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Tax Policy and Aggregate Demand Management under Catching Up with the Joneses

Author

Listed:
  • Harald Uhlig
  • Lars Ljungqvist

Abstract

This paper examines the role for tax policies in productivity-shock driven economies with catching-up-with-the-Joneses utility functions. The optimal tax policy is shown to affect the economy countercyclically via procyclical taxes, i.e., "cooling down" the economy with higher taxes when it is "overheating" in booms and "stimulating" the economy with lower taxes in recessions to keep consumption up. Thus, models with catching-up-with-the-Joneses utility functions call for traditional Keynesian demand-management policies but for rather unorthodox reasons.

Suggested Citation

  • Harald Uhlig & Lars Ljungqvist, 2000. "Tax Policy and Aggregate Demand Management under Catching Up with the Joneses," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 356-366, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:90:y:2000:i:3:p:356-366
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.90.3.356
    as

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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Gali, Jordi, 1994. "Keeping Up with the Joneses: Consumption Externalities, Portfolio Choice, and Asset Prices," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 26(1), pages 1-8, February.
    2. Mehra, Rajnish & Prescott, Edward C., 1985. "The equity premium: A puzzle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 145-161, March.
    3. Hansen, Gary D., 1985. "Indivisible labor and the business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 309-327, November.
    4. Abel, Andrew B, 1990. "Asset Prices under Habit Formation and Catching Up with the Joneses," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 38-42, May.
    5. repec:dgr:kubcen:199554 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Michael J. Boskin & Eytan Sheshinski, 1978. "Optimal Redistributive Taxation When Individual Welfare Depends upon Relative Income," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 92(4), pages 589-601.
    7. Lawrence J. Christiano & Michele Boldrin & Jonas D. M. Fisher, 2001. "Habit Persistence, Asset Returns, and the Business Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 149-166, March.
    8. Jermann, Urban J., 1998. "Asset pricing in production economies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 257-275, April.
    9. Persson, Mats, 1995. " Why Are Taxes So High in Egalitarian Societies?," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 97(4), pages 569-580, December.
    10. Martin Lettau & Harald Uhlig, 2000. "Can Habit Formation be Reconciled with Business Cycle Facts?," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 3(1), pages 79-99, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth

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