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The Effects of Tax Shocks on Output: Not So Large, But Not Small Either

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  • Perotti, Roberto
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    Abstract

    In a seminal contribution, Romer and Romer (2010) introduce a new dataset of exogenous tax changes and estimate a tax multiplier at 3 years of about -3. These results have been criticized as implausibly large. In this paper, I argue that on theoretical grounds the discretionary component of taxation should be allowed to have different effects on output than the automatic response of tax revenues to macroeconomic variables. Existing approaches, that do not allow for this difference, exhibit impulse responses that are biased towards 0. I then show that allowing for this difference leads to tax multipliers that are about half-way between the large effects estimated by Romer and Romer and the much smaller effects estimated by Favero and Giavazzi (2010): typically, a one percentage point of GDP increase in taxes leads to a decline in GDP by about 1.5 percentage points after 3 years.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 8252.

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    Date of creation: Feb 2011
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    Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8252

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    Related research

    Keywords: fiscal policy; tax multiplier; tax shocks; taxation;

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    References

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    1. Ryan Chahrour & Stephanie Schmitt-Grohé & Martín Uribe, 2010. "A Model-Based Evaluation of the Debate on the Size of the Tax Multiplier," NBER Working Papers 16169, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Karel Mertens & Morten O. Ravn, 2009. "Empirical evidence on the aggregate effects of anticipated and unanticipated US tax policy shocks," Working Paper Research 181, National Bank of Belgium.
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    Cited by:
    1. Bernd Hayo & Matthias Uhl, 2012. "Regional Effects of Federal Tax Shocks," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201217, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    2. Olivier Cardi & Romain Restout, 2012. "Unanticipated vs. Anticipated Tax Reforms in a Two-Sector Open Economy," Working Papers of BETA 2012-01, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
    3. Karl Aiginger, 2011. "Why Growth Performance Differed across Countries in the Recent Crisis: the Impact of Pre-crisis Conditions," Review of Economics & Finance, Better Advances Press, Canada, vol. 1, pages 35-52, August.
    4. Karel Mertens & Morten O. Ravn, 2013. "The Dynamic Effects of Personal and Corporate Income Tax Changes in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(4), pages 1212-47, June.
    5. Luigi, Bernardi, 2011. "Economic crisis and taxation in Europe," MPRA Paper 31007, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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