Optimal government spending with labor market frictions
We study optimal government spending in a business cycle model with labor income taxes and unemployment due to hiring costs. Labor market frictions raise the optimal steady state ratio of government spending to private consumption. The labor tax rate is higher since profits are taxed that arise from employed workers which save hirings costs. For calibrated examples, the quantitative effect of labor market frictions on optimal fiscal policy is small. In the short run, optimal policy involves a strongly procyclical reaction of the tax rate to technology and preference shocks, while the ratio of public to private spending is close to flat. This ratio is, however, markedly countercyclical if taxes are constrained to be constant over the cycle.
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