Optimal asymmetric taxation in a two/sector model with population ageing

This paper presents a simple condition for optimal asymmetric labour (capital)taxation/subsidization in a two-sector model with logarithmic utilities and Cobb-Douglas production functions, linked to demographic factors: fertility rate and longevity. The paper shows that depending on parameter values, it may be optimal to tax or subsidize labour in the sectors. If it is optimal to tax the investment-goods sector, a Pareto-improving tax reform is possible. Larger output elasticities of capital in the sectors reduce the possibilities of a Pareto-improving reform, while population ageing in terms of higher longevity enhances the possibilities of welfare improvement for all generations. Fertility rates do not a ect optimal taxation.

Netspar, Network for Studies on Pensions, Aging and Retirement, is a thinktank and knowledge network. Netspar is dedicated to promoting a wider understanding of the economic and social implications of pensions, aging and retirement in the Netherlands and Europe.

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