IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/red/sed010/827.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Taxing Capital is Not a Bad Idea Indeed: The Role of Human Capital and Labor-Market Frictions

Author

Listed:
  • Hung-Ju Chen

    (National Taiwan University)

  • Been-Lon Chen

    (Academia Sinica)

  • Ping Wang

    (Washington University in St. Louis/NBER)

Abstract

In a second-best optimal growth setup with only factor taxes as available instruments, is it optimal to fully replace capital by labor income taxation? The answer is generally positive based on Chamley, Judd, Lucas, and many follow-up studies. In the present paper, we revisit this important tax reform-related issue by developing a human capital- based endogenous growth framework with frictional labor search and matching. We allow each firm to create multiple vacancies and each worker to determine labor market participation and search intensity endogenously. We consider a benevolent fiscal authority to finance direct transfers to households and unemployment compensation only by factor taxes. We then conduct dynamic tax incidence exercises using a model calibrated to the U.S. economy with a pre-existing 20% flat tax on both capital and labor income. Our numerical results suggest that, due to a dominant channel via the interactions between the firm's vacancy creation and the worker's market participation, it is optimal to switch partly from labor to capital taxation in a benchmark economy with a Lucas (1988)-type human capital accumulation process, independent of physical capital. In a general two-sector model as in Bond, Wang and Yip (1996) where the accumulation of either capital is influenced by both capital stocks, it is optimal to switch partly from capital to labor taxation, even though it is never optimal to completely eliminate capital taxation by taxing labor income only. Such tax reforms based on our recommendations are found to generate nonnegligible welfare gains in consumption equivalence ranging from 0.15% to 0.24%.

