Tax Reform in a Two-Class Growth Model

In: Empirical Economics, Jg. 22 (1997), S. 273-291
Zeitschriftenaufsatz / Fach: Wirtschaftswissenschaften
This paper analyzes the welfare and distributional effects of tax reforms in a two-class model with exogenous labour supply. It extends the empirically calibrated, standard life-cycle model to include both pure life-cycle savers and households with an altruistic bequest motive. The tax reform simulations cover the move from an income to a wage and a consumption tax, respectively. The role of borrowing constraints is studied and a dynamic analysis of tax reforms using a static expectation approach is performed. The simulation results indicate that the two tax reforms have different impacts on the welfare of the two classes: while the pure life-cycle savers are better off with the consumption tax, the altruistically motivated households gain more under a wage tax. The results further show that while the introduction of a consumption tax is distributionally neutral, the move to a wage tax substantially increases income and wealth inequality.