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Optimal Policy and the Risk-Properties of Human Capital Reconsidered

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  • Dan Anderberg

    (Royal Holloway University of London)

Abstract

This paper considers how optimal education and tax policy depends on the risk properties of human capital. It is demonstrated that a key feature of human capital investments is whether they increase or decrease wage risk. In a benchmark model it is shown that this feature alone determines whether a constrained optimal allocation should be characterized by a positive or a negative education premium. In the same model a positive intertemporal wedge is optimal. A set of generalizations, including non-observability of education, non-observability of consumption, and temporal resolution of uncertainty, are then considered to examine the robustness of these results.

Suggested Citation

  • Dan Anderberg, 2009. "Optimal Policy and the Risk-Properties of Human Capital Reconsidered," 2009 Meeting Papers 166, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed009:166
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:eecrev:v:97:y:2017:i:c:p:1-25 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Findeisen, Sebastian & Sachs, Dominik, 2014. "Education Policies and Taxation without Commitment," Working Papers 14-16, University of Mannheim, Department of Economics.
    3. Bas Jacobs & A. Bovenberg, 2010. "Human capital and optimal positive taxation of capital income," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 17(5), pages 451-478, October.
    4. Concetta Mendolicchio & Dimitri Paolini & Tito Pietra, 2014. "Income Taxes, Subsidies to Education, and Investments in Human Capital," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 16(1), pages 24-47, February.
    5. Robert J. Gary-Bobo & Alain Trannoy, 2015. "Optimal student loans and graduate tax under moral hazard and adverse selection," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 46(3), pages 546-576, September.
    6. Fossen, Frank M. & Glocker, Daniela, 2017. "Stated and revealed heterogeneous risk preferences in educational choice," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 1-25.
    7. Findeisen, Sebastian & Sachs, Dominik, 2011. "Education and Optimal Dynamic Taxation," IZA Discussion Papers 6056, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Dirk Schindler & Benjamin Weigert, 2008. "Educational and Wage Risk: Social Insurance vs. Quality of Education," CESifo Working Paper Series 2513, CESifo Group Munich.
    9. Richter, Wolfram F., 2009. "Taxing education in Ramsey's tradition," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(11-12), pages 1254-1260, December.
    10. Frank M. Fossen & Daniela Glocker, 2009. "Expected Future Earnings, Taxation, and University Enrollment: A Microeconometric Model with Uncertainty," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 934, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    11. Alexander Gelber & Matthew Weinzierl, 2012. "Equalizing Outcomes vs. Equalizing Opportunities: Optimal Taxation when Children's Abilities Depend on Parents' Resources," Harvard Business School Working Papers 13-014, Harvard Business School, revised Mar 2014.
    12. Frank Fossen & Daniela Glocker, 2011. "Expected future earnings, taxation, and university enrollment," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 18(6), pages 688-723, December.
    13. Wolfram F. Richter & Berthold U. Wigger, 2012. "Besteuerung des Humanvermögens," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 13(1-2), pages 82-102, February.
    14. Richter, Wolfram F., 2013. "Mincer Equation, Power Law of Learning, and Efficient Education Policy," IZA Discussion Papers 7280, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    15. Findeisen, Sebastian & Sachs, Dominik, 2016. "Education and optimal dynamic taxation: The role of income-contingent student loans," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 138(C), pages 1-21.
    16. OBARA, Takuya, 2017. "Optimal human capital policies under the endogenous choice of educational types," CCES Discussion Paper Series 66, Center for Research on Contemporary Economic Systems, Graduate School of Economics, Hitotsubashi University.
    17. Dirk Schindler, 2011. "Tuition Fees and the Dual Income Tax: The Optimality of the Nordic Income Tax System Reconsidered," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 12(1), pages 59-84, February.
    18. Bas Jacobs & Hongyan Yang, 2013. "Second-Best Income Taxation with Endogenous Human Capital and Borrowing Constraints," CESifo Working Paper Series 4155, CESifo Group Munich.
    19. Bas Jacobs & Hongyan Yang, 2016. "Second-best income taxation and education policy with endogenous human capital and borrowing constraints," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 23(2), pages 234-268, April.
    20. Bas Jacobs & Dirk Schindler & Hongyan Yang, 2012. "Optimal Taxation of Risky Human Capital," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 114(3), pages 908-931, September.
    21. repec:rsr:supplm:v:65:y:2017:i:4:p:87-98 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education

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