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Ramsey Meets Hosios: The Optimal Capital Tax and Labor Market Efficiency

  • David M. Arseneau

    (Federal Reserve Board)

  • Sanjay K. Chugh

    (Federal Reserve Board)

Heterogeneity between unemployed and employed individuals matters for optimal fiscal policy. This paper considers the consequences of such heterogeneity for the determination of optimal capital and income taxes in a model with matching frictions in the labor market. In line with a recent finding in the literature, we find that the optimal capital tax is typically non-zero because it is used to indirectly mitigate and externality that arises from search and matching frictions, one that cannot be corrected by the labor tax. However, the consideration of heterogeneity makes our results differ in an important way: even for a well-known parameter configuration that typically eliminates this externality, we continue to find a non-zero optimal capital tax. This difference stems from heterogeneity in welfare between the employed and the unemployed that gives rise to an insider/outsider problem in wage bargaining. An employed individual does not internalize how the outcome of wage negotiations affects the welfare of the unemployed, while the Ramsey planner does internalize this effect

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Paper provided by Society for Computational Economics in its series Computing in Economics and Finance 2006 with number 222.

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Date of creation: 04 Jul 2006
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Handle: RePEc:sce:scecfa:222
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  1. Shi, Shouyong & Wen, Quan, 1999. "Labor market search and the dynamic effects of taxes and subsidies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 457-495, April.
  2. Sanjay K. Chugh, 2006. "Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy with Sticky Wages and Sticky Prices," Computing in Economics and Finance 2006 228, Society for Computational Economics.
  3. Antonella Trigari, 2009. "Equilibrium Unemployment, Job Flows, and Inflation Dynamics," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 41(1), pages 1-33, 02.
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  5. Stephanie Schmitt-Grohé & Martín Uribe, 2006. "Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy in a Medium-Scale Macroeconomic Model," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2005, Volume 20, pages 383-462 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  7. Robert E. Lucas Jr. & Nancy L. Stokey, 1982. "Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy in an Economy Without Capital," Discussion Papers 532, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  8. Krause, Michael U. & Lubik, Thomas A., 2007. "The (ir)relevance of real wage rigidity in the New Keynesian model with search frictions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 706-727, April.
  9. Kenneth L. Judd, 2002. "Capital-Income Taxation with Imperfect Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 417-421, May.
  10. Carl E. Walsh, 2005. "Labor Market Search, Sticky Prices, and Interest Rate Policies," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 8(4), pages 829-849, October.
  11. Hosios, Arthur J, 1990. "On the Efficiency of Matching and Related Models of Search and Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(2), pages 279-98, April.
  12. Chari, V.V. & Kehoe, Patrick J., 1999. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 26, pages 1671-1745 Elsevier.
  13. Andolfatto, David, 1996. "Business Cycles and Labor-Market Search," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 112-32, March.
  14. David Domeij, 2005. "Optimal Capital Taxation and Labor Market Search," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 8(3), pages 623-650, July.
  15. Oliver Jean Blanchard & Peter Diamond, 1989. "The Beveridge Curve," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 20(1), pages 1-76.
  16. Merz, Monika, 1995. "Search in the labor market and the real business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 269-300, November.
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