Stabilization versus Insurance: Welfare Effects of Procyclical Taxation Under Incomplete Markets
AbstractWe construct and calibrate a general equilibrium business cycle model with unemployment and precautionary saving. We compute the cost of business cycles and locate the optimum in a set of simple cyclical fiscal policies. Our economy exhibits productivity shocks, giving firms an incentive to hire more when productivity is high. However, business cycles make workers' income riskier, both by increasing the unconditional probability of unusually long unemployment spells, and by making wages more variable, and therefore they decrease social welfare by around one-fourth or one-third of 1% of consumption. Optimal fiscal policy offsets the cycle, holding unemployment benefits constant but varying the tax rate procyclically to smooth hiring. By running a deficit of 4% to 5% of output in recessions, the government eliminates half the variation in the unemployment rate, most of the variation in workers'aggregate consumption, and most of the welfare cost of business cycles.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2005 Meeting Papers with number 704.
Date of creation: 2005
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Society for Economic Dynamics Christian Zimmermann Economic Research Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis PO Box 442 St. Louis MO 63166-0442 USA
Web page: http://www.EconomicDynamics.org/society.htm
More information through EDIRC
Other versions of this item:
- James S. Costain & Michael Reiter, 2004. "Stabilization versus insurance: welfare effects of procyclical taxation under incomplete markets," Working Papers 234, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
- James S. Costain & Michael Reiter, 2004. "Stabilization versus insurance: Welfare effects of procyclical taxation under incomplete markets," Economics Working Papers 890, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Aug 2005.
- E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
- E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
- H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2005-12-01 (All new papers)
- NEP-DGE-2005-12-01 (Dynamic General Equilibrium)
- NEP-IAS-2005-12-01 (Insurance Economics)
- NEP-MAC-2005-12-01 (Macroeconomics)
- NEP-PBE-2005-12-01 (Public Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Barro, Robert J, 1979.
"On the Determination of the Public Debt,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 940-71, October.
- Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Martin Uribe, 2003.
"Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy Under Imperfect Competition,"
NBER Working Papers
10149, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Schmitt-Grohe, Stephanie & Uribe, Martin, 2004. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy under imperfect competition," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 183-209, June.
- Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Martin Uribe, 2001. "Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy under Imperfect Competition," Departmental Working Papers 200101, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
- Schmitt-Grohé, Stephanie & Uribe, Martín, 2001. "Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy under Imperfect Competition," CEPR Discussion Papers 2688, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Robert Shimer, 2004.
"The Consequences of Rigid Wages in Search Models,"
NBER Working Papers
10326, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- James Costain & Michael Reiter, 2005.
"Business Cycles, Unemployment Insurance and the Calibration of Matching Models,"
215, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
- Costain, James S. & Reiter, Michael, 2008. "Business cycles, unemployment insurance, and the calibration of matching models," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 1120-1155, April.
- James S. Costain & Michael Reiter, 2003. "Business cycles, unemployment insurance and the calibration of matching models," Economics Working Papers 872, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Oct 2006.
- James S. Costain & Michael Reiter, 2003. "Business Cycles, Unemployment Insurance, and the Calibration of Matching Models," CESifo Working Paper Series 1008, CESifo Group Munich.
- Andrew Atkeson & Christopher Phelan, 1994.
"Reconsidering the Costs of Business Cycles with Incomplete Markets,"
NBER Working Papers
4719, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Andrew Atkeson & Christopher Phelan, 1994. "Reconsidering the Costs of Business Cycles with Incomplete Markets," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1994, Volume 9, pages 187-218 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Tom Krebs, 2003. "Growth and Welfare Effects of Business Cycles in Economies with Idiosyncratic Human Capital Risk," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 6(4), pages 846-868, October.
- tom krebs, 2004.
"welfare cost of business cycles when markets are incomplete,"
Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings
283, Econometric Society.
- Tom Krebs, 2004. "Welfare Cost of Business Cycles When Markets Are Incomplete," Working Papers 2004-08, Brown University, Department of Economics.
- Albert Marcet & Thomas J. Sargent & Juha Seppala, 1996.
"Optimal taxation without state-contingent debt,"
Economics Working Papers
170, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Oct 2001.
- Kjetil Storesletten & Chris I. Telmer & Amir Yaron, 2000.
"The Welfare Cost of Business Cycles Revisited: Finite Lives and Cyclical Variation in Idiosyncratic Risk,"
NBER Working Papers
8040, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Storesletten, Kjetil & Telmer, Chris I. & Yaron, Amir, 2001. "The welfare cost of business cycles revisited: Finite lives and cyclical variation in idiosyncratic risk," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(7), pages 1311-1339.
- Robert Shimer, 2005. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 25-49, March.
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Christian Zimmermann).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.