Relative consumption of housing: Marginal saving subsidies and income taxes as a second-best policy?
This paper analyzes whether marginal taxation of labor and capital income are useful second best instruments for internalizing the externalities caused by conspicuous housing consumption, when the government is unable to implement a first best corrective tax on housing wealth. The rationale for studying income taxation in this particular context is that first best taxes on housing wealth may be infeasible (at least in a shorter time perspective), while income taxes indirectly affect both the level and composition of accumulated wealth. We show that a suboptimally low tax on housing wealth provides an incentive for the government to subsidize financial saving and tax labor income at the margin.
Published version. Source at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jebo.2015.05.011.