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The state-dependent effects of tax shocks

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  • Sims, Eric
  • Wolff, Jonathan

Abstract

This paper studies the state-dependent effects of shocks to tax rates. We begin with a stylized model in which clean analytical expressions are available. The model predicts that a tax rate cut is most stimulative for output in periods in which output is relatively high. The model is also used to discuss some conceptual issues related to the construction of tax multipliers. We then consider a medium-scale DSGE model with tax rates on labor and capital income and on consumption. The model is solved via a third order perturbation. Consonant with the intuition from the analytical model, tax multipliers for all three types of tax rates vary significantly across states, and are most stimulative for output in states in which output is high. To evaluate the normative desirability of tax cuts as a tool to combat recessions, we also study the properties of the tax cut welfare multiplier, which measures the change in aggregate welfare conditional on a tax rate change. In contrast to output multipliers, welfare multipliers are found to be countercyclical. A number of extensions and modifications are considered and our conclusions are generally robust.

Suggested Citation

  • Sims, Eric & Wolff, Jonathan, 2018. "The state-dependent effects of tax shocks," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 57-85.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:107:y:2018:i:c:p:57-85
    DOI: 10.1016/j.euroecorev.2018.05.002
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    1. K. Peren Arin & Emin Gahramanov & Tolga Omay & Mehmet A. Ulubasoglu, 2019. "A tale of two taxes: State-dependency of tax policy," CAMA Working Papers 2019-68, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
    2. U. Devrim Demirel, 2020. "Labor Market Effects of Tax Changes in Times of High and Low Unemployment: Working Paper 2020-05," Working Papers 56522, Congressional Budget Office.
    3. Efrem Castelnuovo & Guay Lim, 2019. "What Do We Know About the Macroeconomic Effects of Fiscal Policy? A Brief Survey of the Literature on Fiscal Multipliers," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 52(1), pages 78-93, March.
    4. Fotiou, Alexandra & Shen, Wenyi & Yang, Shu-Chun S., 2020. "The fiscal state-dependent effects of capital income tax cuts," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 117(C).
    5. Valerie A. Ramey, 2019. "Ten Years after the Financial Crisis: What Have We Learned from the Renaissance in Fiscal Research?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 33(2), pages 89-114, Spring.
    6. Dennis Bonam & Paul Konietschke, 2020. "Tax multipliers across the business cycle," DNB Working Papers 699, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    7. Ohad Raveh, 2016. "Monetary Policy, Fisal Federalism, and Capital Intensity," OxCarre Working Papers 181, Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford.
    8. Bossie, Andrew, 2020. "The asymmetric response of the economy to tax changes before and after 1980," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 51(C).
    9. Anh D.M.Nguyen & Luisanna Onnis & Raffaele Rossi, 2016. "The Macroeconomic Effects of Income and Consumption Tax Changes," Centre for Growth and Business Cycle Research Discussion Paper Series 227, Economics, The Univeristy of Manchester.
    10. Biolsi, Christopher, 2017. "Nonlinear effects of fiscal policy over the business cycle," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 54-87.
    11. Sangyup Choi & Junhyeok Shin, 2020. "Household Indebtedness and the Macroeconomic Effects of Tax Changes," Working papers 2020rwp-178, Yonsei University, Yonsei Economics Research Institute.
    12. Aursland, Thor Andreas & Frankovic, Ivan & Kanik, Birol & Saxegaard, Magnus, 2020. "State-dependent fiscal multipliers in NORA - A DSGE model for fiscal policy analysis in Norway," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 321-353.
    13. Anthony M. Diercks & William Waller, 2017. "Taxes and the Fed : Theory and Evidence from Equities," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2017-104, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Fiscal policy; Tax policy; Business cycle; Welfare;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E30 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • E60 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy

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