NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Ludwig Straub

Department of Economics, MIT
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Cambridge, MA 02139

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NBER Working Papers and Publications

August 2014Positive Long Run Capital Taxation: Chamley-Judd Revisited
with Iván Werning: w20441
According to the Chamley-Judd result, capital should not be taxed in the long run. In this paper, we overturn this conclusion, showing that it does not follow from the very models used to derive them. For the model in Judd (1985), we prove that the long run tax on capital is positive and significant, whenever the intertemporal elasticity of substitution is below one. For higher elasticities, the tax converges to zero but may do so at a slow rate, after centuries of high capital taxation. The model in Chamley (1986) imposes an upper bound on capital taxation and we prove that the tax rate may end up at this bound indefinitely. When, instead, the bounds do not bind forever, the long run tax is indeed zero; however, when preferences are recursive but non-additive across time, the zero-capital...
 
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