Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Do Tax Cuts Starve the Beast? The Effect of Tax Changes on Government Spending

Contents:

Author Info

  • Christina D. Romer
  • David H. Romer

Abstract

The hypothesis that decreases in taxes reduce future government spending is often cited as a reason for cutting taxes. However, because taxes change for many reasons, examinations of the relationship between overall measures of taxation and subsequent spending are plagued by problems of reverse causation and omitted variable bias. To deal with these problems, this paper examines the behavior of government expenditures following legislated tax changes that narrative sources suggest are largely uncorrelated with other factors affecting spending. The results provide no support for the hypothesis that tax cuts restrain government spending; indeed, they suggest that tax cuts may actually increase spending. The results also indicate that the main effect of tax cuts on the government budget is to induce subsequent legislated tax increases. Examination of four episodes of major tax cuts reinforces these conclusions.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/Files/Programs/ES/BPEA/2009_spring_bpea_papers/2009a_bpea_romer.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution in its journal Brookings Papers on Economic Activity.

Volume (Year): 40 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (Spring) ()
Pages: 139-214

as in new window
Handle: RePEc:bin:bpeajo:v:40:y:2009:i:2009-01:p:139-214

Contact details of provider:
Postal: 1775 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC 20036
Phone: (202) 797-6000
Fax: (202) 797-6004
Email:
Web page: http://www.brookings.edu/economics.aspx
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords: macroeconomics; tax cuts; government spending; taxation;

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Gary S. Becker & Casey B. Mulligan, 1998. "Deadweight Costs and the Size of Government," NBER Working Papers 6789, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Olivier Blanchard & Roberto Perotti, 2002. "An Empirical Characterization Of The Dynamic Effects Of Changes In Government Spending And Taxes On Output," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1329-1368, November.
  3. Bohn, Henning, 1992. "Endogenous Government Spending and Ricardian Equivalence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 102(412), pages 588-97, May.
  4. Niskanen, William A., 1978. "Deficits, government spending, and inflation : What is the evidence?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(3), pages 591-602, August.
  5. Bohn, Henning, 1991. "Budget balance through revenue or spending adjustments? : Some historical evidence for the United States," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 333-359, June.
  6. Valerie A. Ramey, 2011. "Identifying Government Spending Shocks: It's all in the Timing," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(1), pages 1-50.
  7. Valerie A. Ramey & Matthew D. Shapiro, 1999. "Costly Capital Reallocation and the Effects of Government Spending," NBER Working Papers 6283, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Christina D. Romer & David H. Romer, 2010. "The Macroeconomic Effects of Tax Changes: Estimates Based on a New Measure of Fiscal Shocks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(3), pages 763-801, June.
  9. Alan J. Auerbach, 2003. "Fiscal Policy, Past and Present," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 34(1), pages 75-138.
  10. Henning Bohn, . "Budget Balance Through Revenue or Spending Adjustments ? Some Historical Evidence for the United States (Reprint 013)," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 3-91, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  11. Alan J. Auerbach, 2000. "Formation of fiscal policy: the experience of the past twenty-five years," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Apr, pages 9-23.
  12. von Furstenberg, George M & Green, R Jeffrey & Jeong, Jin-Ho, 1986. "Tax and Spend, or Spend and Tax?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 68(2), pages 179-88, May.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Javier Andrés & José Boscá & Francisco Ferri, 2012. "Household leverage and fiscal multipliers," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 1215, Banco de Espa�a.
  2. Alexander James, 2014. "US State Fiscal Policy and Natural Resources," OxCarre Working Papers 126, Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford.
  3. Frankel, Jeffrey A., 2011. "A Lesson from the South for Fiscal Policy in the US and Other Advanced Countries," Scholarly Articles 8705907, Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
  4. Serbanoiu, Georgian Valentin, 2012. "Transmission of fiscal policy shocks into Romania's economy," MPRA Paper 40947, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Amihai Glazer, 2008. "Reducing Current Taxes to Raise Future Revenue," Working Papers 080914, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bin:bpeajo:v:40:y:2009:i:2009-01:p:139-214. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Eric Encarnacion).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.