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Optimal Fiscal Policy in a Business Cycle Model

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  • Chari, V V
  • Christiano, Lawrence J
  • Kehoe, Patrick J

Abstract

This paper develops the quantitative implications of optimal fiscal policy in a business cycle model. In a stationary equilibrium, the ex ante tax rate on capital income is approximately zero. The tax rate on labor income fluctuates very little and inherits the persistence properties of the exogenous shocks; thus there is no presumption that optimal labor tax rates follow a random walk. Most of the welfare gains realized by switching from a tax system like that of the United States to the Ramsey system come from an initial period of high taxation on capital income. Copyright 1994 by University of Chicago Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Political Economy.

Volume (Year): 102 (1994)
Issue (Month): 4 (August)
Pages: 617-52

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:102:y:1994:i:4:p:617-52

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References

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  1. 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.
  2. Edward C. Prescott, 1986. "Theory ahead of business cycle measurement," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Fall, pages 9-22.
  3. Lucas, Robert Jr. & Stokey, Nancy L., 1983. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy in an economy without capital," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 55-93.
  4. Barro, Robert J., 1979. "On the Determination of the Public Debt," Scholarly Articles 3451400, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  5. Judd, Kenneth L., 1985. "Redistributive taxation in a simple perfect foresight model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 59-83, October.
  6. Zhu, Xiaodong, 1992. "Optimal fiscal policy in a stochastic growth model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 250-289, December.
  7. V. V. Chari & Lawrence J. Christiano & Patrick J. Kehoe, 1993. "Optimal Fiscal Policy in a Business Cycle Model," NBER Working Papers 4490, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Chamley, Christophe, 1986. "Optimal Taxation of Capital Income in General Equilibrium with Infinite Lives," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 607-22, May.
  9. Atkinson, A B, 1971. "Capital Taxes, the Redistribution of Wealth and Individual Savings," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(114), pages 209-227, April.
  10. 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).
  11. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1990. "Supply-Side Economics: An Analytical Review," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 42(2), pages 293-316, April.
  12. Robert J. Barro & Chaipat Sahasakul, 1983. "Measuring the Average Marginal Tax Rate from the Individual Income Tax," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 26, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  13. Christiano, Lawrence J., 1988. "Why does inventory investment fluctuate so much?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 247-280.
  14. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum, 1990. "Current real business cycle theories and aggregate labor market fluctuations," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 24, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  15. Martin L. Weitzman, 1973. "Duality Theory for Infinite Horizon Convex Models," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 19(7), pages 783-789, March.
  16. Atkinson, A. B. & Stiglitz, J. E., 1972. "The structure of indirect taxation and economic efficiency," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 97-119, April.
  17. Judd, Kenneth L., 1992. "Projection methods for solving aggregate growth models," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 410-452, December.
  18. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-70, November.
  19. Atkinson, A B & Sandmo, A, 1980. "Welfare Implications of the Taxation of Savings," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(359), pages 529-49, September.
  20. Pestieau, P. M., 1974. "Optimal taxation and discount rate for public investment in a growth setting," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 217-235, August.
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  1. > Macroeconomics > Economic Fluctuations > Real Business Cycle Theory
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  1. Quantitative Macroeconomics and Real Business Cycles (QM&RBC)
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