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Optimal income taxation with asset accumulation

  • Abraham, Arpad
  • Koehne, Sebastian
  • Pavoni, Nicola

Several frictions restrict the government's ability to tax assets. First of all, it is very costly to monitor trades on international asset markets. Moreover, agents can resort to non-observable low-return assets such as cash, gold or foreign currencies if taxes on observable assets become too high. This paper shows that limitations in asset observability have important consequences for the taxation of labor income. Using a dynamic moral hazard model of social insurance, we �find that optimal labor income taxes typically become less progressive when assets are imperfectly observed. We evaluate the effect quantitatively in a model calibrated to U.S. data.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 38629.

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Date of creation: 03 May 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:38629
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  1. Juan Carlos Conesa & Sagiri Kitao & Dirk Krueger, 2009. "Taxing Capital? Not a Bad Idea after All!," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 25-48, March.
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  7. Fatih Guvenen & Burhanettin Kuruscu & Serdar Ozkan, 2014. "Taxation of Human Capital and Wage Inequality: A Cross-Country Analysis," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 81(2), pages 818-850.
  8. Mikhail Golosov & Narayana Kocherlakota & Aleh Tsyvinski, 2003. "Optimal Indirect and Capital Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(3), pages 569-587, 07.
  9. George-Levi Gayle & Robert A. Miller, 2005. "Has Moral Hazard Become a More Important Factor in Managerial Compensation?," GSIA Working Papers 2005-E58, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
  10. University of Venice & Nicola Pavoni & Piero Gottardi, 2008. "Ramsey Asset Taxation under Asymmetric Information," 2008 Meeting Papers 309, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  11. Mendoza, Enrique G. & Razin, Assaf & Tesar, Linda L., 1994. "Effective tax rates in macroeconomics: Cross-country estimates of tax rates on factor incomes and consumption," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 297-323, December.
  12. Varian, Hal R., 1980. "Redistributive taxation as social insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 49-68, August.
  13. Ivan Werning & Emmanuel Farhi, 2010. "Insurance and Taxation over the Life Cycle," 2010 Meeting Papers 909, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  14. Narayana R. Kocherlakota, 2005. "Zero Expected Wealth Taxes: A Mirrlees Approach to Dynamic Optimal Taxation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(5), pages 1587-1621, 09.
  15. Peter Diamond & Emmanuel Saez, 2011. "The Case for a Progressive Tax: From Basic Research to Policy Recommendations," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 25(4), pages 165-90, Fall.
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  17. Sebastian Koehne & Nicola Pavoni & Arpad Abraham, 2010. "On the First-Order Approach in Principal-Agent Models with Hidden Borrowing and Lending," 2010 Meeting Papers 947, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  18. repec:oup:qjecon:v:95:y:1980:i:2:p:357-64 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. 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.
  20. P. A. Diamond & J. A. Mirrlees, 1977. "A Model of Social Insurance With Variable Retirement," Working papers 210, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
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  23. Rogerson, William P, 1985. "Repeated Moral Hazard," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(1), pages 69-76, January.
  24. Nicola Pavoni & Arphad Abraham, 2004. "First Order Approach for Principal-Agent Models with Hidden Borrowing and Lending: The Two Period Case," 2004 Meeting Papers 572, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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  26. Philippe Choné & Guy Laroque, 2009. "Negative marginal tax rates and heterogeneity," IFS Working Papers W09/12, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  27. Sadka, Efraim, 1976. "On Progressive Income Taxation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(5), pages 931-35, December.
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