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Tax multipliers: Pitfalls in measurement and identification

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  • Riera-Crichton, Daniel
  • Vegh, Carlos A.
  • Vuletin, Guillermo

Abstract

To analyze the pitfalls in measuring and identifying tax shocks, we build a novel value-added tax rate dataset for the period 1980–2009. The problem of identification (i.e., changes in tax policy not triggered by output fluctuations) is clearly disentangled from the problem of measurement (i.e., finding a tax policy variable under the direct control of policymakers). On the identification front, our results favor the use of narratives à la Romer and Romer (2010). On the measurement front, our findings support the use of tax rates as the true measure of tax policy as opposed to revenue-based measures, such as cyclically adjusted revenues.

Suggested Citation

  • Riera-Crichton, Daniel & Vegh, Carlos A. & Vuletin, Guillermo, 2016. "Tax multipliers: Pitfalls in measurement and identification," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 30-48.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:moneco:v:79:y:2016:i:c:p:30-48
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jmoneco.2016.03.003
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    Cited by:

    1. Giuseppe Bertola & John Driffill & Harold James & Hans-Werner Sinn & Jan-Egbert Sturm & Ákos Valentinyi, 2014. "Chapter 3: Austerity: Hurting but Helping," EEAG Report on the European Economy, CESifo Group Munich, vol. 0, pages 75-90, February.
    2. Julia Ruiz Pozuelo & Amy Slipowitz & Guillermo Vuletin, 2016. "Democracy Does Not Cause Growth: The Importance of Endogeneity Arguments," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 95018, Inter-American Development Bank.
    3. Julia Ruiz Pozuelo & Amy Slipowitz & Guillermo Vuletin, 2016. "Democracy Does Not Cause Growth: The Importance of Endogeneity Arguments," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 7758, Inter-American Development Bank.
    4. Checherita-Westphal, Cristina & Klemm, Alexander & Viefers, Paul, 2016. "Governments’ payment discipline: The macroeconomic impact of public payment delays and arrears," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 47(PB), pages 147-165.
    5. Mertens, Karel, 2018. "The Near Term Growth Impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act," Working Papers 1803, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
    6. Jorge Puig, 2014. "Multiplicador del gasto público en Argentina," Económica, Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas, Universidad Nacional de La Plata, vol. 60, pages 188-210, January-D.
    7. Hollmayr, Josef & Kuckuck, Jan, 2018. "Fiscal multipliers of central, state and local government and of the social security funds in Germany: Evidence of a SVAR," Discussion Papers 28/2018, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    8. Pablo Hernández de Cos & Enrique Moral-Benito, 2016. "Fiscal multipliers in turbulent times: the case of Spain," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 50(4), pages 1589-1625, June.
    9. Salvatore Dell'Erba & Todd D. Mattina & Agustin Roitman, 2013. "Pressure or Prudence? Tales of Market Pressure and Fiscal Adjustment," IMF Working Papers 13/170, International Monetary Fund.
    10. Serhan Cevik & Katerina Teksoz, 2014. "Deep Roots of Fiscal Behavior," Journal of Banking and Financial Economics, University of Warsaw, Faculty of Management, vol. 2(2), pages 5-33, November.
    11. Tito Cordella & Pablo M. Federico & Carlos A. Vegh & Guillermo Vuletin, 2014. "Reserve Requirements in the Brave New Macroprudential World," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 17584, December.
    12. Charles J. Whalen & Felix Reichling, 2015. "The Fiscal Multiplier And Economic Policy Analysis In The United States," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 33(4), pages 735-746, October.
    13. 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.
    14. Kleis, Mischa & Moessinger, Marc-Daniel, 2016. "The long-run effect of fiscal consolidation on economic growth: Evidence from quantitative case studies," ZEW Discussion Papers 16-047, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    15. Andrew Bossie, 2013. "The Effect of Fiscal Policy Shocks on the Flow of Funds," 2013 Papers pbo741, Job Market Papers.
    16. Daniel Riera-Crichton & Carlos A. Vegh & Guillermo Vuletin, 2017. "Tax policy and the macroeconomy: Measurement, identification, and non-linearities," Revista ESPE - Ensayos sobre Política Económica, Banco de la Republica de Colombia, vol. 35(82), pages 10-17, April.
    17. Yang, Weonho & Fidrmuc, Jan & Ghosh, Sugata, 2015. "Macroeconomic effects of fiscal adjustment: A tale of two approaches," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 31-60.
    18. Carlos A. Vegh & Guillermo Vuletin, 2014. "Social Implications of Fiscal Policy Responses During Crises," NBER Working Papers 19828, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Felix Reichling & Charles Whalen, 2015. "The Fiscal Multiplier and Economic Policy Analysis in the United States: Working Paper 2015-02," Working Papers 49925, Congressional Budget Office.
    20. Daniel Riera-Crichton & Carlos A. Vegh & Guillermo Vuletin, 2017. "Tax policy and the macroeconomy: Measurement, identification, and non-linearities," ENSAYOS SOBRE POLÍTICA ECONÓMICA, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA - ESPE, vol. 35(82), pages 10-17, April.
    21. Attinasi, Maria Grazia & Klemm, Alexander, 2016. "The growth impact of discretionary fiscal policy measures," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 265-279.
    22. Julio Escolano & Laura Jaramillo & Carlos Mulas-Granados & G. Terrier, 2014. "How Much is A Lot? Historical Evidence on the Size of Fiscal Adjustments," IMF Working Papers 14/179, International Monetary Fund.
    23. Carlos A. Vegh & Guillermo Vuletin, 2015. "How Is Tax Policy Conducted over the Business Cycle?," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 7(3), pages 327-370, August.
    24. François Geerolf & Thomas Grjebine, 2018. "Property Tax Shocks and Macroeconomics," Working Papers 2018-03, CEPII research center.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Tax multiplier; Fiscal shocks; Identification; Narrative; Cyclically adjusted revenues;

    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
    • F3 - International Economics - - International Finance
    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General

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