The political economy of labor subsidies
We explore a political-economy model of labor subsidies, extending Meltzer and Richard's median-voter model to a dynamic setting. We explore only one source of heterogeneity: initial wealth. As a consequence, given an operative wealth effect, poorer agents work harder, and if the agent with median wealth is poorer than average, a politico-economic equilibrium will feature a subsidy to labor. The dynamic model does not have capital, but it has perfect markets for borrowing and lending. This means that another channel appears: tax rates influence interest rates, and this is another channel for redistribution, since a decrease in current interest rates favors agents with below-average wealth. By the same token---and as is typically the case in dynamic politico-economic models with rational agents---the setting features time-inconsistency: the median voter would like to commit not to manipulate interest rates in the future. We define a time-consistent politico-economic equilibrium without commitment as a Markov-perfect equilibrium of a dynamic game between consecutive median voters. We rely on utility functions consistent with aggregation, and we show that, for arbitrary wealth distributions, politico-economic equilibria deliver tax outcomes as a function of a single state variable: median wealth. We use the first-order condition of the median voter to characterize equilibrium. For a parametric example, we study in some detail, both in infinite- and short-horizon contexts, and using a combination of analytical and numerical results, how tax rates and inequality are determined over time
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- Per Krusell & Anthony A Smith, Jr., 2001.
"Consumption Savings Decisions with Quasi-Geometric Discounting,"
NajEcon Working Paper Reviews
- Per Krusell & Anthony A. Smith, Jr., 2003. "Consumption--Savings Decisions with Quasi--Geometric Discounting," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(1), pages 365-375, January.
- Per Krusell & Anthony A Smith, Jr., 2001. "Consumption Savings Decisions with Quasi-Geometric Discounting," Levine's Working Paper Archive 625018000000000251, David K. Levine.
- Krusell, Per & Smith Jr., Anthony A, 2001. "Consumption-Savings Decisions with Quasi-Geometric Discounting," CEPR Discussion Papers 2651, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Per Krusell & Anthony A. Smith, Jr., . "Consumption-Savings Decisions with Quasi-Geometric Discounting," GSIA Working Papers 2001-05, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
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"Redistributive taxation in a simple perfect foresight model,"
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Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 59-83, October.
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- Meltzer, Allan H & Richard, Scott F, 1981. "A Rational Theory of the Size of Government," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 914-27, October.
- Marina Azzimonti & Eva de Francisco & Per Krusell, 2006. "Median-voter Equilibria in the Neoclassical Growth Model under Aggregation," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 108(4), pages 587-606, December.
- Marco Bassetto & Jess Benhabib, 2006.
"Redistribution, Taxes and the Median Voter,"
Review of Economic Dynamics,
Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 9(2), pages 211-223, April.
- Per Krusell & Burhanettin Kuruscu & Anthony A. Smith Jr., 2001.
"Equilibrium Welfare and Government Policy with Quasi-Geometric Discounting,"
Temi di discussione (Economic working papers)
413, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
- Krusell, Per & Kuruscu, Burhanettin & Smith, Anthony Jr., 2002. "Equilibrium Welfare and Government Policy with Quasi-geometric Discounting," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 105(1), pages 42-72, July.
- Krusell, Per & Kuruscu, Burhanettin & Smith Jr., Anthony A, 2001. "Equilibrium Welfare and Government Policy with Quasi-Geometric Discounting," CEPR Discussion Papers 2693, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Per Krusell & Burhanettin Kuruscu & Anthony A. Smtih, Jr., . "Equilibrium Welfare and Government Policy with Quasi-Geometric Discounting," GSIA Working Papers 2001-06, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
- Laibson, David I., 1997.
"Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting,"
4481499, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Chamley, Christophe, 1986. "Optimal Taxation of Capital Income in General Equilibrium with Infinite Lives," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 607-22, May.
- Per Krusell & Jose-Victor Rios-Rull, 1997.
"On the size of U.S. government: political economy in the neoclassical growth model,"
234, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
- Jose-Victor Rios-Rull & Per Krusell, 1999. "On the Size of U.S. Government: Political Economy in the Neoclassical Growth Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1156-1181, December.
- Paul Klein & Per Krusell & José-Víctor Ríos-Rull, 2004.
"Time-Consistent Public Expenditures,"
122247000000000652, UCLA Department of Economics.
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