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Tax Reform with Useful Public Expenditures

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  • STEVEN P. CASSOU
  • KEVIN J. LANSING

Abstract

We examine the effects of tax reform in an endogenous growth with two types of useful public expenditures. The optimal fiscal policy shifts the tax base to private consumption and generally requires a change in the size of government. If a tax reform holds the size of government fixed to satisfy a revenue-neutrality constraint, then the reform will be suboptimal; theory alone cannot tell us if welfare will be improved. For some model calibrations, we find that a revenue-neutral consumption tax reform can result in large welfare gains. For other quite plausible calibrations, the exact same reform can result in tiny or even negative welfare gains as the revenue-neutrality constraint becomes more severely binding. Overall, our results highlight the uncertainty surrounding the potential welfare benefits of fundamental tax reform. Copyright 2006 Blackwell Publishing, Inc..

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  • Steven P. Cassou & Kevin J. Lansing, 2006. "Tax Reform with Useful Public Expenditures," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 8(4), pages 631-676, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jpbect:v:8:y:2006:i:4:p:631-676
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    Cited by:

    1. Mathias Trabandt & Harald Uhlig, 2006. "How Far Are We From The Slippery Slope? The Laffer Curve Revisited," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2006-023, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
    2. Lansing, Kevin J., 2012. "Speculative growth, overreaction, and the welfare cost of technology-driven bubbles," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 83(3), pages 461-483.
    3. Mathias Trabandt, 2006. "Optimal Pre-Announced Tax Reforms Under Valuable And Productive Government Spending," 2006 Meeting Papers 668, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    4. Chen, Been-Lon & Lu, Chia-Hui, 2013. "Optimal factor tax incidence in two-sector human capital-based models," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 75-94.
    5. Chia-Hui Lu & Been-Lon Chen, 2015. "Optimal Capital Taxation in a Neoclassical Growth Model," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 17(2), pages 257-269, April.
    6. Cassou, Steven P. & Gorostiaga Alonso, Miren Arantzazu, 2007. "Optimal fiscal policy in a multisector model with minimum expenditure requirements," DFAEII Working Papers 2007-01, University of the Basque Country - Department of Foundations of Economic Analysis II.
    7. Keith Blackburn & Dimitrios Varvarigos, 2008. "Human capital accumulation and output growth in a stochastic environment," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 36(3), pages 435-452, September.
    8. K Blackburn & D Varvarigos, 2006. "Human Capital Accumulation in a Stochastic Environment: Some New Results on the Relationship Between Growth and Volatility," Centre for Growth and Business Cycle Research Discussion Paper Series 74, Economics, The Univeristy of Manchester.
    9. Xavier Pautrel, 2009. "Time-separable Utility, Leisure and Human Capital Accumulation: What New Implications for the Environment-Growth Nexus?," Working Papers 2009.104, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    10. Trabandt, Mathias & Uhlig, Harald, 2011. "The Laffer curve revisited," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(4), pages 305-327.
    11. Keith Blackburn & Dimitrios Varvarigos, 2006. "Human Capital Accumulation in a Stochastic Environment: Some New Results on the Relationship Between Growth and Volatility," The School of Economics Discussion Paper Series 0618, Economics, The University of Manchester.
    12. Cassou, Steven P. & Gorostiaga Alonso, Miren Arantzazu & Gutiérrez Huerta, María José & Hamilton, Stephen F., 2006. "Second-best tax policy in a growing economy with externalities," DFAEII Working Papers 2006-03, University of the Basque Country - Department of Foundations of Economic Analysis II.
    13. Blankenau, William, 2005. "Public schooling, college subsidies and growth," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 487-507, March.
    14. Hung-Ju Chen & Been-Lon Chen & Ping Wang, 2010. "Taxing Capital is Not a Bad Idea Indeed: The Role of Human Capital and Labor-Market Frictions," 2010 Meeting Papers 827, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    15. Steven P. Cassou & Arantza Gorostiaga, 2009. "Optimal Fiscal Policy in a Multisector Model: The Price Consequences of Government Spending," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 11(2), pages 177-201, April.

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