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Income Taxation in a Life Cycle Model with Human Capital

  • Michael Keane

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.

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File URL: http://www.economics.ox.ac.uk/materials/papers/12750/2012-W08.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number 2012-W08.

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Date of creation: 26 Jul 2012
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Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:2012-w08
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