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Second-Best Optimal Taxation of Capital and Labor in a Developing Economy

  • Cecilia Garcia-Penalosa
  • Stephen Turnovsky

This paper examines how the tax burden in a developing economy should be distributed between capital income and labor income. We study a two-sector model, where the traditional sector is "informal" and consequently cannot be taxed by the government. In this set up, we find that the optimal (second-best) tax structure in order to raise a certain amount of revenue requires to tax capital income at least as much as labor income, and possibly more.

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Paper provided by University of Washington, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number UWEC-2004-05-P.

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Date of creation: Apr 2004
Date of revision: Apr 2004
Publication status: Published in Journal of Public Economics, Volume 89,205,1045-1074
Handle: RePEc:udb:wpaper:uwec-2004-05-p
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  1. Turnovsky, Stephen J., 2000. "Fiscal policy, elastic labor supply, and endogenous growth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 185-210, February.
  2. Fuest, Clemens & Huber, Bernd, 2001. "Labor and capital income taxation, fiscal competition, and the distribution of wealth," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(1), pages 71-91, January.
  3. Giuseppe Bertola, 1991. "Factor Shares and Savings in Endogenous Growth," NBER Working Papers 3851, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Turnovsky, Stephen J., 1996. "Optimal tax, debt, and expenditure policies in a growing economy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 21-44, April.
  5. Deininger, K & Squire, L, 1996. "Measuring Income Inequality : A New Data-Base," Papers 537, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
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  7. Erkki Koskela & Ronnie Schöb, 2000. "Optimal Factor Income Taxation in the Presence of Unemployment," CESifo Working Paper Series 279, CESifo Group Munich.
  8. Garcia-Penalosa, Cecilia & Turnovsky, Stephen J., 2005. "Production risk and the functional distribution of income in a developing economy: tradeoffs and policy responses," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 175-208, February.
  9. Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1967. "Distribution of Income and Wealth Among Individuals," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 238, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  10. Kormendi, Roger C. & Meguire, Philip G., 1985. "Macroeconomic determinants of growth: Cross-country evidence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 141-163, September.
  11. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1990. "Supply-Side Economics: An Analytical Review," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 42(2), pages 293-316, April.
  12. Dessy, Sylvain & Pallage, Stéphane, 2001. "Taxes, Inequality and the Size of the Informal Sector," Cahiers de recherche 0112, Université Laval - Département d'économique.
  13. Jane E. Ihrig & Karine S. Moe, 2000. "The dynamics of informal employment," International Finance Discussion Papers 664, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  14. Correia, Isabel H., 1996. "Should capital income be taxed in the steady state?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 147-151, April.
  15. Fortin, Bernard & Marceau, Nicolas & Savard, Luc, 1997. "Taxation, wage controls and the informal sector," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 293-312, November.
  16. CREMER, Helmuth & PESTIEAU, Pierre & ROCHET, Jean-Charles, . "Capital income taxation when inherited wealth is not observable," CORE Discussion Papers RP 1700, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  17. Deaton, Angus, 1981. "Optimal Taxes and the Structure of Preferences," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(5), pages 1245-60, September.
  18. Edward N. Wolff, 1998. "Recent Trends in the Size Distribution of Household Wealth," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(3), pages 131-150, Summer.
  19. Romer, Paul M, 1986. "Increasing Returns and Long-run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(5), pages 1002-37, October.
  20. Judd, Kenneth L., 1999. "Optimal taxation and spending in general competitive growth models," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 1-26, January.
  21. Judd, Kenneth L., 1985. "Redistributive taxation in a simple perfect foresight model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 59-83, October.
  22. Stephen J. Turnovsky, 2000. "Methods of Macroeconomic Dynamics, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 2, volume 1, number 0262201232, December.
  23. Ahmad,Etisham & Stern,Nicholas, 1991. "The Theory and Practice of Tax Reform in Developing Countries," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521397421, November.
  24. 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.
  25. Jones, Larry E. & Manuelli, Rodolfo E. & Rossi, Peter E., 1997. "On the Optimal Taxation of Capital Income," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 93-117, March.
  26. Bourguignon, Francois, 1981. "Pareto Superiority of Unegalitarian Equilibria in Stiglitz' Model of Wealth Distribution with Convex Saving Function," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1469-75, November.
  27. Howell H. Zee & Vito Tanzi, 2000. "Tax Policy for Emerging Markets; Developing Countries," IMF Working Papers 00/35, International Monetary Fund.
  28. Chamley, Christophe, 1985. "Efficient Taxation in a Stylized Model of Intertemporal General Equilibrium," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 26(2), pages 451-68, June.
  29. Lansing, Kevin J., 1999. "Optimal redistributive capital taxation in a neoclassical growth model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(3), pages 423-453, September.
  30. Skoufias, Emmanuel, 1996. "Intertemporal substitution in labor supply: Micro evidence from rural India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 217-237, December.
  31. Cecilia Garcia-Penalosa & Eve Caroli & Philippe Aghion, 1999. "Inequality and Economic Growth: The Perspective of the New Growth Theories," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(4), pages 1615-1660, December.
  32. Chamley, Christophe, 2001. "Capital income taxation, wealth distribution and borrowing constraints," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(1), pages 55-69, January.
  33. Futagami, Koichi & Morita, Yuichi & Shibata, Akihisa, 1993. " Dynamic Analysis of an Endogenous Growth Model with Public Capital," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 95(4), pages 607-25, December.
  34. repec:dau:papers:123456789/10091 is not listed on IDEAS
  35. Chamley, Christophe, 1986. "Optimal Taxation of Capital Income in General Equilibrium with Infinite Lives," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 607-22, May.
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