Macroeconomic Effects of Capital Tax Rate Changes
86 Pages Posted: 14 May 2019
Date Written: 2019
We study aggregate, distributional, and welfare effects of a permanent reduction in the capital tax rate in a dynamic equilibrium model with capital-skill complementarity. Such a tax reform leads to expansionary long-run aggregate effects, but is coupled with an increase in the skill premium. Moreover, the expansionary long-run aggregate effects are smaller when distortionary labor or consumption tax rates have to increase to finance the capital tax rate cut. An extension to a model with heterogeneous households shows that consumption inequality increases in the long-run. We study transition dynamics and show that short-run effects depend critically on the monetary policy response: whether the central bank allows inflation to directly facilitate government debt stabilization and how inertially it raises interest rates. Finally, we contrast the long-term aggregate welfare gains with short-term losses, as well as in the model with heterogeneous households, show that welfare gains for the skilled go together with welfare losses for the unskilled.
Keywords: capital tax rate, permanent change in the tax rate, capital-skill complementarity, skill premium, inequality, transition dynamics, monetary policy response
JEL Classification: E620, E630, E520, E580, E310
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