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Taxation and Savings: A Neoclassical Perspective

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  • Kotlikoff, Laurence J

Abstract

This paper discusses recent neoclassical analyses of taxation and savings.Contrary to the popular view that fiscal policy has highly ambiguous impacts on savings, neoclassical models admit a host of policies with clear and potentially quite powerful affects on the accumulation of wealth.The paper considers four fundamental types of fiscal policies and compares their quantitative affect on savings.The essential elements of these policies involve inter- and intragenerational redistribution, marginal and intra-marginal taxation, and the level of government consumption. Conventional accounting measures of "taxes", "spending", and "deficits" provide, at best, little guide to changes in underlying fiscal instruments and, at worst, precisely opposite indicators of the direction of such changes. Indeed, the continued use of and concern with conventional fiscal measures is symptomatic of wide spread fiscal illusion.These points are developed within the context of certainty models. The paper also considers the role of fiscal policy in both mitigating and exacerbating economic risks facing the private sector. Since precaution is a major motivation for saving, governments can greatly influence wealth accumulation either by using fiscal policy to pool private risks or by making fiscal policy itself highly uncertain.
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  • Kotlikoff, Laurence J, 1984. "Taxation and Savings: A Neoclassical Perspective," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 22(4), pages 1576-1629, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:jeclit:v:22:y:1984:i:4:p:1576-1629
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    Cited by:

    1. David G. Hartman, 1985. "On the Optimal Taxation of Capital Income in the Open Economy," NBER Working Papers 1550, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Chakraborty, Lekha, 2012. "Determination of Interest Rate in India: Empirical Evidence on Fiscal Deficit-Interest Links and Financial Crowding Out," Working Papers 12/110, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy.
    3. Steven F. Venti & David A. Wise, 1990. "Have IRAs Increased U. S. Saving?: Evidence from Consumer Expenditure Surveys," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(3), pages 661-698.
    4. Lekha S. Chakraborty, 2012. "Interest Rate Determination in India: Empirical Evidence on Fiscal Deficit--Interest Rate Linkages and Financial Crowding Out," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_744, Levy Economics Institute.
    5. Rómulo A. Chumacero & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel, 2005. "General Equilibrium Models: An Overview," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series,in: Rómulo A. Chumacero & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel & Norman Loayza (Series Editor) & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel (S (ed.), General Equilibrium Models for the Chilean Economy, edition 1, volume 9, chapter 1, pages 001-027 Central Bank of Chile.
    6. Alan J. Auerbach & Jagadeesh Gokhale & Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 1991. "Generational Accounts: A Meaningful Alternative to Deficit Accounting," NBER Chapters,in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 5, pages 55-110 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. R. Glenn Hubbard & Kenneth L. Judd, 1985. "Social Security and Individual Welfare: Precautionary Saving, LiquidityConstraints, and the Payroll Tax," NBER Working Papers 1736, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. David F. Bradford, 1985. "A Problem of Financial Market Equilibrium When the Timing of Tax Payments is Indeterminate," NBER Working Papers 1713, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. David F. Bradford, 1989. "Market Value Vs. Financial Accounting Measures of National Saving," NBER Working Papers 2906, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Peter Debaere & Ufuk Demiroglu, 2008. "International Saving, Investment and Trade," Open Economies Review, Springer, pages 613-627.
    11. Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 1986. "Is Debt Neutral in the Life Cycle Model?," NBER Working Papers 2053, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Parry, Ian W. H., 2003. "How large are the welfare costs of tax competition?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 39-60, July.
    13. Savaş ÇEVİK, 2015. "Domestic Saving and Tax Structure: Evidence from Turkey," Sosyoekonomi Journal, Sosyoekonomi Society, issue 23(23).
    14. Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Willi Leibfritz, 1999. "From Deficit Delusion to the Fiscal Balance Rule: Looking for an Economically Meaningful Way to Assess Fiscal Policy," NBER Chapters,in: Generational Accounting around the World, pages 9-30 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Dominique Hachette, 1998. "Ahorro Privado en Chile," Latin American Journal of Economics-formerly Cuadernos de Economía, Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile., vol. 35(104), pages 3-48.
    16. Laurian Lungu & Patrick Minford, 2006. "Explaining The Equity Risk Premium," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 74(6), pages 670-700, December.
    17. Ferhan Salman, 2004. "Balancing Turkey’s Intertemporal Budget Gap," Working Papers 0408, Research and Monetary Policy Department, Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey.
    18. Debaere, Peter & Demiroglu, Ufuk, 2003. "On the similarity of country endowments," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, pages 101-136.
    19. Auerbach, Alan J & Gokhale, Jagadeesh & Kotlikoff, Laurence J, 1992. " Generational Accounting: A New Approach to Understanding the Effects of Fiscal Policy on Saving," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 94(2), pages 303-318.
    20. Sebastian Edwards, 1995. "Why are Saving Rates so Different Across Countries?: An International Comparative Analysis," NBER Working Papers 5097, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    21. Edgar Peden & Michael Bradley, 1989. "Government size, productivity, and economic growth: The post-war experience," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 61(3), pages 229-245, June.
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      ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(2), pages 128-140.
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