Taxes: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(4), pages 961-1075, December.
    4. Andrea ALBANESE & Bart COCKX, 2015. "Permanent Wage Cost Subsidies for Older Workers. An Effective Tool for Increasing Working Time and Postponing Early Retirement?," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2015006, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    5. Giulio Zanella & Peter Rupert, 2010. "Revisiting Wage, Earnings, and Hours Profiles," 2010 Meeting Papers 1158, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    6. Michael P. Keane, 2011. "Human Capital, Taxes and Labour Supply," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 87(s1), pages 37-44, September.

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