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Fiscal policies, capital formation, and capitalism

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  • Feldstein, Martin

Abstract

This lecture examines the effects of tax policy and social security retirement benefits on capital accumulation and economic welfare. The paper begins by examining how capital income taxes reduce the real return to savers and then discusses the welfare loss of capital income taxation relative to the alternatives of taxing consumption and labor income.The second part deals with social security retirement benefits. In 1994, older Americans will receive cash and medical benefits that cost the government $530 billion or $16,000 per person over 65. A final section discusses the implications of international capital flows for this analysis. As capital flows become more important, the response of government policy may be to compete for foreign capital inflows and to tax domestic savers more heavily; leading to a smaller total volume of capital. The sharp decline in the net national saving rate-from over 8% of GDP in the U.S. in the 1970s to only 4.5% in the 1980s & from over 14% of GDP in Europe in the 1970s to 9.9% in the 1980s -- may not only create lower real incomes and slower growth but may weaken capitalism itself. In the US a decade of slow growth has increased protectionist tendencies in international trade and led to a new interest in industrial policies that expand the role of the government in guiding the direction of technology of private investment. Government policies that discourage saving might make the Schumpeterian vision of a shift from private capitalism to government-dominated economy more likely
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Suggested Citation

  • Feldstein, Martin, 1995. "Fiscal policies, capital formation, and capitalism," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(3-4), pages 399-420, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:39:y:1995:i:3-4:p:399-420
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    Cited by:

    1. Ajit Singh, 1998. "Pension Reform, the Stock Market, Capital Formation and Economic Growth: A Critical Commentary on the World Bank’s Proposals," Istanbul Stock Exchange Review, Research and Business Development Department, Borsa Istanbul, vol. 2(8-7), pages 51-78.
    2. Gilles Le Garrec, 2015. "Increased longevity and social security reform: questioning the optimality of individual accounts when education matters," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 28(2), pages 329-352, April.
    3. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/eu4vqp9ompqllr09hi6860cc6 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Douglas W. Elmendorf, "undated". "The Effect of Interest-Rate Changes on Household Saving and Consumption: A Survey," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1996-27, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    5. Uhlig, Harald & Yanagawa, Noriyuki, 1996. "Increasing the capital income tax may lead to faster growth," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(8), pages 1521-1540, November.
    6. Häcker, Jasmin & Raffelhüschen, Bernd, 2005. "Internal rates of return of the German statutory long-term care insurance," FZG Discussion Papers 5, University of Freiburg, Research Center for Generational Contracts (FZG).
    7. Gilles Le Garrec & Stéphane Lhuissier, 2011. "Life expectancy, heavy work and the return to education: lessons for the social security reform," Working Papers hal-01069511, HAL.
    8. Philip R. Gerson, 1998. "The Impact of Fiscal Policy Variables on Output Growth," IMF Working Papers 98/1, International Monetary Fund.
    9. Peeters, Marga, 1999. "The Public-Private Savings Mirror and Causality Relations Among Private Savings, Investment, and (twin) Deficits: A Full Modeling Approach," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 21(5), pages 579-605, September.
    10. Qureshi, Zia, 1995. "Do we face a global"capital shortage"?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1526, The World Bank.
    11. Tausch, Arno, 2016. "‘Smart development’. An essay on a new political economy of the environment," MPRA Paper 70204, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Gilles Le Garrec & Stéphane Lhuissier, 2011. "Life expectancy, heavy work and return to education ; lessons for the social security reform," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2011-18, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
    13. Charles Yuji Horioka, 2014. "The Life and Work of Martin Stuart ("Marty") Feldstein," ISER Discussion Paper 0905r, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University, revised Mar 2015.
    14. Martin S. Feldstein, 1999. "Capital Income Taxes and the Benefit of Price Stability," NBER Chapters,in: The Costs and Benefits of Price Stability, pages 9-46 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Arno Tausch & Almas Heshmati, 2013. "Worker remittances and the global preconditions of ‘smart development’," Society and Economy, Akadémiai Kiadó, Hungary, vol. 35(1), pages 25-50, April.
    16. Arno Tausch & Almas Heshmati, 2012. "Migration, Openness and the Global Preconditions of "Smart Development"," Bogazici Journal, Review of Social, Economic and Administrative Studies, Bogazici University, Department of Economics, vol. 26(2), pages 1-62.
    17. Gilles Le Garrec, 2012. "Social security and growth in an aging economy : the case of acturial fairness," Sciences Po publications 2012-18, Sciences Po.
    18. Palle Andersen & David Gruen, 1995. "Macroeconomic Policies and Growth," RBA Annual Conference Volume,in: Palle Andersen & Jacqueline Dwyer & David Gruen (ed.), Productivity and Growth Reserve Bank of Australia.
    19. Feldstein, Martin & Liebman, Jeffrey B., 2002. "Social security," Handbook of Public Economics,in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 32, pages 2245-2324 Elsevier.
    20. Polackova, Hana, 1997. "Population aging and financing of government liabilities in New Zealand," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1703, The World Bank.
    21. Gilles Le Garrec, 2012. "Social security and growth in an aging economy : the case of acturial fairness," Working Papers hal-01070354, HAL.
    22. repec:dpr:wpaper:0905 is not listed on IDEAS
    23. Gilles Le Garrec, 2005. "Social security, inequality and growth," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2005-22, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
    24. Martin Feldstein, 2005. "Structural Reform of Social Security," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(2), pages 33-55, Spring.

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    • H00 - Public Economics - - General - - - General

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