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Optimal Taxation in a Life-Cycle Economy with Endogenous Human Capital Formation

Author

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  • Julian Neira

    (University of California Santa Barbara)

  • Marek Kapicka

    (University of California Santa Barbara)

Abstract

We study efficient allocations and optimal policies in a life-cycle economy with risky human capital accumulation. The agents are ex-ante heterogeneous in their initial human capital and in their ability level. Ex-post, they also differ in their realization of shocks to human capital. The model incorporates two frictions. First, it assumes that ability and labor supply are both private information of the agents. Second, it adds a moral hazard component by assuming that schooling and realized rates of return to human capital are both private information. The model is sufficiently rich enough to be useful for policy analysis, and we show that it is also tractable enough to carry out the normative analysis. We assume that abilities are permanent and show that, under certain conditions, the inverse of the intratemporal wedge follows a random walk. This result is, to our knowledge, novel and implies that average intratemporal wedge increases over time. We provide preliminary quantitative simulations for a two period economy and find that high ability agent face the largest expected increase in the intratemporal wedge. At the top of the ability distribution the expected increase in the intratemporal wedge is about 10%.

Suggested Citation

  • Julian Neira & Marek Kapicka, 2012. "Optimal Taxation in a Life-Cycle Economy with Endogenous Human Capital Formation," 2012 Meeting Papers 1164, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed012:1164
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Primiceri, Giorgio E. & van Rens, Thijs, 2009. "Heterogeneous life-cycle profiles, income risk and consumption inequality," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 20-39, January.
    2. Stefania Albanesi & Christopher Sleet, 2006. "Dynamic Optimal Taxation with Private Information," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(1), pages 1-30.
    3. Fatih Guvenen, 2007. "Learning Your Earning: Are Labor Income Shocks Really Very Persistent?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 687-712, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Carlos da Costa, 2015. "Age-dependent taxes with endogenous human capital formation," 2015 Meeting Papers 824, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. Findeisen, Sebastian & Sachs, Dominik, 2017. "Redistribution and insurance with simple tax instruments," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 146(C), pages 58-78.
    3. Lochner, Lance & Monge-Naranjo, Alexander, 2014. "Student Loans and Repayment: Theory, Evidence and Policy," Working Papers 2014-40, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, revised 12 Nov 2014.
    4. Findeisen, Sebastian & Sachs, Dominik, 2014. "Efficient Labor and Capital Income Taxation over the Life Cycle," Working Papers 14-17, University of Mannheim, Department of Economics.
    5. Winfried Koeniger & Julien Prat, 2018. "Human Capital and Optimal Redistribution," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 27, pages 1-26, January.
    6. Marek Kapička, 2015. "Optimal Mirrleesean Taxation in a Ben-Porath Economy," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(2), pages 219-248, April.
    7. Aaron Hedlund, 2014. "Estate Taxation and Human Capital with Information Externalities," Working Papers 1415, Department of Economics, University of Missouri.
    8. Yena Park, 2014. "Constrained Efficiency in a Risky Human Capital Model," RCER Working Papers 585, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
    9. Stefanie Stantcheva, 2015. "Optimal Taxation and Human Capital Policies over the Life Cycle," NBER Working Papers 21207, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Stefanie Stantcheva, 2015. "Learning and (or) Doing: Human Capital Investments and Optimal Taxation," NBER Working Papers 21381, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Sachs, Dominik & Findeisen, Sebastian, 2014. "Designing Efficient Education and Tax Policies," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100504, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    12. Sachs, Dominik & Findeisen, Sebastian, 2015. "Insurance and Redistribution with Simple Tax Instruments," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 113099, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

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