Financial Markets as a Commitment Device for the Government
How does the presence of financial markets shape the government's ability to implement social redistribution? Individuals typically do not constrain consumption to equal their net-of-tax income every period, but instead use financial markets to allocate their resources over time. Optimal redistributive policy ought to take agents' involvement in financial markets into account. I study a two period endowment economy with heterogeneous income types that are private information where a government without commitment cannot provide any social redistribution. I show how agents' involvement in a financial market can improve the government's ability to commit at least to a partially separating allocation in the second period, enabling it to provide some redistribution across agents. In this world, agents borrow against their promised income and enter long-term consumption commitments. Changing these contracts is costly. This changes the government's ex-post incentives to renege on the promised tax schedule and fully redistribute, because some agents would have to default on their loans. I show that whenever this default cost is positive, the government is able to commit to a schedule that only pools some agents of similar type together. In other words, it serves as a commitment device in the sense that it enables the government to commit to not exploit a limited amount of information. As the default costs increase, the government is able to commit to a higher degree of separation, eventually reaching full commitment. Thus, the presence of well-functioning financial markets may in fact facilitate rather than hinder redistribution.
|Date of creation:||2011|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Web page: http://www.EconomicDynamics.org/society.htm
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Raj Chetty & Adam Szeidl, 2007.
"Consumption Commitments and Risk Preferences,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 122(2), pages 831-877, 05.
- Tsyvinski, A. & Golosov, M., 2004.
"Optimal Taxation with Endogenous Insurance Markets,"
2004 Meeting Papers
124, Society for Economic Dynamics.
- Mikhail Golosov, 2007. "Optimal Taxation With Endogenous Insurance Markets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(2), pages 487-534, 05.
- Mikhail Golosov & Aleh Tsyvinski, 2005. "Optimal Taxation with Endogenous Insurance Markets," NBER Working Papers 11185, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Mikhail Golosov & Aleh Tsyvinski, 2006. "Optimal Taxation with Endogenous Insurance Markets," Levine's Bibliography 784828000000000445, UCLA Department of Economics.
- Roger B. Myerson, 1977.
"Incentive Compatability and the Bargaining Problem,"
284, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Myerson, Roger B, 1979. "Incentive Compatibility and the Bargaining Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 61-73, January.
- Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-91, June.
- Vasiliki Skreta, 2013.
"Optimal Auction Design Under Non-Commitment,"
13-08, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
- Vasiliki Skreta, 2005. "Optimal Auction Design under Non-Commitment," UCLA Economics Online Papers 346, UCLA Department of Economics.
- Vasiliki Skreta, 2010. "Optimal Auction Design under Non-Commitment," Levine's Working Paper Archive 506439000000000176, David K. Levine.
- Vasiliki Skreta, 2008. "Optimal Auction Design Under Non-Commitment," Working Papers 08-14, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
- Vasiliki Skreta, 2005.
"Sequentially Optimal Mechanisms,"
UCLA Economics Online Papers
342, UCLA Department of Economics.
- Vasiliki Skreta, 2000. "Sequentially Optimal Mechanisms," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1521, Econometric Society.
- Vasiliki Skreta, 2010. "Sequentially Optimal Mechanisms," NajEcon Working Paper Reviews 391749000000000488, www.najecon.org.
- Nick Netzer & Florian Scheuer, 2010.
"Competitive Markets without Commitment,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(6), pages 1079 - 1109.
- 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.
- Drew Fudenberg & Jean Tirole, 1991. "Game Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061414, June.
- Hammond, Peter J, 1987. "Markets as Constraints: Multilateral Incentive Compatibility in Continuum Economies," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(3), pages 399-412, July.
- Harris Milton & Townsend, Robert M, 1981. "Resource Allocation under Asymmetric Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(1), pages 33-64, January.
- Bester, Helmut & Strausz, Roland, 2001. "Contracting with Imperfect Commitment and the Revelation Principle: The Single Agent Case," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(4), pages 1077-98, July.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:red:sed011:447. 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)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.