Measuring the Efficiency Cost of Taxing Risky Capital Income

22 Pages Posted: 18 Jun 2004

See all articles by Roger H. Gordon

Roger H. Gordon

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Department of Economics; Harvard University - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

John D. Wilson

Michigan State University - Department of Economics

Date Written: August 1986

Abstract

In this paper, we derive a measure of the efficiency cost of taxing risky capital incomein an infinite horizon stochastic model. The resulting measure differs from all those thathave been proposed in the existing literature. It can be represented by the expression-sigma(s) T(s)c(deltaX(s)), where T(s) measures the present value of the taxes that would be paid on a unit of investment in a riskless project with the same expected depreciation rate and tax treatment as capital invested in period s, X(s), while c(X(s)) represents the certainty equivalent to the representative individual of the lottery where measures the ex post change in investment in period s due to the tax change. The paper then compares this measure with others that have appeared in the literature.We were unable to find support for the argument in Bulow-Suinmers(1984) that the efficiency cost of taxing risky capital income is much larger than that implied by the measure -sigma(s)T(s)E(deltaX(s)). In fact, we show in special cases that our measure implies a smaller efficiency cost than does the measure -sigma(s)T(s)E(deltaX(s)).

Suggested Citation

Gordon, Roger H. and Wilson, John D., Measuring the Efficiency Cost of Taxing Risky Capital Income (August 1986). NBER Working Paper No. w1992. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=344795

Roger H. Gordon (Contact Author)

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Department of Economics ( email )

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Harvard University - Department of Economics ( email )

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Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

John D. Wilson

Michigan State University - Department of Economics ( email )

East Lansing, MI 48824
United States

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