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Transitional Dynamics and Long-run Optimal Taxation Under Incomplete Markets

  • Acikgoz, Omer

Aiyagari (1995) showed that long-run optimal fiscal policy features a positive tax rate on capital income in Bewley-type economies with heterogeneous agents and incomplete markets. However, determining the magnitude of the optimal capital income tax rate was considered to be prohibitively difficult due to the need to compute the optimal tax rates along the transition path. This paper shows that, in this class of models, long-run optimal fiscal policy and the corresponding allocation can be studied independently of the initial conditions and the transition path. Numerical methods based on this finding are used on a model calibrated to the U.S. economy. I find that the observed average capital income tax rate in the U.S. is too high, the average labor income tax rate and the debt-to-GDP ratio are too low, compared to the long-run optimal levels. The implications of these findings for the existing literature on the optimal quantity of debt and constrained efficiency are also discussed.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 50160.

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Date of creation: Sep 2013
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:50160
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  3. Conesa, Juan Carlos & Kitao, Sagiri & Krueger, Dirk, 2006. "Taxing capital? Not a bad idea after all!," CFS Working Paper Series 2006/21, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  4. Kenneth L. Judd, 1982. "Redistributive Taxation in a Simple Perfect Foresight Model," Discussion Papers 572, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
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  8. Huggett, Mark, 1993. "The risk-free rate in heterogeneous-agent incomplete-insurance economies," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 17(5-6), pages 953-969.
  9. Javier Díaz-Giménez & Andrew Glover & José-Víctor Ríos-Rull, 2011. "Facts on the distributions of earnings, income, and wealth in the United States: 2007 update," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
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  13. Jonathan Heathcote, 2003. "Fiscal Policy with Heterogeneous Agents and Incomplete Markets," Working Papers gueconwpa~03-03-23, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
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  15. Schechtman, Jack & Escudero, Vera L. S., 1977. "Some results on "an income fluctuation problem"," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 151-166, December.
  16. Yotsuzuka, Toshiki, 1987. "Ricardian equivalence in the presence of capital market imperfections," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 411-436, September.
  17. Daron Acemoglu & Martin Kaae Jensen, 2012. "Robust Comparative Statics in Large Dynamic Economies," Levine's Working Paper Archive 786969000000000507, David K. Levine.
  18. Auerbach, Alan J & Kotlikoff, Laurence J, 1987. "Evaluating Fiscal Policy with a Dynamic Simulation Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(2), pages 49-55, May.
  19. Tauchen, George, 1986. "Finite state markov-chain approximations to univariate and vector autoregressions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 177-181.
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