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Optimal Taxation in a Limited Commitment Economy

  • Yena Park

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania)

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    This paper studies optimal Ramsey taxation when risk sharing in private insurance markets is imperfect due to limited enforcement. In a limited commitment economy, there are externalities associated with capital and labor because individuals do not take into account that their labor and saving decisions affect aggregate supply, wages and thus the value of autarky. Due to these externalities, the Ramsey government has an additional goal, which is to internalize the externalities of labor and capital to improve risk sharing, in addition to its usual goal - minimizing distortions when financing government expenditures. These two goals drive capital and labor taxes in opposite directions. By balancing these conflicting goals, the steady-state optimal capital income taxes are levied only to remove the negative externality of the capital, and optimal labor income taxes are set to meet the budgetary needs of the government in the long run, despite positive externalities of labor.

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    File URL: http://economics.sas.upenn.edu/system/files/12-033.pdf
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    Paper provided by Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania in its series PIER Working Paper Archive with number 12-033.

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    Length: 51 pages
    Date of creation: 28 Aug 2012
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:pen:papers:12-033
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    1. Daron Acemoglu & Mikhail Golosov & Aleh Tsyvinski, 2009. "Political Economy of Ramsey Taxation," NBER Working Papers 15302, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Julio Davila & Jay H. Hong & Per Krusell & José-Victor Rios Rull, 2005. "Constrained efficiency in the neoclassical growth model with uninsurable idiosyncratic shocks," Cahiers de la Maison des Sciences Economiques b05066, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1).
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    7. Andres Erosa & Martin Gervais, 2000. "Optimal taxation in life-cycle economies," Working Paper 00-02, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
    8. Juan Carlos Conesa & Dirk Krueger, 2002. "On the Optimal Progressivity of the Income Tax Code," Centro de Alti­simos Estudios Ri­os Pe©rez(CAERP) 4, Centro de Altisimos Estudios Rios Perez (CAERP).
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    12. Krueger, Dirk & Perri, Fabrizio, 2011. "Public versus private risk sharing," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 146(3), pages 920-956, May.
    13. Abraham, Arpad & Carceles-Poveda, Eva, 2006. "Endogenous incomplete markets, enforcement constraints, and intermediation," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 1(4), pages 439-459, December.
    14. Aiyagari, S Rao, 1995. "Optimal Capital Income Taxation with Incomplete Markets, Borrowing Constraints, and Constant Discounting," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(6), pages 1158-75, December.
    15. Julio Davila & Jay H. Hong & Per Krusell & José-Victor Rios Rull, 2005. "Constrained efficiency in the neoclassical growth model with uninsurable idiosyncratic shocks," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00196183, HAL.
    16. Iván Werning, 2007. "Optimal Fiscal Policy with Redistribution," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(3), pages 925-967, 08.
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