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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. Kenneth L. Judd, 1982. "Redistributive Taxation in a Simple Perfect Foresight Model," Discussion Papers 572, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  2. 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.
  3. Christophe Chamley, 1980. "Optimal Intertemporal Taxation and the Public Debt," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 554, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  4. David M. Arseneau & Sanjay K. Chugh, 2006. "Ramsey Meets Hosios: The Optimal Capital Tax and Labor Market Efficiency," Computing in Economics and Finance 2006 222, Society for Computational Economics.
  5. Miles S. Kimball, 1989. "Labor Market Dynamics When Unemployment Is A Worker Discipline Device," NBER Working Papers 2967, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Richard A. Breche & Zhiqi Chen & Ehsan U. Choudhri, 2002. "Unemployment and Growth in the Long Run: An Efficiency-Wage Model with Optimal Savings," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 43(3), pages 875-894, August.
  7. Albanesi, Stefania & Armenter, Roc, 2007. "Intertemporal Distortions in the Second Best," CEPR Discussion Papers 6577, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. 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.
  9. V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe, 1999. "Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 6891, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Chamley, Christophe, 1986. "Optimal Taxation of Capital Income in General Equilibrium with Infinite Lives," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 607-22, May.
  11. Andolfatto, David, 1996. "Business Cycles and Labor-Market Search," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 112-32, March.
  12. Michelle Alexopoulos, 2006. "Shirking in a monetary business cycle model," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 39(3), pages 689-718, August.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
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