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Demographics and the politics of capital taxation in a life-cycle economy

  • Mateos-Planas, Xavier

This article studies the effects of demographics on the mix of tax rates on labour and capital. It uses a quantitative general-equilibrium overlapping-generations model where tax rates are voted without past commitments in every period and characterized as a Markov equilibrium. In the U.S., the younger voting-age population in 1990 compared to 1965 accounts for the observed decline in the relative capital tax rate between those two years. A younger population rises the net return to capital, leads voters to increase their savings, and results in a preference for lower taxes on capital Conversely, ageing might increase capital taxation. Keywords; markov policies, demographic change, capital and labor taxation

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Paper provided by Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton in its series Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics with number 0909.

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Date of creation: 01 Jan 2009
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Handle: RePEc:stn:sotoec:0909
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  1. Elisabeth R. Gerber & Jeffrey B. Lewis, 2004. "Beyond the Median: Voter Preferences, District Heterogeneity, and Political Representation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(6), pages 1364-1383, December.
  2. Huffman, Gregory W., 1996. "Endogenous tax determination and the distribution of wealth," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 207-242, December.
  3. David Carey & Harry Tchilinguirian, 2000. "Average Effective Tax Rates on Capital, Labour and Consumption," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 258, OECD Publishing.
  4. Jose-Victor Rios-Rull & Per Krusell, 1999. "On the Size of U.S. Government: Political Economy in the Neoclassical Growth Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1156-1181, December.
  5. Mendoza, Enrique G. & Razin, Assaf & Tesar, Linda L., 1994. "Effective tax rates in macroeconomics: Cross-country estimates of tax rates on factor incomes and consumption," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 297-323, December.
  6. Kenneth R. Beauchemin, 1998. "Intergenerational Politics, Fiscal Policy and Productivity," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 1(4), pages 835-858, October.
  7. John Hassler & José V. Rodríguez Mora & Kjetil Storesletten & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2001. "The survival of the welfare state," Economics Working Papers 603, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  8. John D. Griffin, 2008. "Measuring Legislator Ideology," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 89(2), pages 337-350.
  9. Jonathan Heathcote, 2003. "The Macroeconomic Implications of Rising Wage Inequality in the United States," Working Papers gueconwpa~03-03-19, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
  10. Alberto Alesina & Dani Rodrik, 1991. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 3668, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. repec:imf:imfwpa:02/68 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. Razin, A. & Sadka, E. & Swagel, P., 2000. "The Aging Population and the Size of the Welfare State," Papers 2000-23, Tel Aviv.
  13. Krusell, Per & Quadrini, Vincenzo & Rios-Rull, Jose-Victor, 1997. "Politico-economic equilibrium and economic growth," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 243-272, January.
  14. Persson, T. & Tabellini, G., 1993. "Is Inequality Harmful for Growth," Papers 537, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  15. Mateos-Planas, Xavier, 2008. "A quantitative theory of social security without commitment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(3-4), pages 652-671, April.
  16. Assaf Razin & Efraim Sadka & Phillip Swagel, 2004. "Capital income taxation under majority voting with aging population," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 140(3), pages 476-495, September.
  17. Paul Klein & Per Krusell & José-V�ctor R�os-Rull, 2008. "Time-Consistent Public Policy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(3), pages 789-808.
  18. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1994. "Representative democracy and capital taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 53-70, September.
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