Indexed on: 05 Feb '08Published on: 05 Feb '08Published in: Journal of Economic Growth
We examine the effects of redistributive taxation on growth and inequality in a Schumpeterian model with risk-averse agents. There are skilled and unskilled workers, and the growth rate is determined by the occupational choice of skilled agents between entrepreneurship and employment. We show that redistribution provides insurance to entrepreneurs and increases the growth rate. The effects on inequality are such that low tax rates increase inequality relative to laissez-faire due to changes in wages, but higher tax rates can simultaneously raise growth and reduce inequality. We contrast the optimal linear income tax with alternative policies for promoting R&D and find that it is preferable on both equity and efficiency grounds.