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Anticipated tax reforms and temporary tax cuts: A general equilibrium analysis

  • Strulik, Holger
  • Trimborn, Timo

Macroeconomic studies of tax policy in dynamic general equilibrium usually assume that reforms hit the economy unexpectedly and last forever. Here, we explore how previous results change when we allow policy changes to be pre-announced and of finite duration and when these facts are anticipated by households and firms. Quantitatively we demonstrate a headstart advantage from pre-announcement that is never caught up by a surprising reform. The welfare gain stemming from a 5-year announcement phase of a corporate tax cut, for example, is estimated to be around 10 percent of the total gain from the reform. We show that impulse responses of important variables like firm value, dividends, and investment differ qualitatively depending on whether the reform comes expected or not. We are also able to demonstrate a genuine welfare gain from temporary tax cuts. Impulse responses generated by our numerical method can be retraced by phase diagram analysis, which facilitates explanation and interpretation of the produced results.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control.

Volume (Year): 34 (2010)
Issue (Month): 10 (October)
Pages: 2141-2158

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Handle: RePEc:eee:dyncon:v:34:y:2010:i:10:p:2141-2158
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