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Pareto Efficient Taxation with Learning by Doing


  • Marek Kapicka

    (University of California Santa Barbara)


I provide a general framework for analyzing the Pareto efficient income taxation in a Mirrlees economy with human capital formation. I show that human capital formation effectively makes preferences nonseparable over labor supply, and derive a tax formula that holds in any Pareto efficient allocation. I compare it with the optimal tax formula in a Ramsey economy, and show that both formulas differ because the Ramsey planner does not take into account intertemporal changes in the earnings distribution. Both learning-by-doing and learning-or-doing models are special cases of the general framework. I compare their implications for the efficient tax structure and show that in both models the optimal marginal tax rates decrease with age, despite the fact that both models respond differently to any given tax change. In the learning-by-doing model the result is driven by a decreasing contemporaneous labor elasticity, while in the learning-or-doing model the result is driven by the fact that labor supply is initially a substitute for future labor supply because it crowds out schooling.

Suggested Citation

  • Marek Kapicka, 2015. "Pareto Efficient Taxation with Learning by Doing," 2015 Meeting Papers 619, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed015:619

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Johanna Wallenius, 2011. "Human Capital Accumulation and the Intertemporal Elasticity of Substitution of Labor: How Large is the Bias?," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 14(4), pages 577-591, October.
    2. Susumu Imai & Michael P. Keane, 2004. "Intertemporal Labor Supply and Human Capital Accumulation," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(2), pages 601-641, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.

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