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Education and optimal dynamic taxation: The role of income-contingent student loans

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  • Sebastian Findeisen
  • Dominik Sachs

Abstract

We study Pareto optimal tax and education policies when human capital upon labor market entry is endogenous and individuals face wage uncertainty. Though optimal labor distortions are history-dependent, i.e. depend on income and education, simple policy instruments can yield the desired distortions: a single nonlinear labor income tax schedule combined with income-contingent loans. To take themodel to the (US) data, we simplify the model to a binary education decision (graduating from college or not). We find that for lowand intermediate incomes the labor supply decision of college graduates should be distorted more heavily than for individuals without a college degree. As a consequence, the optimal student loan repayment schedule increases in income for this range. This result holds along the Pareto frontier. We compare the second best to a situation where loan repayment is restricted to be independent from income and find significant welfare gains.

Suggested Citation

  • Sebastian Findeisen & Dominik Sachs, 2011. "Education and optimal dynamic taxation: The role of income-contingent student loans," ECON - Working Papers 040, Department of Economics - University of Zurich, revised Sep 2012.
  • Handle: RePEc:zur:econwp:040
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    Cited by:

    1. Dominik Sachs & Sebastian Findeisen, 2016. "Optimal Financial Aid Policies for Students," 2016 Meeting Papers 1421, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. Heathcote, Jonathan & Storesletten, Kjetil & Violante, Giovanni L., 2017. "Optimal Progressivity with Age-Dependent Taxation," Staff Report 551, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    3. Stefanie Stantcheva, 2015. "Optimal Income, Education, and Bequest Taxes in an Intergenerational Model," NBER Working Papers 21177, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Winfried Koeniger & Julien Prat, 2018. "Human Capital and Optimal Redistribution," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 27, pages 1-26, January.
    5. Katharine G. Abraham & Emel Filiz-Ozbay & Erkut Y. Ozbay & Lesley J. Turner, 2018. "Framing Effects, Earnings Expectations, and the Design of Student Loan Repayment Schemes," NBER Working Papers 24484, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Robert J. Gary-Bobo & Alain Trannoy, 2015. "Optimal student loans and graduate tax under moral hazard and adverse selection," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 46(3), pages 546-576, September.
    7. Krueger, Dirk & Ludwig, Alexander, 2016. "On the optimal provision of social insurance: Progressive taxation versus education subsidies in general equilibrium," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 72-98.
    8. Findeisen, Sebastian & Sachs, Dominik, 2017. "Redistribution and insurance with simple tax instruments," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 146(C), pages 58-78.
    9. Dirk Krueger & Alexander Ludwig, 2013. "Optimal Progressive Labor Income Taxation and Education Subsidies When Education Decisions and Intergenerational Transfers Are Endogenous," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 496-501, May.
    10. Sachs, Dominik & Abbott, Brant, 2016. "Universal versus Targeted Preschools: An Optimal Tax Approach," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145916, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    11. Bas Jacobs & Hongyan Yang, 2016. "Second-best income taxation and education policy with endogenous human capital and borrowing constraints," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 23(2), pages 234-268, April.
    12. Stefanie Stantcheva, 2015. "Optimal Taxation and Human Capital Policies over the Life Cycle," NBER Working Papers 21207, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Ashley Cooper Craig, 2018. "Optimal Income Taxation with Spillovers from Employer Learning," 2018 Papers pcr186, Job Market Papers.
    14. Sachs, Dominik & Findeisen, Sebastian, 2015. "Insurance and Redistribution with Simple Tax Instruments," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 113099, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    15. Findeisen, Sebastian & Sachs, Dominik, 2014. "Efficient Labor and Capital Income Taxation over the Life Cycle," Working Papers 14-17, University of Mannheim, Department of Economics.
    16. Dan Anderberg & Claudia Cerrone, 2014. "Education, Disappointment and Optimal Policy," CESifo Working Paper Series 5141, CESifo Group Munich.
    17. Krueger, Dirk & Ludwig, Alexander, 2013. "On the Optimal Provision of Social Insurance," MEA discussion paper series 201302, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
    18. Sebastian Findeisen & Dominik Sachs, 2015. "Designing Efficient College and Tax Policies," CESifo Working Paper Series 5435, CESifo Group Munich.
    19. Sachs, Dominik & Findeisen, Sebastian, 2014. "Designing Efficient Education and Tax Policies," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100504, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    20. Alexander Ludwig & Dirk Krueger, 2010. "Optimal Progressive Taxation and Education Subsidies in a Model of Endogenous Human Capital Formation," 2010 Meeting Papers 388, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    21. Findeisen, Sebastian & Sachs, Dominik, 2016. "Education and optimal dynamic taxation: The role of income-contingent student loans," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 138(C), pages 1-21.
    22. James C. Cox & Daniel Kreisman & Susan Dynarski, 2018. "Designed to Fail: Effects of the Default Option and Information Complexity on Student Loan Repayment," Experimental Economics Center Working Paper Series 2018-04, Experimental Economics Center, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
    23. OBARA, Takuya, 2018. "Optimal human capital policies under the endogenous choice of educational types," CCES Discussion Paper Series 66, Center for Research on Contemporary Economic Systems, Graduate School of Economics, Hitotsubashi University.

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    Keywords

    Optimal dynamic taxation; education; implementation;

    JEL classification:

    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education

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