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Keywords:Capital Taxation 

Working Paper
Optimal Fiscal Policies under Market Failures

The aggregate capital stock in a nation can be overaccumulated for many different reasons. This paper studies which policy or policy mix is more effective in achieving the socially optimal (modified golden rule) level of aggregate capital stock in an infinite-horizon heterogeneous-agents incomplete-markets economy where capital may be over-accumulated for two distinct reasons: (i) precautionary savings and (ii) production externalities. By solving the Ramsey problem analytically along the entire transitional path, we show that public debt and capital taxation play very distinct roles in ...
Working Papers , Paper 2020-002

Working Paper
A Fair Day's Pay for a Fair Day's Work: Optimal Tax Design as Redistributional Arbitrage

We study optimal tax design based on the idea that policy-makers face trade-offs betweenmultiple margins of redistribution. Within a Mirrleesian economy with earnings, consumptionand retirement savings, we derive a novel formula for optimal income and savings distortionsbased on redistributional arbitrage. We establish a sufficient statistics representation of thelabor income and capital tax rates on top income earners in dynamic environments, which relieson the observed distributions of both income and consumption. Because consumption has athinner Pareto tail than income, our quantitative ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP 2022-03

Working Paper
Optimal Fiscal Policies under Market Failures

The aggregate capital stock in a nation can be overaccumulated for many different reasons. This paper studies which policy or policy mix is more effective in achieving the socially optimal (golden rule) level of aggregate capital stock in an infinite-horizon heterogeneous-agents incomplete-markets economy where capital is over-accumulated for two distinct reasons: (i) precautionary savings and (ii) production externalities. By solving the Ramsey problem analytically along the entire transitional path, we show that public debt and capital taxation play very distinct roles in dealing with the ...
Working Papers , Paper 2020-002

Working Paper
Implementing the Modified Golden Rule? Optimal Ramsey Capital Taxation with Incomplete Markets Revisited

What is the prescription of Ramsey capital taxation in the long run? Aiyagari (1995) addressed the question in a heterogeneous-agent incomplete-markets (HAIM) economy, showing that a positive capital tax should be imposed to implement the so-called modified golden rule (MGR). This paper revisits the long-standing issue. We first show that the Aiyagari?s result holds if the shadow price of raising government revenues through distorting taxes converges to zero in the limit at the Ramsey optimum. This ?if? is clearly a strong condition. As long as the condition fails to hold, we show (i) there ...
Working Papers , Paper 2017-3

Working Paper
Taxing Capital? The Importance of How Human Capital is Accumulated

This paper considers the impact of how human capital is accumulated on optimal capital tax policy in a life cycle model. In particular, it compares the optimal capital tax when human capital is accumulated exogenously, endogenously through learning-by-doing, and endogenously through learning-or-doing. Previous work demonstrates that in a simple two generation life cycle model with exogenous human capital accumulation, if the utility function is separable and homothetic in each consumption and labor, then the government has no motive to condition taxes on age or tax capital. In contrast, this ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2015-117

Working Paper
Implementing the Modified Golden Rule? Optimal Ramsey Capital Taxation with Incomplete Markets Revisited

What is the prescription of Ramsey capital taxation in the long run? Aiyagari (1995) addressed the question in a heterogeneous-agent incomplete-markets (HAIM) economy, showing that a positive capital tax should be imposed to implement the so-called modified golden rule (MGR). This paper revisits the long-standing issue. Working with commonly used separable isoelastic preferences, we show (i) the multiplier on the resource constraint of the Ramsey problem must diverge in the limit if a Ramsey steady state exists, (ii) there is no Ramsey steady state when the elasticity of intertemporal ...
Working Papers , Paper 2017-003

Working Paper
Optimal Fiscal Policy under Capital Overaccumulation

In a canonical model of heterogeneous agents with precautionary saving motives, Aiyagari (1995) breaks the classical result of zero capital tax obtained in representative-agent models. Aiyagari argues that with capital overaccumulation the optimal long-run capital tax should be strictly positive in order to achieve aggregate allocative efficiency suggested by the modified golden rule (MGR). In this paper, we find that, depending on the sources of capital overaccumulation, capital taxation may not be the most efficient means to restore the MGR when government debt is feasible. To demonstrate ...
Working Papers , Paper 2020-002

Working Paper
Should Capital Be Taxed?

We design an infinite-horizon heterogeneous-agents and incomplete-markets model to demonstrate analytically that in the absence of any redistributional effects of government policies, optimal capital tax is zero despite capital overaccumulation under precautionary savings and borrowing constraints. Our result indicates that public debt is a better tool than capital taxation to restore aggregate productive efficiency.
Working Papers , Paper 2020-033

Working Paper
Should Capital Be Taxed?

We design an infinite-horizon heterogeneous-agents and incomplete-markets model to demonstrate analytically that in the absence of any redistributional effects of government policies, optimal capital tax is zero despite capital overaccumulation under precautionary savings and borrowing constraints. Our result indicates that public debt is a better tool than capital taxation to restore aggregate productive efficiency.
Working Papers , Paper 2020-033

Working Paper
Implementing the Modified Golden Rule? Optimal Ramsey Capital Taxation with Incomplete Markets Revisited

What is the prescription of Ramsey capital taxation in the long run? Aiyagari (1995) addressed the question in a heterogeneous-agent incomplete-markets (HAIM) economy, showing that a positive capital tax should be imposed to implement the so-called modified golden rule (MGR). In deriving the MGR result, Aiyagari (1995) implicitly assumed that the multiplier on the resource constraint of the Ramsey problem converges to a finite positive value in the limit. We first show that this implicit assumption has a strong implication for the shadow price of Ramsey taxation in the limit: it must go to ...
Working Papers , Paper 2017-003

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