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Inflation, Tax Rules and the Accumulation of Residential and Nonresidential Capital

  • Feldstein, Martin

The present paper analyses the effect of the interaction between tax rules and inflation on the size and allocation of the capital stock with particular emphasis on the role of owner-occupied housing. The analysis is developed in the framework of an economy that is in equilibrium and in which a constant fraction of disposable income is saved. In this model, I show that, with current U.S. tax laws, an increase in the rate of inflation reduces the equilibrium amount of business capital employed in the economy and raises the amount of housing capital. The analysis also shows that a higher rate of inflation lowers the real net-of-tax rate of return to the provider of business capital. In a richer model than the current one, i.e., in a model in which the rate of personal saving was an increasing function of the net rate of return, a higher inflation rate would therefore lower the rate of saving. The present analysis also shows that permitting firms to depreciate investments more rapidly for tax purposes increases the accumulations of business capital but that, unless firms are permitted to expense all in- vestment immediately, an increase in in£ lat ion continues to depress the accumulation of business capital.

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Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Scandinavian Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 84 (1982)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 293-311

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Handle: RePEc:bla:scandj:v:84:y:1982:i:2:p:293-311
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  1. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1972. "Expectations and the neutrality of money," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 103-124, April.
  2. Martin Feldstei & Jerry Green & Eytan Sheshinski, 1978. "Inflation and Taxes in a Growing Economy with Debt and Equity Finance," NBER Chapters, in: Research in Taxation, pages 53-70 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Sargent, Thomas J & Wallace, Neil, 1975. ""Rational" Expectations, the Optimal Monetary Instrument, and the Optimal Money Supply Rule," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(2), pages 241-54, April.
  4. Polinsky, A Mitchell, 1977. "The Demand for Housing: A Study in Specification and Grouping," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(2), pages 447-61, March.
  5. Feldstein, Martin & Sheshinski, Eytan & Green, Jerry, 1979. "Corporate Financial Policy and Taxation in a Growing Economy," Scholarly Articles 3203643, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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