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Tax Reform with Useful Public Expenditures

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  • STEVEN P. CASSOU
  • KEVIN J. LANSING

Abstract

We examine the effects of tax reform in an endogenous growth with two types of useful public expenditures. The optimal fiscal policy shifts the tax base to private consumption and generally requires a change in the size of government. If a tax reform holds the size of government fixed to satisfy a revenue-neutrality constraint, then the reform will be suboptimal; theory alone cannot tell us if welfare will be improved. For some model calibrations, we find that a revenue-neutral consumption tax reform can result in large welfare gains. For other quite plausible calibrations, the exact same reform can result in tiny or even negative welfare gains as the revenue-neutrality constraint becomes more severely binding. Overall, our results highlight the uncertainty surrounding the potential welfare benefits of fundamental tax reform. Copyright 2006 Blackwell Publishing, Inc..

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Association for Public Economic Theory in its journal Journal of Public Economic Theory.

Volume (Year): 8 (2006)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
Pages: 631-676

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Handle: RePEc:bla:jpbect:v:8:y:2006:i:4:p:631-676

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Mathias Trabandt, 2007. "Optimal Pre-Announced Tax Reform Revisited," Economics Working Papers ECO2007/52, European University Institute.
  2. Trabandt, Mathias & Uhlig, Harald, 2006. "How Far Are We From the Slippery Slope? The Laffer Curve Revisited," CEPR Discussion Papers 5657, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Chen, Been-Lon & Chen, Hung-Ju & Wang, Ping, 2011. "Taxing capital is not a bad idea indeed: the role of human capital and labor-market frictions," MPRA Paper 33209, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Lansing, Kevin J., 2012. "Speculative growth, overreaction, and the welfare cost of technology-driven bubbles," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 83(3), pages 461-483.
  5. Xavier Pautrel, 2009. "Time-separable Utility, Leisure and Human Capital Accumulation: What New Implications for the Environment-Growth Nexus?," Working Papers 2009.104, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  6. Gorostiaga Alonso, Miren Arantzazu & Cassou, Steven P., 2007. "Optimal fiscal policy in a multisector model with minimum expenditure requirements," DFAEII Working Papers 2007-01, University of the Basque Country - Department of Foundations of Economic Analysis II.
  7. Keith Blackburn & Dimitrios Varvarigos, 2008. "Human capital accumulation and output growth in a stochastic environment," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 36(3), pages 435-452, September.
  8. Trabandt, Mathias & Uhlig, Harald, 2011. "The Laffer curve revisited," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(4), pages 305-327.
  9. Cassou, Steven P. & Hamilton, Stephen F. & Gorostiaga Alonso, Miren Arantzazu & Gutiérrez Huerta, María José, 2006. "Second-best tax policy in a growing economy with externalities," DFAEII Working Papers 2006-03, University of the Basque Country - Department of Foundations of Economic Analysis II.

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