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A Tax-Based Test for Nominal Rigidities

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  • Poterba, James M
  • Rotemberg, Julio J
  • Summers, Lawrence H

Abstract

In classical macroeconomic models with flexible wages and prices, whether a tax is levied on producers or consumers does not affect itsultimate incidence. If wages or prices are rigid in the short run, however, then shifting a tax from one side of the market to the othermay have real effects. Tax changes, therefore, provide potential testsfor the presence of nominal rigidities. This paper examines the priceand output effects of revenue-neutral shifts between direct and indirect taxation. The results provide evidence against the view thatwages and prices are completely flexible in the short run. Copyright 1986 by American Economic Association.

Suggested Citation

  • Poterba, James M & Rotemberg, Julio J & Summers, Lawrence H, 1986. "A Tax-Based Test for Nominal Rigidities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 659-675, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:76:y:1986:i:4:p:659-75
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Solow, Robert M, 1980. "On Theories of Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(1), pages 1-11, March.
    2. Rotemberg, Julio J., 1983. "Monetary policy and costs of price adjustment," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 267-288, February.
    3. J. D. Sargan, 1980. "The Consumer Price Equation in the Post War British Economy: An Exercise in Equation Specification Testing," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 47(1), pages 113-135.
    4. Rotemberg, Julio J, 1984. "A Monetary Equilibrium Model with Transactions Costs," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(1), pages 40-58, February.
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    1. Daniel R. Feenberg & Andrew W. Mitrusi & James M. Poterba, 1997. "Distributional Effects of Adopting a National Retail Sales Tax," NBER Chapters, in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 11, pages 49-90, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Anna Lipinska & Leopold von Thadden, 2012. "On the (in)effectiveness of fiscal devaluations in a monetary union," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2012-71, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    3. Christopher J. Erceg & Andrea Prestipino & Andrea Raffo, 2018. "The Macroeconomic Effects of Trade Policy," International Finance Discussion Papers 1242, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    4. Henry, Jerome & Hernandez de Cos, Pablo & Momigliano, Sandro, 2008. "The impact of government budgets on prices: Evidence from macroeconometric models," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 123-143.
    5. Christopher A. Sims & Tao Zha, 1999. "Error Bands for Impulse Responses," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(5), pages 1113-1156, September.
    6. Jorge Martinez-Vazquez & Violeta Vulovic & Yongzheng Liu, 2011. "Direct versus Indirect Taxation: Trends, Theory, and Economic Significance," Chapters, in: Emilio Albi & Jorge Martinez-Vazquez (ed.), The Elgar Guide to Tax Systems, chapter 2, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    7. Yongzheng Liu & Jorge Martinez-Vazquez, 2015. "Growth–Inequality Tradeoff in the Design of Tax Structure: Evidence from a Large Panel of Countries," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(2), pages 323-345, May.
    8. Taylor, John B., 1999. "Staggered price and wage setting in macroeconomics," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 15, pages 1009-1050, Elsevier.
    9. Martin Wolf, 2019. "Pecuniary Externalities in Economies with Downward Wage Rigidity," Vienna Economics Papers 1905, University of Vienna, Department of Economics.
    10. Blinder, Alan S, 1988. "The Challenge of High Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(2), pages 1-15, May.
    11. Besley, Timothy J. & Rosen, Harvey S., 1999. "Sales Taxes and Prices: An Empirical Analysis," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 52(2), pages 157-178, June.
    12. Rotemberg, Julio J & Woodford, Michael, 1996. "Imperfect Competition and the Effects of Energy Price Increases on Economic Activity," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 28(4), pages 550-577, November.
    13. Kashif Munir & Maryam Sultan, 2018. "Are some taxes better for growth in Pakistan? A time series analysis," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 45(10), pages 1439-1452, October.
    14. Wolf, Martin, 2020. "Pecuniary externalities in economies with downward wage rigidity," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 219-235.
    15. Kleven, Henrik Jacobsen & Kreiner, Claus Thustrup, 2003. "The role of taxes as automatic destabilizers in New Keynesian economics," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(5-6), pages 1123-1136, May.
    16. Facundo Alvaredo & Thomas Breda & Barra Roantree & Emmanuel Saez, 2017. "Contribution Ceilings and the Incidence of Payroll Taxes," De Economist, Springer, vol. 165(2), pages 129-140, June.
    17. Shah, Anwar, 1988. "Public infrastructure and private sector profitability and productivity in Mexico," Policy Research Working Paper Series 100, The World Bank.
    18. Stoyan Tanchev, 2019. "Tax structure and economic growth: empirical evidence from Bulgaria," Economic Thought journal, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences - Economic Research Institute, issue 5, pages 24-41,42-58.
    19. James M. Poterba, 1991. "Tax Policy to Combat Global Warming: On Designing a Carbon Tax," NBER Working Papers 3649, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. James M. Poterba, 1993. "Global Warming Policy: A Public Finance Perspective," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(4), pages 47-63, Fall.

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