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Pareto-Improving Optimal Capital and Labor Taxes

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  • Katharina Greulich
  • Sarolta Laczó
  • Albert Marcet

Abstract

We study optimal Pareto-improving factor taxation when agents are heterogeneous in their labor productivity and wealth and markets are complete. Pareto-improving policies require a gradual reform: labor taxes should be cut, and capital taxes should remain high for a long time before reaching the limit. This policy redistributes wealth in favor of workers, promotes growth, and causes early deficits and government debt in the long run. We address several technical issues, such as sufficiency of Lagrangian solutions in a Ramsey problem, their relation to welfare functions, and solution algorithms. We also provide a proof that long-run capital taxes are zero.

Suggested Citation

  • Katharina Greulich & Sarolta Laczó & Albert Marcet, 2022. "Pareto-Improving Optimal Capital and Labor Taxes," Economics Working Papers 1825, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Aug 2022.
  • Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:1825
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    2. François Le Grand & Xavier Ragot, 2017. "Optimal Fiscal Policy with Heterogeneous Agents and Aggregate Shocks," Working Papers hal-03458683, HAL.
    3. Konstantinos Angelopoulos & Jim Malley & Apostolis Philippopoulos, 2011. "Time-consistent Fiscal Policy under Heterogeneity: Conflicting or Common Interests?," CESifo Working Paper Series 3444, CESifo.
    4. Juan Carlos Conesa & Begona Dominguez, 2020. "Capital Taxes and Redistribution: The Role of Management Time and Tax Deductible Investment," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 37, pages 156-172, July.
    5. Konstantinos Angelopoulos & Bernardo X. Fernandez & James Malley, 2010. "The distributional consequences of supply-side reforms in general equilibrium," Working Papers 2010_26, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow, revised Jun 2012.
    6. repec:hal:spmain:info:hdl:2441/6bl2553ksc9vlq1fltjs9h1cht is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Röhrs, Sigrid & Winter, Christoph, 2017. "Reducing government debt in the presence of inequality," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 1-20.
    8. Sofía Bauducco, 2011. "Seigniorage and Distortionary Taxation in a Model with Heterogeneous Agents and Idiosyncratic Uncertainty," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 611, Central Bank of Chile.
    9. Ferrara, Maria & Tirelli, Patrizio, 2017. "Equitable fiscal consolidations," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 207-223.
    10. Tobon Orozco, David & Molina Guerra, Carlos & Vargas Cano, John Harvey, 2016. "Extent of Expected Pigouvian Taxes and Permits for Environmental Services in a General Equilibrium Model with a natural capital constraint," Borradores Departamento de Economía 15258, Universidad de Antioquia, CIE.
    11. Juan Carlos Conesa & Begona Dominguez, 2020. "Capital Taxes and Redistribution: The Role of Management Time and Tax Deductible Investment," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 37, pages 156-172, July.
    12. Roberta, Cardani & Lorenzo, Menna & Patrizio, Tirelli, 2016. "Optimal Public Debt Consolidation with Distributional Conflicts," Working Papers 350, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised 05 Oct 2016.
    13. repec:hal:wpspec:info:hdl:2441/6bl2553ksc9vlq1fltjs9h1cht is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Maria Ferrara & Patrizio Tirelli, 2014. "Fiscal Consolidations: Can We Reap the Gain and Escape the Pain?," Working Papers 283, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Oct 2014.
    15. Chari, V.V. & Nicolini, Juan Pablo & Teles, Pedro, 2020. "Optimal capital taxation revisited," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 147-165.
    16. Boar, Corina & Midrigan, Virgiliu, 2022. "Efficient redistribution," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 131(C), pages 78-91.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    fiscal policy; factor taxation; Pareto-improving tax reform; redistribution;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy; Modern Monetary Theory
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation

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