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  • 1. Abraham, Arpad
    et al.
    Koehne, Sebastian
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute for International Economic Studies.
    Pavoni, Nicola
    On the first-order approach in principal agent models with hidden borrowing and lending2011In: Journal of Economic Theory, ISSN 0022-0531, E-ISSN 1095-7235, Vol. 146, no 4, p. 1331-1361Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We provide sufficient conditions for the validity of the first-order approach for two-period dynamic moral hazard problems where the agent can save and borrow secretly. The first-order approach is valid if the following conditions hold: (i) the agent has non-increasing absolute risk aversion utility (NIARA), (ii) the output technology has monotone likelihood ratios (MLR), and (iii) the distribution function of output is log-convex in effort (LCDF). Moreover, under these three conditions, the optimal contract is monotone in output. We also investigate a few possibilities of relaxing these requirements.

  • 2. Abraham, Arpad
    et al.
    Koehne, Sebastian
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute for International Economic Studies. CESifo, Germany.
    Pavoni, Nicola
    Optimal income taxation when asset taxation is limited2016In: Journal of Public Economics, ISSN 0047-2727, E-ISSN 1879-2316, Vol. 136, p. 14-29Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Several frictions restrict the government's ability to tax assets. First, it is very costly to monitor trades on international asset markets. Second, agents can resort to nonobservable low-return assets such as cash, gold or foreign currencies if taxes on observable assets become too high. This paper shows that limitations in asset taxation have important consequences for the taxation of labor income. We study a simple dynamic moral hazard model of social insurance with observable and nonobservable saving decisions. We find that optimal labor income taxes become less progressive when the ability to tax savings is limited.

  • 3.
    Koehne, Sebastian
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute for International Economic Studies.
    On the taxation of durable goods and housing2015Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper proposes a theory of commodity taxation in the presence of durable goods. Optimal commodity taxes depend on preference nonseparabilities between durable and nondurable consumption. In particular, the seminal Atkinson-Stigliz result fails and differential commodity taxes are optimal even when the utility function is separable between labor and consumption. An application to housing decisions implies that housing should face higher tax rates than nondurable consumption. Moreover, the theory justifies housing provisions in the income tax code.

  • 4.
    Koehne, Sebastian
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute for International Economic Studies.
    Kuhn, Moritz
    Optimal Taxation in a Habit Formation Economy2014Report (Refereed)
  • 5.
    Koehne, Sebastian
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute for International Economic Studies. CESifo, Germany.
    Kuhn, Moritz
    Optimal taxation in a habit formation economy2015In: Journal of Public Economics, ISSN 0047-2727, E-ISSN 1879-2316, Vol. 122, p. 31-39Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper studies habit formation in consumption preferences in a dynamic Mirrlees economy. We derive optimal labor and savings wedges based on a recursive approach. We show that habit formation creates a motive for subsidizing labor supply and savings. In particular, habit formation invalidates the well-known no distortion at the top result. We demonstrate that the theoretical findings are quantitatively important: in a parametrized life-cycle model, average labor and savings wedges fall by more than one-third compared with the case of time-separable preferences.

  • 6.
    Koehne, Sebastian
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute for International Economic Studies. CESifo, Munich, Germany.
    Kuhn, Moritz
    Should unemployment insurance be asset tested?2015In: Review of economic dynamics (Print), ISSN 1094-2025, E-ISSN 1096-6099, Vol. 18, no 3, p. 575-592Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We study asset-tested unemployment insurance in an incomplete markets model with moral hazard during job search. Optimal asset testing is weak and yields negligible welfare gains. The optimal replacement rate of an unemployed worker with zero liquidity is 9 percentage points higher than that of the median worker. Welfare rises by 0.03 percent in consumption equivalent terms. We develop a general welfare decomposition for heterogeneous agent models with transitional dynamics. Asset testing creates welfare gains due to redistribution and additional consumption during the transition phase, and welfare losses due to reduced consumption smoothing, lower consumption, and higher effort levels.

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