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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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  1. Michael P. Keane & Richard Rogerson, 2011. "Reconciling Micro and Macro Labor Supply Elasticities: A Structural Perspective," NBER Working Papers 17430, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Ellen R. McGrattan & Richard Rogerson, 1998. "Changes in hours worked since 1950," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Win, pages 2-19.
  3. Susumu Imai & Michael P. Keane, 2004. "Intertemporal Labor Supply and Human Capital Accumulation," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(2), pages 601-641, 05.
  4. Shaw, Kathryn L, 1989. "Life-Cycle Labor Supply with Human Capital Accumulation," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 30(2), pages 431-56, May.
  5. Patrick Bajari & Ali Hortacsu, 2003. "Are Structural Estimates of Auction Models Reasonable? Evidence from Experimental Data," NBER Working Papers 9889, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Emmanuel Saez & Joel Slemrod & Seth H. Giertz, 2012. "The Elasticity of Taxable Income with Respect to Marginal Tax Rates: A Critical Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 50(1), pages 3-50, March.
  7. Kimmel, Jean & Kniesner, Thomas J., 1998. "New evidence on labor supply:: Employment versus hours elasticities by sex and marital status," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 289-301, July.
  8. Emmanuel Saez, 2000. "Using Elasticities to Derive Optimal Income Tax Rates," NBER Working Papers 7628, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Richard Rogerson & Johanna Wallenius, 2007. "Micro and Macro Elasticities in a Life Cycle Model With Taxes," NBER Working Papers 13017, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Edward C. Prescott, 1986. "Theory ahead of business cycle measurement," Staff Report 102, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  11. Low, Hamish & Maldoom, Daniel, 2004. "Optimal taxation, prudence and risk-sharing," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(3-4), pages 443-464, March.
  12. Goeree, Jacob K. & Holt, Charles A. & Palfrey, Thomas R., 2003. "Risk averse behavior in generalized matching pennies games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 97-113, October.
  13. Michael P. Keane & Kenneth Wolpin, . "Eliminating Race Differences in School Attainment and Labor Market Success," CARESS Working Papres 97-5, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
  14. Charles L. Ballard & Don Fullerton, 1992. "Distortionary Taxes and the Provision of Public Goods," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 6(3), pages 117-131, Summer.
  15. MaCurdy, Thomas E, 1981. "An Empirical Model of Labor Supply in a Life-Cycle Setting," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(6), pages 1059-85, December.
  16. Edward C. Prescott, 2006. "Nobel Lecture: The Transformation of Macroeconomic Policy and Research," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(2), pages 203-235, April.
  17. Blundell, Richard & Macurdy, Thomas, 1999. "Labor supply: A review of alternative approaches," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 27, pages 1559-1695 Elsevier.
  18. David Domeij & Martin Floden, 2006. "The Labor-Supply Elasticity and Borrowing Constraints: Why Estimates are Biased," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 9(2), pages 242-262, April.
  19. Geweke, John & Keane, Michael, 2000. "An empirical analysis of earnings dynamics among men in the PSID: 1968-1989," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 96(2), pages 293-356, June.
  20. repec:bla:restud:v:72:y:2005:i:2:p:395-427 is not listed on IDEAS
  21. Heckman, James J & MaCurdy, Thomas, 1982. "Corrigendum on a Life Cycle Model of Female Labour Supply," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(4), pages 659-60, October.
  22. Keane, Michael P & Wolpin, Kenneth I, 1997. "The Career Decisions of Young Men," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(3), pages 473-522, June.
  23. Sheshinski, Eytan, 1972. "The Optimal Linear Income-Tax," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(3), pages 297-302, July.
  24. Wilbert van der Klaauw & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 2005. "Social Security and the Retirement and Savings Behavior of Low Income Households," PIER Working Paper Archive 05-020, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  25. Michael Keane, 2010. "Labor Supply and Taxes: A Survey," Working Paper Series 160, Finance Discipline Group, UTS Business School, University of Technology, Sydney.
  26. Michael P. Keane & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 2010. "The Role Of Labor And Marriage Markets, Preference Heterogeneity, And The Welfare System In The Life Cycle Decisions Of Black, Hispanic, And White Women," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 51(3), pages 851-892, 08.
  27. Eric French, 2000. "The effects of health, wealth, and wages on labor supply and retirement behavior," Working Paper Series WP-00-2, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  28. James J. Heckman, 1976. "Estimates of a Human Capital Production Function Embedded in a Life-Cycle Model of Labor Supply," NBER Chapters, in: Household Production and Consumption, pages 225-264 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  29. Keane, Michael P & Wolpin, Kenneth I, 2001. "The Effect of Parental Transfers and Borrowing Constraints on Educational Attainment," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 42(4), pages 1051-1103, November.
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