Suggested Citation

  • Hung-Ju Chen & Been-Lon Chen & Ping Wang, 2010. "Taxing Capital is Not a Bad Idea Indeed: The Role of Human Capital and Labor-Market Frictions," 2010 Meeting Papers 827, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed010:827
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://economicdynamics.org/meetpapers/2010/paper_827.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Stokey, Nancy L & Rebelo, Sergio, 1995. "Growth Effects of Flat-Rate Taxes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(3), pages 519-550, June.
    2. Marcus Hagedorn & Iourii Manovskii, 2008. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies Revisited," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1692-1706, September.
    3. Mortensen, Dale & Pissarides, Christopher, 2011. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," Economic Policy, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, vol. 1, pages 1-19.
    4. Jacobson, Louis S & LaLonde, Robert J & Sullivan, Daniel G, 1993. "Earnings Losses of Displaced Workers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 685-709, September.
    5. Been‐Lon Chen & Hung‐Ju Chen & Ping Wang, 2011. "Labor‐Market Frictions, Human Capital Accumulation, And Long‐Run Growth: Positive Analysis And Policy Evaluation," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 52(1), pages 131-160, February.
    6. Judd, Kenneth L, 1987. "The Welfare Cost of Factor Taxation in a Perfect-Foresight Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(4), pages 675-709, August.
    7. Louis S. Jacobson & Robert J. LaLonde & Daniel G. Sullivan, 1993. "Long-term earnings losses of high-seniority displaced workers," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Nov, pages 2-20.
    8. Laing, Derek & Palivos, Theodore & Wang, Ping, 2003. "The economics of 'new blood'," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 112(1), pages 106-156, September.
    9. Philippe Aghion & Peter Howitt, 1994. "Growth and Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(3), pages 477-494.
    10. Judd, Kenneth L., 1985. "Redistributive taxation in a simple perfect foresight model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 59-83, October.
    11. Bond, Eric W. & Wang, Ping & Yip, Chong K., 1996. "A General Two-Sector Model of Endogenous Growth with Human and Physical Capital: Balanced Growth and Transitional Dynamics," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 149-173, January.
    12. Pissarides, C A, 1984. "Efficient Job Rejection," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 94(376a), pages 97-108, Supplemen.
    13. Robert Shimer, 2005. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 25-49, March.
    14. Jones, Larry E & Manuelli, Rodolfo E & Rossi, Peter E, 1993. "Optimal Taxation in Models of Endogenous Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 485-517, June.
    15. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1990. "Supply-Side Economics: An Analytical Review," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 42(2), pages 293-316, April.
    16. King, Robert G & Rebelo, Sergio, 1990. "Public Policy and Economic Growth: Developing Neoclassical Implications," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 126-150, October.
    17. Guo, Jang-Ting & Lansing, Kevin J., 1999. "Optimal taxation of capital income with imperfectly competitive product markets," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 23(7), pages 967-995, June.
    18. Juan Carlos Conesa & Sagiri Kitao & Dirk Krueger, 2009. "Taxing Capital? Not a Bad Idea after All!," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 25-48, March.
    19. Peter A. Diamond, 1982. "Wage Determination and Efficiency in Search Equilibrium," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(2), pages 217-227.
    20. Steven P. Cassou & Kevin J. Lansing, 2006. "Tax Reform with Useful Public Expenditures," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 8(4), pages 631-676, October.
    21. Derek Laing & Theodore Palivos & Ping Wang, 1995. "Learning, Matching and Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 62(1), pages 115-129.
    22. Simon Burgess & Helene Turon, 2005. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies – A Comment," Bristol Economics Discussion Papers 05/573, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
    23. Merz, Monika, 1995. "Search in the labor market and the real business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 269-300, November.
    24. Chen, Been-Lon, 2007. "Factor taxation and labor supply in a dynamic one-sector growth model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(12), pages 3941-3964, December.
    25. Mortensen, Dale T, 1982. "Property Rights and Efficiency in Mating, Racing, and Related Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(5), pages 968-979, December.
    26. Jones, Larry E. & Manuelli, Rodolfo E. & Rossi, Peter E., 1997. "On the Optimal Taxation of Capital Income," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 93-117, March.
    27. John W. Kendrick, 1976. "The Formation and Stocks of Total Capital," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number kend76-1, June.
    28. Mino, Kazuo, 1996. "Analysis of a Two-Sector Model of Endogenous Growth with Capital Income Taxation," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 37(1), pages 227-251, February.
    29. Christophe Chamley, 1985. "Efficient Tax Reform in a Dynamic Model of General Equilibrium," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 100(2), pages 335-356.
    30. Chamley, Christophe, 1986. "Optimal Taxation of Capital Income in General Equilibrium with Infinite Lives," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 607-622, May.
    31. Andolfatto, David, 1996. "Business Cycles and Labor-Market Search," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 112-132, March.
    32. Mortensen, Dale T, 1988. "Wages, Separations, and Job Tenure: On-the-Job Specific Training or Matching?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 6(4), pages 445-471, October.
    33. Arthur J. Hosios, 1990. "On The Efficiency of Matching and Related Models of Search and Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(2), pages 279-298.
    34. Chamley, Christophe, 1985. "Efficient Taxation in a Stylized Model of Intertemporal General Equilibrium," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 26(2), pages 451-468, June.
    35. Robert E. Hall, 2005. "Employment Fluctuations with Equilibrium Wage Stickiness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 50-65, March.
    36. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Long Xin & Pelloni Alessandra, 2011. "Welfare improving taxation on savings in a growth model," wp.comunite 0091, Department of Communication, University of Teramo.
    2. Long, Xin & Pelloni, Alessandra, 2017. "Factor income taxation in a horizontal innovation model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 154(C), pages 137-159.
    3. William Peterman, 2016. "The effect of endogenous human capital accumulation on optimal taxation," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 21, pages 46-71, July.
    4. Peterman, William B., 2015. "Taxing Capital? The Importance of How Human Capital is Accumulated," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2015-117, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H22 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Incidence
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General
    • J20 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - General

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:red:sed010:827. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Christian Zimmermann). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/sedddea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.