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Laffer Strikes Again: Dynamic Scoring of Capital Taxes

Autor: Holger Strulik and Timo Trimborn
Nummer: 454, Jul 2010, pp. 35
JEL-Class: E60, H20, O40

We set up a neoclassical growth model extended by a corporate sector, an investment and finance decision of firms, and a set of taxes on capital income. We provide analytical dynamic scoring of taxes on corporate income, dividends, capital gains, other private capital income, and depreciation allowances and identify the intricate ways through which capital taxation affects tax revenue in general equilibrium. We then calibrate the model for the US and explore quantitatively the revenue effects from capital taxation. We take adjustment dynamics after a tax change explicitly into account and compare with steady-state effects. We find, among other results, a self-financing degree of corporate tax cuts of about 70-90 percent and a very flat Laffer curve for all capital taxes as well as for tax depreciation allowances. Results are strongest for the tax on capital gains. The model predicts for the US that total tax revenue increases by about 0.3 to 1.2 percent after abolishment of the tax.


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