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Capital Taxation During the U.S. Great Depression

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  • Ellen R. McGrattan

Abstract

Previous studies of the U.S. Great Depression find that increased taxation contributed little to either the dramatic downturn or the slow recovery. These studies include only one type of capital taxation: a business profits tax. The contribution is much greater when the analysis includes other types of capital taxes. A general equilibrium model extended to include taxes on dividends, property, capital stock, and excess and undistributed profits predicts patterns of output, investment, and hours worked more like those in the 1930s than found in earlier studies. The greatest effects come from the increased tax on corporate dividends.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16588.

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Date of creation: Dec 2010
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Publication status: published as Ellen R. McGrattan, 2012. "Capital Taxation During the U.S. Great Depression," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(3), pages 1515-1550.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16588

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  1. Chetty, Raj & Saez, Emmanuel, 2004. "Dividend Taxes and Corporate Behaviour: Evidence from the 2003 Dividend Tax Cut," CEPR Discussion Papers 4722, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Timothy Kehoe & Edward Prescott, 2002. "Data Appendix to Great Depressions of the Twentieth Century," Technical Appendices kehoe02, Review of Economic Dynamics.
  3. Harold L. Cole & Lee E. Ohanian, 2004. "New Deal Policies and the Persistence of the Great Depression: A General Equilibrium Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(4), pages 779-816, August.
  4. Timothy J. Kehoe & Edward C. Prescott (), 2007. "Great depressions of the twentieth century," Monograph, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, number 2007gdott.
  5. Harold L. Cole & Lee E. Ohanian, 1999. "The Great Depression in the United States from a neoclassical perspective," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Win, pages 2-24.
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Cited by:
  1. Benjamin Born & Alexandra Peter & Johannes Pfeifer, 2011. "Fiscal News and Macroeconomic Volatility," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers bgse08_2011, University of Bonn, Germany.
  2. Anagnostopoulos, Alexis & Cárceles-Poveda, Eva & Lin, Danmo, 2012. "Dividend and capital gains taxation under incomplete markets," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(7), pages 599-611.
  3. Davig, Troy A. & Foerster, Andrew T., 2014. "Uncertainty and fiscal cliffs," Research Working Paper RWP 14-4, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

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