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Experimental tests of Ricardian equivalence with distortionary versus nondistortionary taxes

Author

Listed:
  • Artidiatun Adji

    () (Universitas Gadjah Mada, Yogyakarta, Indonesia)

  • James Alm

    () (Georgia State University)

  • Paul J. Ferraro

    () (Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA USA)

Abstract

Previous experimental work has examined the effects of relaxing some assumptions upon which Ricardian equivalence is based. Notably, however, the impact of distortionary taxation on Ricardian equivalence has not been investigated. This paper tests the effects of distortionary versus nondistortionary taxation. Distortionary taxes are introduced in some settings by levying a “tax” on savings, so that one unit of savings does not lead to one unit of future consumption. We find that, in the presence of nondistorting (e.g., lumpsum) taxes, there is strong evidence that subjects behave according to the predictions of Ricardian equivalence; that is, an increase in debt on one generation leads to an increase in bequests to the future generation by an equal amount. However, in the presence of distorting taxes, consumption is not equalized across periods, and the predicted Ricardian equality between the change in bequests and the change in debt is not attained.

Suggested Citation

  • Artidiatun Adji & James Alm & Paul J. Ferraro, 2009. "Experimental tests of Ricardian equivalence with distortionary versus nondistortionary taxes," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 29(4), pages 2556-2572.
  • Handle: RePEc:ebl:ecbull:eb-09-00448
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Hayo, Bernd & Neumeier, Florian, 2017. "The (In)validity of the Ricardian equivalence theorem–findings from a representative German population survey," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 162-174.
    2. Meissner, Thomas & Rostam-Afschar, Davud, 2017. "Learning Ricardian Equivalence," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 273-288.
    3. Geiger, Martin & Luhan, Wolfgang J. & Scharler, Johann, 2016. "When do fiscal consolidations lead to consumption booms? Lessons from a laboratory experiment," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 1-20.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Ricardian equivalence; taxation; experimental economics;

    JEL classification:

    • H3 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents
    • C9 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments

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