Journal article

Transitional dynamics of optimal capital taxation

DM Frankel

Macroeconomic Dynamics | Published : 1998


A known result holds that capital taxes should be high in the short run and low or zero in the long-run steady state. This paper studies the dynamics of optimal capital taxation during the transition, when a high rate is no longer optimal but the economy is still in flux. The main result is that capital should be taxed whenever the sum of the elasticities of marginal utility with respect to consumption and labor supply are rising and subsidized whenever this sum is falling. If the utility function displays increasing relative risk aversion, this paradoxically implies that capital should be taxed when the capital stock is below the modified golden-rule level and subsidized whenever it exceeds..

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