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Optimal Capital Taxation with Idiosyncratic Investment Risk

  • Catarina Reis

    (Universidade Catolica Portuguesa)

  • Vasia Panousi

    (Federal Reserve Board)

We examine the optimal taxation of capital in a Ramsey setting of a general-equilibrium heterogeneous-agent economy with uninsurable idiosyncratic investment or capital-income risk. We fully characterize the optimal tax in the case where there is no safe income in the economy. When the interest rate is allowed to adjust to changes in the capital tax, the optimal capital tax is always constant, even off steady state, and is positive when the variance of risk is higher than the mean return to the risky asset. When the interest rate is exogenously fixed, the optimal capital tax is zero. Therefore, general-equilibrium considerations are crucial for the dynamic effects of capital taxation when investment is risky.

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File URL: https://economicdynamics.org/meetpapers/2012/paper_732.pdf
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Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2012 Meeting Papers with number 732.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:red:sed012:732
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Society for Economic Dynamics Marina Azzimonti Department of Economics Stonybrook University 10 Nicolls Road Stonybrook NY 11790 USA

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  12. Aiyagari, S Rao, 1995. "Optimal Capital Income Taxation with Incomplete Markets, Borrowing Constraints, and Constant Discounting," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(6), pages 1158-75, December.
  13. Varian, Hal R., 1980. "Redistributive taxation as social insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 49-68, August.
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  15. Chamley, Christophe, 1986. "Optimal Taxation of Capital Income in General Equilibrium with Infinite Lives," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 607-22, May.
  16. Evsey D. Domar & Richard A. Musgrave, 1944. "Proportional Income Taxation and Risk-Taking," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(3), pages 388-422.
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