Tax Policy and Human Capital Formation with Public Investment in Education
This paper studies the effects of distortionary taxes and public investment in an endogenous growth OLG model with knowledge transmission. Fiscal policy affects growth in two respects: First, work time reacts to variations of prospective tax rates and modifies knowledge formation; second, public spending enhances labour efficiency but also stimulates physical capital through increased savings. It is shown that Ramsey-optimal policies reduce savings due to high tax rates on young generations, and are not necessarily growth-improving with respect to a pure private system. Non-Ramsey policies that shift the burden on adults are always growth-improving due to crowding-in effects: the welfare of all generations is unambiguously higher with respect to a private system, and there generally exists a continuum of non-optimal tax rates under which long-run growth and welfare are higher than with the Ramsey-optimal policy.
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