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How Is Tax Policy Conducted over the Business Cycle?

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  • Carlos A. Vegh
  • Guillermo Vuletin

Abstract

It is well known by now that government spending has typically been procyclical in developing economies but acyclical or countercyclical in industrial countries. Little, if any, is known, however, about the cyclical behavior of tax rates (as opposed to tax revenues, which are endogenous to the business cycle and, hence, cannot shed light on the cyclicality of tax policy). We build a novel dataset on tax rates for 62 countries for the period 1960-2013 that comprises corporate income, personal income, and value-added tax rates. We find that tax policy is acyclical in industrial countries but mostly pro cyclical in developing countries. (JEL E32, E64, H24, H25, O11, O23)

Suggested Citation

  • Carlos A. Vegh & Guillermo Vuletin, 2015. "How Is Tax Policy Conducted over the Business Cycle?," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 7(3), pages 327-370, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejpol:v:7:y:2015:i:3:p:327-70
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/pol.20120218
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E64 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Incomes Policy; Price Policy
    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O23 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Fiscal and Monetary Policy in Development

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