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Tax policy and the macroeconomy: Measurement, identification, and non-linearities

Author

Listed:
  • Daniel Riera-Crichton

    (Bates College, Lewiston, United States)

  • Carlos A. Vegh

    () (Johns Hopkins University and NBER, Baltimore, MD, United States)

  • Guillermo Vuletin

    (Inter-American Development Bank, Baltimore, MD, United States)

Abstract

This paper examines the measurement and identification of tax policy shocks using novel multi-country databases on tax rates. On the measurement front, we argue that there is no substitute for using tax rates, a true policy instrument, as opposed to the much more popular revenue-based measures, such as cyclically adjusted revenues. On the identification front, we argue that the narrative approach (whereby changes in tax rates are classified into exogenous or endogenous to the business cycle based on contemporaneous economic records) is the most accurate method. When properly measured and identified, tax multipliers for both industrial and developing countries are, on average, about -2. Further, we find important non-linearities with multipliers becoming bigger (in absolute value) as both the level of initial taxes and the size of tax changes become larger.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniel Riera-Crichton & Carlos A. Vegh & Guillermo Vuletin, 2017. "Tax policy and the macroeconomy: Measurement, identification, and non-linearities," Revista Ensayos sobre Política Económica, Banco de la Republica de Colombia, vol. 35(82), pages 10-17, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:bdr:ensayo:v:35:y:2017:i:82:p:10-17
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Frankel, Jeffrey A. & Vegh, Carlos A. & Vuletin, Guillermo, 2013. "On graduation from fiscal procyclicality," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 100(1), pages 32-47.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Política tributaria; Multiplicador; Política fiscal; Identificación; Medición;

    JEL classification:

    • 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

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