Optimal Factor Income Taxation in the Presence of Unemployment

25 Pages Posted: 20 Feb 2001

See all articles by Erkki Koskela

Erkki Koskela

University of Helsinki - Department of Political and Economic Studies; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); Bank of Finland - Research Department; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Ronnie Schöb

Freie Universitaet Berlin; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Date Written: April 2000

Abstract

According to conventional wisdom internationally mobile capital should not be taxed or should be taxed at a lower rate than labour. An important underlying assumption behind this view is that there are no market imperfections, in particular that labour markets clear competitively. At least for Europe, which has been suffering from high unemployment for a long time, this assumption does not seem appropriate. This paper studies the optimal factor taxation in the presence of unemployment which results from the union-firm wage bargaining both with optimal and restricted profit taxation when capital is internationally mobile and labour immobile. In setting tax rates the government is assumed to behave as a Stackelberg leader towards the private sector playing a Nash game. The main conclusion is that in the presence of unemployment, the conventional wisdom turns on its head; capital should generally be taxed at a higher rate than labour.

Keywords: Optimal factor taxes, union wage bargaining, Stackelberg and Nash games

JEL Classification: H21, J51, C70

Suggested Citation

Koskela, Erkki and Schöb, Ronnie, Optimal Factor Income Taxation in the Presence of Unemployment (April 2000). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 279. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=260743

Erkki Koskela (Contact Author)

University of Helsinki - Department of Political and Economic Studies ( email )

P.O. Box 54
FIN-00014 Helsinki
Finland
+358 9 191 8894 (Phone)
+358 9 191 8877 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.cesifo.de/servlet/page?_pageid=56&_dad=portal30&_schema=PORTAL30&pa_id=7298

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.CESifo.de

Bank of Finland - Research Department ( email )

P.O. Box 160
FIN-00101 Helsinki
Finland

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Ronnie Schöb

Freie Universitaet Berlin ( email )

Boltzmannstraße 20
Berlin, Berlin 14195
Germany

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

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