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Implementing the Modified Golden Rule? Optimal Ramsey Capital Taxation with Incomplete Markets Revisited

Author

Listed:
  • Yunmin Chen

    (Academia Sinica)

  • Cheng Chen Yang

    (Academia Sinica)

  • YiLi Chien

    (Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis)

Abstract

What is the prescription of Ramsey capital taxes for the heterogeneous-agent incomplete-market economy in the long run? Aiyagari (1995) addressed the question, showing that a positive capital tax should be imposed to implement the steady-state allocation that satisfies the so-called modified golden rule. In his analysis of the Ramsey problem, a critical assumption implicitly made is the existence of steady-state allocations at the optimum. This paper revisits the issue and finds sharply different results. We demonstrate that the optimal Ramsey allocation may feature no steady state. The key to our results is embedded in the hallmark of incomplete-market models that the risk-free rate is lower than the time discount rate at the steady state in competitive equilibrium.

Suggested Citation

  • Yunmin Chen & Cheng Chen Yang & YiLi Chien, 2018. "Implementing the Modified Golden Rule? Optimal Ramsey Capital Taxation with Incomplete Markets Revisited," 2018 Meeting Papers 59, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed018:59
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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 1158-1175, December.
    2. Piero Gottardi & Atsushi Kajii & Tomoyuki Nakajima, 2015. "Optimal Taxation and Debt with Uninsurable Risks to Human Capital Accumulation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(11), pages 3443-3470, November.
    3. Julio Dávila & Jay H. Hong & Per Krusell & José‐Víctor Ríos‐Rull, 2012. "Constrained Efficiency in the Neoclassical Growth Model With Uninsurable Idiosyncratic Shocks," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 80(6), pages 2431-2467, November.
    4. Sebastian Dyrda & Marcelo Pedroni, 2015. "Optimal Fiscal Policy in a Model with Uninsurable Idiosyncratic Shocks," Working Papers tecipa-550, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
    5. Yili Chien & Harold Cole & Hanno Lustig, 2011. "A Multiplier Approach to Understanding the Macro Implications of Household Finance," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 78(1), pages 199-234.
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    7. YiLi Chien & Yi Wen, 2017. "Optimal Ramsey Capital Income Taxation —A Reappraisal," Working Papers 2017-24, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    8. Chamley, Christophe, 1986. "Optimal Taxation of Capital Income in General Equilibrium with Infinite Lives," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 607-622, May.
    9. Ludwig Straub & Iván Werning, 2014. "Positive Long Run Capital Taxation: Chamley-Judd Revisited," NBER Working Papers 20441, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    12. Acikgoz, Omer, 2013. "Transitional Dynamics and Long-run Optimal Taxation Under Incomplete Markets," MPRA Paper 50160, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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    Cited by:

    1. YiLi Chien & Yi Wen & HsinJung Wu, 2020. "Are Government Bonds Net Wealth or a Liability? ---Optimal Debt and Taxes in an OLG Model with Uninsurable Income Risk," Working Papers 2020-007, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, revised 03 Jan 2021.
    2. YiLi Chien & Yi Wen, 2019. "Don’t Tax Capital — Optimal Ramsey Taxation in Heterogeneous Agent Economies with Quasi-Linear Preferences," Working Papers 2019-007, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, revised 18 May 2020.
    3. YiLi Chien & Yi Wen, 2020. "Optimal Fiscal Policies under Market Failures," Working Papers 2020-002, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, revised 11 Sep 2020.
    4. Krueger, Dirk & Ludwig, Alexander, 2018. "Optimal Taxes on Capital in the OLG Model with Uninsurable Idiosyncratic Income Risk," MEA discussion paper series 201802, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
    5. YiLi Chien & Yi Wen, 2019. "The Determination of Public Debt under both Aggregate and Idiosyncratic Uncertainty," Working Papers 2019-038, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, revised 13 Aug 2020.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C61 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Optimization Techniques; Programming Models; Dynamic Analysis
    • E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • H30 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - General

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