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A dynamic model of shirking and unemployment: Private saving, public debt, and optimal taxation

  • Brecher, Richard A.
  • Chen, Zhiqi
  • Choudhri, Ehsan U.

This paper introduces private saving and public debt into the shirking-unemployment model of Shapiro and Stiglitz (1984), while relaxing their exclusive focus on steady states. After generalizing their no-shirking constraint to accommodate asset accumulation, and demonstrating that the resulting economy's equilibrium is saddle-path stable, we use our dynamic model to obtain significant departures from the Shapiro-Stiglitz prescriptions for optimal policy. Most notably, wage income should be taxed (not subsidized) in the long run if the labor market is sufficiently distorted. Furthermore, interest income should be (exhaustively) taxed only during an initial interval of time, as in Chamley's (1986) full-employment model.

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

Volume (Year): 34 (2010)
Issue (Month): 8 (August)
Pages: 1392-1402

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Handle: RePEc:eee:dyncon:v:34:y:2010:i:8:p:1392-1402
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jedc

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  1. Chamley, Christophe, 1986. "Optimal Taxation of Capital Income in General Equilibrium with Infinite Lives," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 607-22, May.
  2. David Domeij, 2005. "Optimal Capital Taxation and Labor Market Search," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 8(3), pages 623-650, July.
  3. Andolfatto, David, 1996. "Business Cycles and Labor-Market Search," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 112-32, March.
  4. repec:car:carecp:00-01 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-44, June.
  6. David M. Arseneau & Sanjay K. Chugh, 2006. "Ramsey meets Hosios: the optimal capital tax and labor market efficiency," International Finance Discussion Papers 870, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  7. Stefania Albanesi & Roc Armenter, 2007. "Intertemporal Distortions in the Second best," NBER Working Papers 13629, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe, 1998. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy," Staff Report 251, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  9. Judd, Kenneth L., 1985. "Redistributive taxation in a simple perfect foresight model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 59-83, October.
  10. Merz, Monika, 1995. "Search in the labor market and the real business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 269-300, November.
  11. Michelle Alexopoulos, 2003. "Growth and unemployment in a shirking efficiency wage model," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 36(3), pages 728-746, August.
  12. Atkinson, Anthony B & Stern, N H, 1974. "Pigou, Taxation and Public Goods," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(1), pages 119-28, January.
  13. Kimball, Miles S, 1994. "Labor-Market Dynamics When Unemployment is a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 1045-59, September.
  14. Christophe Chamley, 1980. "Optimal Intertemporal Taxation and the Public Debt," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 554, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  15. Michelle Alexopoulos, 2006. "Shirking in a monetary business cycle model," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 39(3), pages 689-718, August.
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