Income Taxation and Growth in an OLG Economy: Does Aggregate Uncertainty Play any Role?
Echevarría Olave, Cruz Ángel
Iza Padilla, María Amaya
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We analyze the effects of capital income taxation on long-run growth in a stochastic, two-period overlapping generations economy. Endogenous growth is driven by a positive externality of physical capital in the production sector that makes firms exhibit an aggregate technology in equilibrium. We distinguish between capital income and labor income, and between attitudes towards risk and intertemporal substitution of consumption. We show necessary and sufficient conditions such that i) increments in the capital income taxation lead to higher equilibrium growth rates, and ii) the effect of changes in the capital income tax rate on the equilibrium growth may be of opposite signs in stochastic and in deterministic economies. Such a sign reversal is shown to be more likely depending on i) how the intertemporal elasticity of substitution compares to one, and ii) the size of second- period labor supply. Numerical simulations show that for reasonable values of the intertemporal elasticity of substitution, a sign reversal shows up only for implausibly high values of the second- period’s labor supply. The conclusion is that deterministic OLG economies are a good approximation of the effect of taxes on the equilibrium growth rate as in Smith (1996).