Tax distortions in a neoclassical monetary economy
AbstractIn this paper we use the common perspective provided by the neoclassical growth model to evaluate the size of the distortions associated with different monetary and fiscal policies designed to finance a given sequence of government expenditures. We construct an artificial monetary economy incorporating the cash-in-advance framework of Lucas and Stokey (1983), calibrate it to match important features of the U.S. economy, and simulate it to provide a quantitative assessment of the welfare costs associated with government policies involving different combinations of taxes on capital and labor income, consumption, and holdings of money. In particular, we evaluate the welfare gains from tax reforms that are designed to replace taxes on capital or labor income with other forms of taxation. Our results suggest that the welfare costs of financing a given sequence of government expenditures are slightly lower in economies that substitute inflation or consumption taxes for the tax on labor income, but dramatically lower for economies that substitute any of these taxes for the tax on capital income. Replacing the capital tax with a consumption tax, for example, eliminates 81 percent of the welfare cost arising from distorting taxation. In addition, we show that these welfare costs can be reduced further by eliminating the capital tax with a nonstationary policy that involves a transition to a temporary policy followed by a new steady state policy rather than an immediate change to a new steady state policy.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Theory.
Volume (Year): 58 (1992)
Issue (Month): 2 (December)
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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622869
Other versions of this item:
- Cooley, T.F. & Hansen, G.D., 1991. "Tax Distortions in a Neoclassical Monetary Economy," RCER Working Papers 265, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
- Thomas F. Cooley & Gary D. Hansen, 1991. "Tax distortions in a neoclassical monetary economy," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 38, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
- Cooley, T.F. & Hansen, G.D., 1991. "The Distortions in a Neoclassical Monetary Economy," Papers 91-01, Rochester, Business - General.
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