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Discretionary Tax Changes and the Macroeconomy: New Narrative Evidence from the United Kingdom


  • James Cloyne


This paper provides new estimates of the macroeconomic effects of tax changes using a new narrative dataset for the United Kingdom. Identification is achieved by isolating ?exogenous? tax policy changes using the Romer and Romer narrative strategy. I find that a 1 percent cut in taxes increases GDP by 0.6 percent on impact and 2.5 percent over three years. The findings are remarkably similar to Romer and Romer narrative estimates for the United States, reinforcing the view that tax changes have powerful and persistent effects. ?Exogenous? tax changes are also shown to have contributed to important episodes in the UK business cycle.

Suggested Citation

  • James Cloyne, 2013. "Discretionary Tax Changes and the Macroeconomy: New Narrative Evidence from the United Kingdom," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(4), pages 1507-1528, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:103:y:2013:i:4:p:1507-28 Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.103.4.1507

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. repec:nbr:nberch:13348 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Karel Mertens & Morten O. Ravn, 2012. "Empirical Evidence on the Aggregate Effects of Anticipated and Unanticipated US Tax Policy Shocks," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 145-181, May.
    3. Daniel Leigh & Andrea Pescatori & Jaime Guajardo, 2011. "Expansionary Austerity New International Evidence," IMF Working Papers 11/158, International Monetary Fund.
    4. Cloyne, James S, 2010. "Discretionary tax shocks in the United Kingdom 1945-2009: a narrative account and dataset," MPRA Paper 34913, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E23 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Production
    • 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
    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General
    • H61 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Budget; Budget Systems


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