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Monetary policy, the tax code, and the real effects of energy shocks

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  • William T. Gavin
  • Benjamin D. Keen
  • Finn E. Kydland

Abstract

This paper develops a monetary model with taxes to account for the apparently asymmetric and time-varying effects of energy shocks on output and hours worked in post-World War II U.S. data. In our model, the real effects of an energy shock are amplified when the monetary authority responds to that shock by changing its inflation objective. Specifically, higher inflation raises households’ nominal capital gains taxes since those taxes are not indexed to inflation. The increase in taxes behaves as a negative wealth effect and generates an immediate decline in output, investment, and hours worked. The large drop in investment then causes a gradual but very persistent decline in the capital stock. That protracted decline in the capital stock is associated with an extended period of low productivity growth and high inflation. Those real effects from the increase in nominal capital gains taxes are magnified by the tax on nominal interest income, which is also not indexed to inflation. A prolonged period of higher inflation and lower productivity growth following a negative energy shock is consistent with the stagflation of the 1970s. The negative effects, however, subsided greatly after 1980 because the Volcker disinflation policy prevented the Fed from accommodating negative energy shocks with higher inflation.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas in its series Working Papers with number 1304.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:fip:feddwp:1304

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Keywords: Business cycles ; Fiscal policy;

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  1. Rochelle M. Edge & Jeremy B. Rudd, 2002. "Taxation and the Taylor principle," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2002-51, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  2. Luís Aguiar-Conraria & Yi Wen, 2007. "Understanding the Large Negative Impact of Oil Shocks," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(4), pages 925-944, 06.
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  7. Michael R. Pakko & William T. Gavin & Finn E. Kydland, 2005. "Monetary Policy, Taxes, and the Business Cycle," 2005 Meeting Papers 265, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  8. Anna Kormilitsina, 2009. "Oil Price Shocks and the Optimality of Monetary Policy," Departmental Working Papers 0901, Southern Methodist University, Department of Economics.
  9. Sharon Kozicki & Peter Tinsley, 2004. "Permanent and transitory policy shocks in an empirical macro model with asymmetric information," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Mar.
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  17. Daniel Feenberg & James Poterba, 2003. "The Alternative Minimum Tax and Effective Marginal Tax Rates," NBER Working Papers 10072, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Renato Agurto & Fernando Fuentes & Carlos Garcia & Esteban Skoknic, 2013. "Power Generation and the Business Cycle: The Impact of Delaying Investment," ILADES-Georgetown University Working Papers inv290, Ilades-Georgetown University, Universidad Alberto Hurtado/School of Economics and Bussines.

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