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Social Comparisons and Optimal Taxation in a Small Open Economy

Thomas Aronsson, Olof Johansson‐Stenman and Tomas Sjögren

Scandinavian Journal of Economics, 2019, vol. 121, issue 4, 1500-1532

Abstract: In this paper, we analyze how international capital mobility affects the optimal labor and capital income tax policy in a small open economy when consumers care about relative consumption. The main results crucially depend on whether the government can tax returns on savings abroad. If the government can use flexible residence‐based capital income taxes, then the optimal policy rules from a closed economy largely carry over to the case of a small open economy. If it cannot, then capital income taxes become completely ineffective. The labor income taxes must then indirectly also reflect the corrective purpose that the absent capital income tax would have had.

Date: 2019
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https://doi.org/10.1111/sjoe.12308

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Scandinavian Journal of Economics is currently edited by Richard Friberg, Matti Liski and Kjetil Storesletten

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