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Progressive taxation and macroeconomic (In) stability with productive government spending

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  • Chen, Shu-Hua
  • Guo, Jang-Ting

Abstract

This paper systematically examines the interrelations between a progressive income tax schedule and macroeconomic (in)stability in an otherwise standard one-sector real business model with productive government spending. We analytically show that the economy exhibits indeterminacy and sunspots if and only if the equilibrium after-tax wage-hours locus is positively sloped and steeper than the household's labor supply curve. Unlike in the framework with useless public expenditures, a less progressive tax policy may operate like an automatic stabilizer that mitigates belief-driven cyclical fluctuations. Moreover, our quantitative analysis shows that this result is able to provide a theoretically plausible explanation for the discernible reduction in US output volatility after the Tax Reform Act of 1986 was implemented.

Suggested Citation

  • Chen, Shu-Hua & Guo, Jang-Ting, 2013. "Progressive taxation and macroeconomic (In) stability with productive government spending," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 951-963.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:dyncon:v:37:y:2013:i:5:p:951-963
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jedc.2013.01.004
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Jonathan Heathcote & Kjetil Storesletten & Giovanni L. Violante, 2017. "Optimal Tax Progressivity: An Analytical Framework," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 132(4), pages 1693-1754.
    2. Juin-Jen Chang & Jang-Ting Guo & Jhy-Yuan Shieh & Wei-Neng Wang, 2015. "Sectoral Composition Of Government Spending And Macroeconomic (In)Stability," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 53(1), pages 23-33, January.
    3. Philipp Engler & Wolfgang Strehl, 2016. "The Macroeconomic Effects of Progressive Taxes and Welfare," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1626, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    4. Jang-Ting Guo & Sharon G. Harrison, 2015. "Indeterminacy with Progressive Taxation and Sector-Specific Externalities," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(2), pages 268-281, May.
    5. Jang-Ting Guo & Juin-Jen Chang & Jhy-Yuan Shieh & Wei-Neng Wang, 2017. "Sectoral Composition of Government Spending, Distortionary Income Taxation, and Macroeconomic (In)stabilit," Working Papers 201702, University of California at Riverside, Department of Economics.
    6. repec:eur:ejesjr:64 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Chen, Shu-Hua & Guo, Jang-Ting, 2014. "Progressive taxation and macroeconomic (in)stability with utility-generating government spending," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 174-183.
    8. Keinsley, Andrew, 2016. "Indexing the income tax code, monetary/fiscal interaction, and the great moderation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 1-20.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Progressive income taxation; Equilibrium (in)determinacy; Productive government spending; Business cycles;

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy

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