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American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics: Vol. 2 No. 3 (July 2010)

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Financiers versus Engineers: Should the Financial Sector Be Taxed or Subsidized?

Article Citation

Philippon, Thomas. 2010. "Financiers versus Engineers: Should the Financial Sector Be Taxed or Subsidized?" American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, 2(3): 158-82.

DOI: 10.1257/mac.2.3.158

Abstract

I study the allocation of human capital in an economy with production externalities, financial constraints, and career choices. Agents choose to become entrepreneurs, workers, or financiers. Entrepreneurship has positive externalities but requires the services of financiers. In the second best solution, the financial sector should be taxed in exactly the same way as the nonfinancial sector. When direct subsidies to investment and scientific education are not feasible, subsidizing the financial sector increases growth if externalities are driven by physical capital as in Paul M. Romer (1986), and decreases growth if externalities are driven by human capital as in Robert E. Lucas, Jr. (1988). (JEL E44, H21, H25, L26, O41)

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Authors

Philippon, Thomas (NYU)

JEL Classifications

E44: Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
H21: Taxation and Subsidies: Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
H25: Business Taxes and Subsidies including sales and value-added (VAT)
L26: Entrepreneurship
O41: One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models

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American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics


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