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Labor or consumption taxes? An application with a dynamic general equilibrium model with heterogeneous agents

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  • Lehmus, Markku
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    Abstract

    This study analyzes the effects of tax reform that shifts tax burden from labor to consumption. In this context, I also deal with the issue of progressivity. Even though this kind of tax policy change has recently gained popularity, its positive effects are debatable while the offsetting effect of a consumption tax on labor supply makes the net output change rather ambiguous. I examine these effects using a dynamic general equilibrium model with heterogeneous agents. The model is calibrated to fit certain characteristics of the Finnish economy. In addition to output and employment effects, I study the tax reform's effect on income and wealth distribution. First, I find that eliminating progressivity in labor taxation increases output via increase in capital accumulation that comes, however, in expense of slightly more inequality. Then, tax reform that replaces progressive labor taxes with a flat-rate consumption tax leads to a significant rise in capital accumulation, a negligible change in labor supply and gross labor income distribution, but a relatively considerable increase in wealth concentration.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economic Modelling.

    Volume (Year): 28 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 4 (July)
    Pages: 1984-1992

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:ecmode:v:28:y:2011:i:4:p:1984-1992

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/30411

    Related research

    Keywords: Taxation General equilibrium models Heterogeneous agents;

    References

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    1. Shorrocks, A F, 1976. "Income Mobility and the Markov Assumption," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 86(343), pages 566-78, September.
    2. Coenen, Günter & McAdam, Peter & Straub, Roland, 2008. "Tax reform and labour-market performance in the euro area: A simulation-based analysis using the New Area-Wide Model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(8), pages 2543-2583, August.
    3. Mirrlees, James A., 2006. "Welfare, Incentives, and Taxation," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199261819, October.
    4. ColemanII, Wilbur John, 2000. "Welfare and optimum dynamic taxation of consumption and income," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 1-39, April.
    5. Lorenzo Forni & Libero Monteforte & Luca Sessa, 2007. "The general equilibrium effects of fiscal policy: estimates for the euro area," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 652, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    6. Michael Bleaney & Norman Gemmell & Richard Kneller, 2001. "Testing the endogenous growth model: public expenditure, taxation, and growth over the long run," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 34(1), pages 36-57, February.
    7. Shinichi Nishiyama & Kent Smetters, 2005. "Consumption Taxes and Economic Efficiency with Idiosyncratic Wage Shocks," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(5), pages 1088-1115, October.
    8. Heer, Burkhard & Trede, Mark, 2003. "Efficiency and distribution effects of a revenue-neutral income tax reform," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 87-107, March.
    9. Kneller, Richard & Bleaney, Michael F. & Gemmell, Norman, 1999. "Fiscal policy and growth: evidence from OECD countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 171-190, November.
    10. Ana Castaneda & Javier Diaz-Gimenez & Jose-Victor Rios-Rull, 2003. "Accounting for the U.S. Earnings and Wealth Inequality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(4), pages 818-857, August.
    11. Jones, Larry E & Manuelli, Rodolfo E & Rossi, Peter E, 1993. "Optimal Taxation in Models of Endogenous Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 485-517, June.
    12. Lehmus, Markku, 2009. "Empirical macroeconomic model of the Finnish economy (EMMA)," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 926-933, September.
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    Cited by:
    1. Fernández-de-Córdoba, Gonzalo & Torres, José L., 2012. "Fiscal harmonization in the European Union with public inputs," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 2024-2034.
    2. Lehmus, Markku, 2014. "Distributional and employment effects of labour tax changes in Finland," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 107-120.

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