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Should euro area countries cut taxes on labour or capital in order to boost their growth?

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  • Font, Barbara Castelletti
  • Clerc, Pierrick
  • Lemoine, Matthieu

Abstract

The large imbalances within the euro area have led to a renewed interest in tax policies that could reduce labour costs and thus improve competitiveness and growth. In this paper, we consider whether it would be more growth-enhancing for euro area countries to, instead, use capital income tax cuts. To address this issue, we focus on the open-economy dimension and make simplifying assumptions concerning the completeness of insurance markets. Using a DSGE model calibrated for France within the euro area, we show that the increase in output resulting from tax cuts on capital income would indeed be higher than the increase in output resulting from tax cuts on labour, both in the short and long run. Importantly, the strong response of output to capital income tax cuts appears to be partly explained by the particularly high level of capital income taxes in France. Moreover, such tax cuts would be less efficient if they were expected to be only temporary. Finally, we illustrate our main points through a recent fiscal package implemented in France, which combines labour and capital income tax cuts. After briefly assessing this package, we find that investment and real output would have been more strongly boosted in the medium run if this package had been focused to a larger extent on reductions in capital income taxes.

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  • Font, Barbara Castelletti & Clerc, Pierrick & Lemoine, Matthieu, 2018. "Should euro area countries cut taxes on labour or capital in order to boost their growth?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 279-288.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecmode:v:71:y:2018:i:c:p:279-288
    DOI: 10.1016/j.econmod.2017.12.019
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    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Could tax affect jobs?
      by Bruno Duarte in EUnomics on 2018-10-24 19:11:18

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    Cited by:

    1. Lemoine, Matthieu & Lindé, Jesper, 2020. "Fiscal Stimulus in Liquidity Traps: Conventional or Unconventional Policies?," CEPR Discussion Papers 15623, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Font, Barbara Castelletti & Clerc, Pierrick & Lemoine, Matthieu, 2018. "Should euro area countries cut taxes on labour or capital in order to boost their growth?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 279-288.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Fiscal reforms; Taxes; Government spending; DSGE model;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • E63 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Comparative or Joint Analysis of Fiscal and Monetary Policy; Stabilization; Treasury Policy
    • F42 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - International Policy Coordination and Transmission

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