Institutional Affiliation: Western University, Canada
Information about this author at RePEc
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|September 2019||Use It or Lose It: Efficiency Gains from Wealth Taxation|
with , , , : w26284
How does wealth taxation differ from capital income taxation? When the return on investment is equal across individuals, a well-known result is that the two tax systems are equivalent. Motivated by recent empirical evidence documenting persistent heterogeneity in rates of return across individuals, we revisit this question. With such heterogeneity, the two tax systems have opposite implications for both efficiency and inequality. Under capital income taxation, entrepreneurs who are more productive, and therefore generate more income, pay higher taxes. Under wealth taxation, entrepreneurs who have similar wealth levels pay similar taxes regardless of their productivity, which expands the tax base, shifts the tax burden toward unproductive entrepreneurs, and raises the savings rate of produc...