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Tax reform in Japan: Is it welfare-enhancing?

Author

Listed:
  • Choi, Yoonseok
  • Hirata, Hideaki
  • Kim, Sunghyun Henry

Abstract

The ongoing tax reform in Japan, particularly a corporate income tax cut financed by an increase in consumption tax, is expected to bring positive effects on investment and output. However, the overall effects on government fiscal balance and welfare can be ambiguous, depending on the dynamic responses of macroeconomic variables to changes in tax rates. This paper aims to provide quantitative forecasts of Japanese tax reform on welfare and fiscal balance using a small open two-sector dynamic general equilibrium model calibrated to the Japanese economy. The simulation results show that under conditions of unrestricted international borrowing and no consumption habit, a corporate income tax cut of 5% financed by an increase in consumption tax improves welfare by 0.53%. However, the positive effects of corporate income tax cuts decrease when international borrowing becomes limited or consumers show habit formation. In addition, we show that a corporate income tax cut in the tradable sector generates better welfare and fiscal consequences than a tax cut in the nontradable sector.

Suggested Citation

  • Choi, Yoonseok & Hirata, Hideaki & Kim, Sunghyun Henry, 2017. "Tax reform in Japan: Is it welfare-enhancing?," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 12-22.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:japwor:v:42:y:2017:i:c:p:12-22
    DOI: 10.1016/j.japwor.2017.07.002
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Keywords

    Corporate income tax; Japan; Dynamic scoring; Revenue neutral; Tax reform;

    JEL classification:

    • E6 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook

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