Optimal capital taxation revisited

V. V. Chari, Juan Pablo Nicolini, Pedro Teles

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Abstract

We revisit the question of how capital should be taxed. We allow for a rich set of tax instruments that consists of taxes widely used in practice, including consumption, dividend, capital, and labor income taxes. We restrict policies to those that respect pre-existing promises regarding the current value of wealth. We show that capital should not be taxed (i.e. there should be no intertemporal distortions), if households have preferences that are standard in the macroeconomics literature. We show that Ramsey outcomes that must respect such promises are time consistent. We show that the presumption in the literature that capital should be taxed for some length of time arises because the tax system is restricted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Monetary Economics
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019

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Keywords

  • Capital income tax
  • Production efficiency
  • Time consistency

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