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The effects of population aging on optimal redistributive taxes in an overlapping generations model

  • Brett, Craig

The impact of population aging on the steady state solution to a Ordover-Phelps (1979) overlapping generations optimal nonlinear income tax problem with two types of workers and quasilinear-in-leisure preferences is investigated. A decrease in the rate of population growth, which leads to an aging population, increases the relative price of consumption per person in retirement, which tends to decrease optimal consumption for retirees of both skill types. It is also shown that the optimal steady state rate of interest equals the rate of population growth. As a result, the steady state interest rate unambiguously declines when the rate of population growth declines. The resulting adjustments in production plans has an ambiguous effect on the aggregate wage rate. This article identifies factors contributing to an increase in the aggregate wage when the population ages, namely normality of consumption in retirement, complementarity between capital and labor in production, and a large capital deepening effect relative to the increase in dependency owing to demographic change. Depending on the sign of this wage effect, ambiguities may arise in the direction of change in the optimal steady state consumption and production plans. It is also shown that the optimal marginal income tax rates are independent of the rate of population growth.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 8585.

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Date of creation: 25 Mar 2008
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:8585
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  1. Brett, Craig & Weymark, John A., 2008. "The impact of changing skill levels on optimal nonlinear income taxes," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(7), pages 1765-1771, July.
  2. Boadway, Robin & Cuff, Katherine & Marchand, Maurice, 2000. " Optimal Income Taxation with Quasi-linear Preferences Revisited," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 2(4), pages 435-60.
  3. Dillen, Mats & Lundholm, Michael, 1996. "Dynamic income taxation, redistribution, and the ratchet effect," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 69-93, January.
  4. Craig Brett & John Weymark, 2008. "Optimal Nonlinear Taxation of Income and Savings without Commitment," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0805, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  5. Robin Boadway & Pierre Pestieau, 2006. "Tagging and Redistributive Taxation," Working Papers 1071, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  6. Pirttila, Jukka & Tuomala, Matti, 2001. "On optimal non-linear taxation and public good provision in an overlapping generations economy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(3), pages 485-501, March.
  7. Ordover, J. A. & Phelps, E. S., 1979. "The concept of optimal taxation in the overlapping-generations model of capital and wealth," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 1-26, August.
  8. Marcus Berliant & John O. Ledyard, 2014. "Optimal Dynamic Nonlinear Income Taxes with No Commitment," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 16(2), pages 196-221, 04.
  9. Cutler, D.M. & Poterba, J.M. & Sheiner, L.M. & Summers, L.H., 1990. "An Aging Society: Opportunity Or Challenge," Working papers 553, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  10. Craig Brett & John A. Weymark, 2008. "Public Good Provision And The Comparative Statics Of Optimal Nonlinear Income Taxation," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 49(1), pages 255-290, 02.
  11. Susan A. McDaniel, 2003. "Toward Disentangling Policy Implications of Economic and Demographic Changes in Canada's Aging Population," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 29(4), pages 491-509, December.
  12. repec:ner:tilbur:urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-73874 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. HAMILTON, Jonathan & PESTIEAU, Pierre, 2002. "Optimal income taxation and the ability distribution: implications for migration equilibria," CORE Discussion Papers 2002036, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  14. Meijdam, A.C. & Verbon, H.A.A., 1995. "Aging and Public Pensions in an Overlapping-Generations Model," Discussion Paper 1995-38, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  15. Simula, Laurent, 2009. "Optimal Nonlinear Income Tax and Nonlinear Pricing: Optimality Conditions and Comparative Static Properties," Working Paper Series, Center for Fiscal Studies 2009:11, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  16. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521497695 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. Mirrlees, James A, 1971. "An Exploration in the Theory of Optimum Income Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(114), pages 175-208, April.
  18. Weymark, John A., 1986. "A reduced-form optimal nonlinear income tax problem," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 199-217, July.
  19. Laurent Simula, 2007. "Optimality conditions and comparative static properties of non-linear income taxes revisited," PSE Working Papers halshs-00588074, HAL.
  20. Weymark, John A, 1987. "Comparative Static Properties of Optimal Nonlinear Income Taxes," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(5), pages 1165-85, September.
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