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Tax Reform with Endogenous Borrowing Limits and Incomplete Asset Markets

  • Eva Carceles Poveda

    (Stony Brook University)

  • Arpad Abraham

    (University of Rochester)

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    This paper studies different income tax reforms in an infinite horizon economy with a progressive labor income tax code, incomplete markets an endogenous borrowing constraints on capital holdings. In particular, it assumes that households can break their trading arrangements by going into financial autarky, in which case they are excluded from future asset trade. The endogenous limits are then determined at the level at which households are indifferent between defaulting and paying back their debt. These limits are significantly different from zero and they get looser with a higher labor income, a property that is consistent with US data on credit limits. The reforms we study area all revenue neutral and they eliminate capital income taxes but they differ in the changes to the labor income tax code. Our results illustrate that a successful reform has to combine the increase in average labor taxes with an increase in the progressivity of the labor income tax code. On the one hand, this reduces the disposable income of the rich, leading to lower savings and to a lower aggregate capital. On the other hand, it allows the poor and middle income households to supply less labor and consume and more after the reform, increasing the aggregate welfare both in the long run an throughout the transition.

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    File URL: https://www.economicdynamics.org/meetpapers/2009/paper_1196.pdf
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    Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2009 Meeting Papers with number 1196.

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    Date of creation: 2009
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    Handle: RePEc:red:sed009:1196
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    1. Pradeep Dubey & John Geanakoplos & Martin Shubik, 2005. "Default and Punishment in General Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(1), pages 1-37, 01.
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    3. 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.
    4. Satyajit Chatterjee & Dean Corbae & Makoto Nakajima & Jose-Victor Rios-Rull, 2007. "A quantitative theory of unsecured consumer credit with risk of default," Working Papers 07-16, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    5. S. Rao Aiyagari & Albert Marcet & Thomas J. Sargent & Juha Seppala, 2002. "Optimal Taxation without State-Contingent Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(6), pages 1220-1254, December.
    6. David Domeij & Jonathan Heathcote, 2004. "On The Distributional Effects Of Reducing Capital Taxes," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(2), pages 523-554, 05.
    7. Yan Bai & Jing Zhang, 2010. "Solving the Feldstein-Horioka Puzzle With Financial Frictions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(2), pages 603-632, 03.
    8. Juan M. Sanchez, 2008. "The Role of Information in Consumer Debt and Bankruptcy," 2008 Meeting Papers 523, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    9. Timothy J. Kehoe & David K. Levine, 1992. "Debt constrained asset markets," Working Papers 445, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    10. Cordoba, Juan-Carlos, 2008. "U.S. inequality: Debt constraints or incomplete asset markets?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 350-364, March.
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