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Empirical evidence on the aggregate effects of anticipated and unanticipated US tax policy shocks

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Author Info

  • Karel Mertens

    (Cornell University)

  • Morten O. Ravn

    (University College London
    University of Southampton
    CEPR)

Abstract

The authors provide empirical evidence on the dynamic effects of tax liability changes in the United States. We distinguish between surprise and anticipated tax changes using a timing convention. We document that pre-announced but not yet implemented tax cuts give rise to contractions in output, investment and hours worked, while real wages increase. In contrast, there are no significant anticipation effects on aggregate consumption. Implemented tax cuts, regardless of their timing, have expansionary and persistent effects on output, consumption, investment, hours worked and real wages. The findings are shown to be very robust. We argue that tax shocks are empirically important impulses to the US business cycle and that anticipation effects have been significant over several business cycle episodes

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bank of Belgium in its series Working Paper Research with number 181.

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Length: 60 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nbb:reswpp:200911-13

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Keywords: fiscal policy shocks; tax liabilities; anticipation effects; business cycles;

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References

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  1. Beaudry, Paul & Portier, Franck, 2003. "Stock Prices, News and Economic Fluctuations," CEPR Discussion Papers 3844, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Christopher L. House & Matthew D. Shapiro, 2004. "Phased-In Tax Cuts and Economic Activity," NBER Working Papers 10415, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles Evans, 1994. "The effects of monetary policy shocks: evidence from the Flow of Funds," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 94-2, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  4. Danthine, Jean-Pierre & Donaldson, John B & Johnsen, Thore, 1998. "Productivity Growth, Consumer Confidence and the Business Cycle," CEPR Discussion Papers 1779, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Karel Mertens & MortenO. Ravn, 2010. "Measuring the Impact of Fiscal Policy in the Face of Anticipation: A Structural VAR Approach," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(544), pages 393-413, 05.
  6. Morten O. Ravn & Karel Mertens, 2008. "The Aggregate Effects of Anticipated and Unanticipated U.S. Tax Policy Shocks: Theory and Empirical Evidence," 2008 Meeting Papers 575, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  7. Heim, Bradley T., 2007. "The Effect of Tax Rebates on Consumption Expenditures: Evidence from State Tax Rebates," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 60(4), pages 685-710, December.
  8. Valerie A. Ramey, 2011. "Identifying Government Spending Shocks: It's all in the Timing," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(1), pages 1-50.
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  10. Eric M. Leeper & Todd B. Walker & Shu-Chun Susan Yang, 2008. "Fiscal Foresight: Analytics and Econometrics," NBER Working Papers 14028, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Nicholas S. Souleles, 1999. "The Response of Household Consumption to Income Tax Refunds," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 947-958, September.
  12. Olivier Blanchard & Roberto Perotti, 2002. "An Empirical Characterization Of The Dynamic Effects Of Changes In Government Spending And Taxes On Output," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1329-1368, November.
  13. Souleles, Nicholas S., 2002. "Consumer response to the Reagan tax cuts," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(1), pages 99-120, July.
  14. Susan Yang, Shu-Chun, 2005. "Quantifying tax effects under policy foresight," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(8), pages 1557-1568, November.
  15. Andrew Mountford & Harald Uhlig, 2009. "What are the effects of fiscal policy shocks?," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(6), pages 960-992.
  16. Jonathan A. Parker, 1999. "The Reaction of Household Consumption to Predictable Changes in Social Security Taxes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 959-973, September.
  17. Craig Burnside & Martin Eichenbaum & Jonas Fisher, 2003. "Fiscal Shocks and Their Consequences," NBER Working Papers 9772, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Hall, Robert E, 1971. "The Dynamic Effects of Fiscal Policy in an Economy With Foresight," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(114), pages 229-44, April.
  19. Mertens, Karel & Ravn, Morten O., 2009. "Understanding the Aggregate Effects of Anticipated and Unanticipated Tax Policy Shocks," CEPR Discussion Papers 7505, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  20. Karel Mertens & Morten Overgaard Ravn, 2010. "Online Appendix to "Understanding the Aggregate Effects of Anticipated and Unanticipated Tax Policy Shocks"," Technical Appendices 09-221, Review of Economic Dynamics.
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  1. About the impact of anticipated tax changes
    by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2010-06-17 14:12:00
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  2. Empirical Evidence on the Aggregate Effects of Anticipated and Unanticipated US Tax Policy Shocks (AEJ:EP 2012) in ReplicationWiki

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