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Can Taxes Stabilize the Economy in the Presence of Consumption Externalities?

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  • Lloyd-Braga, Teresa

    ()
    (Católica Lisbon)

  • Modesto, Leonor

    ()
    (Universidade Catolica Portuguesa, Lisbon)

Abstract

Considering a finance constrained economy, we discuss the stabilization role of variable labour and capital income taxes under a balanced-budget rule in the presence of consumption externalities of the "keeping up with the Joneses" type. We find that sufficiently procyclical labor and/or capital income taxes are able to ensure saddle path stability eliminating belief-driven cyclical fluctuations. Moreover, for higher values of consumption externalities, saddle path stability can only be reached with more procyclical labor or capital income taxation. We therefore conclude that finance constrained models with "keeping up with the Joneses" preferences call for traditional Keynesian demand-management policies in order to stabilize business cycle fluctuations.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6876.

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Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6876

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Keywords: indeterminacy; consumption externalities; capital and labor income taxation;

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  1. Wendner, Ronald, 2010. "Growth And Keeping Up With The Joneses," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 14(S2), pages 176-199, November.
  2. Alonso-Carrera, Jaime & Caballé, Jordi & Raurich, Xavier, 2008. "Can consumption spillovers be a source of equilibrium indeterminacy?," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(9), pages 2883-2902, September.
  3. Guo, Jang-Ting, 1999. "Multiple equilibria and progressive taxation of labor income," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 97-103, October.
  4. Lawrence J. Christiano & Sharon G. Harrison, 1996. "Chaos, sunspots, and automatic stabilizers," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues WP-96-16, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  5. Sharon Harrison & Jang-Ting Guo, 2006. "Useful Government Spending and Macroeconomic (In)stability under Balanced-Budget Rules," Working Papers 0701, Barnard College, Department of Economics.
  6. Jürgen Maurer & André Meier, 2008. "Smooth it Like the “Joneses?” Estimating Peer-Group Effects in Intertemporal Consumption Choice," MEA discussion paper series 08167, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
  7. Kamiguchi, Akira & Tamai, Toshiki, 2011. "Can productive government spending be a source of equilibrium indeterminacy?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 1335-1340, May.
  8. Teresa Lloyd-Braga & Leonor Modesto & Thomas Seegmuller, 2008. "Tax Rate Variability and Public Spending as Sources of Indeterminacy," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 10(3), pages 399-421, 06.
  9. Frédéric Dufourt & Teresa Lloyd-Braga & Leonor Modesto, 2008. "Indeterminacy, bifurcations and unemployment fluctuations," Post-Print halshs-00815504, HAL.
  10. Grandmont, Jean-Michel & Pintus, Patrick & de Vilder, Robin, 1998. "Capital-Labor Substitution and Competitive Nonlinear Endogenous Business Cycles," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 14-59, May.
  11. Richard Rogerson, 2010. "Indivisible Labor, Lotteries and Equilibrium," Levine's Working Paper Archive 250, David K. Levine.
  12. Gary Hansen, 2010. "Indivisible Labor and the Business Cycle," Levine's Working Paper Archive 233, David K. Levine.
  13. Guo, Jang-Ting & Harrison, Sharon G., 2004. "Balanced-budget rules and macroeconomic (in)stability," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 119(2), pages 357-363, December.
  14. Aldo Barba & Massimo Pivetti, 2009. "Rising household debt: Its causes and macroeconomic implications--a long-period analysis," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 33(1), pages 113-137, January.
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