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Tax Policy Under Keeping Up with the Joneses and Imperfect Competition

Listed author(s):
  • Jang-Ting Guo

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of California)

This paper examines the optimal (first-best) fiscal policy in a stochastic, infinite-horizon representative agent model that exhibits a ¡°keeping up with the Joneses¡± utility function and imperfectly competitive product markets. We find that the optimal labor tax is a constant, whose sign is determined by the relative strength of consumption externality and monopoly power. Moreover, the optimal capital tax is unambiguously negative and affects the economy countercyclically. Our analysis shows that models with capital accumulation, imperfect competition, and ¡°keeping up with the Joneses¡± preferences call for traditional Keynesian demand-management policies that are designed to mitigate business cycle fluctuations.

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Article provided by Society for AEF in its journal Annals of Economics and Finance.

Volume (Year): 6 (2005)
Issue (Month): 1 (May)
Pages: 25-36

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Handle: RePEc:cuf:journl:y:2005:v:6:i:1:p:25-36
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  1. Mehra, Rajnish & Prescott, Edward C., 1985. "The equity premium: A puzzle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 145-161, March.
  2. Hansen, Gary D., 1985. "Indivisible labor and the business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 309-327, November.
  3. Benhabib, Jess & Rustichini, Aldo, 1997. "Optimal Taxes without Commitment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 231-259, December.
  4. Kenneth L. Judd, 1997. "The Optimal Tax Rate for Capital Income is Negative," NBER Working Papers 6004, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Jaime Alonso-Carrera & Jordi Caballé & Xavier Raurich, 2004. "Consumption Externalities, Habit Formation and Equilibrium Efficiency," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 106(2), pages 231-251, 06.
  6. Lahiri, Amartya & Puhakka, Mikko, 1998. "Habit Persistence in Overlapping Generations Economies under Pure Exchange," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 176-186, January.
  7. Rogerson, Richard, 1988. "Indivisible labor, lotteries and equilibrium," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 3-16, January.
  8. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
  9. Aiyagari, S Rao, 1995. "Optimal Capital Income Taxation with Incomplete Markets, Borrowing Constraints, and Constant Discounting," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(6), pages 1158-1175, December.
  10. Gali, Jordi, 1994. "Keeping Up with the Joneses: Consumption Externalities, Portfolio Choice, and Asset Prices," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 26(1), pages 1-8, February.
  11. Correia, Isabel H., 1996. "Should capital income be taxed in the steady state?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 147-151, April.
  12. Guo, Jang-Ting & Lansing, Kevin J., 1999. "Optimal taxation of capital income with imperfectly competitive product markets," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 23(7), pages 967-995, June.
  13. Bill Dupor & Wen-Fang Liu, 2003. "Jealousy and Equilibrium Overconsumption," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 423-428, March.
  14. Jaime Alonso-Carrera & Jordi Caball?Author-Email: jordi.caballe@uab.es & Xavier Raurich, 2001. "Income Taxation with Habit Formation and Consumption Externalities," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 496.01, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  15. Harald Uhlig & Lars Ljungqvist, 2000. "Tax Policy and Aggregate Demand Management under Catching Up with the Joneses," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 356-366, June.
  16. Abel, Andrew B., 1999. "Risk premia and term premia in general equilibrium," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 3-33, February.
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