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The Transitory VAT Cut in the UK: A Dynamic General Equilibrium Analysis

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  • Gonzalo Fernandez-de-Cordoba
  • Jose L Torres

Abstract

This paper studies the macroeconomic effects of the transitory Value Added Tax (VAT) cut in the UK using a dynamic general equilibrium approach. The temporary VAT cut policy was announced on 24 November 2008, and was due to come into effect on 1 December 2008, with VAT reverting to its previous level as from 1 January 2010. We quantify the effects of that temporary fiscal stimulus policy on the key aggregate variables of the UK economy and on tax revenues. Overall, we obtain that this policy is too temporary to have important quantitative effects on the economy but qualitative effects are of great interest. We show that the temporary VAT cut will generate an overshooting effect on key macroeconomic variables, and will provoke a significant reduction in investment. Consumption and output will increase during the VAT cut, but they will decrease below their steady state values after VAT reverts to the previous level. Our model economy also predicts that fiscal revenues will decrease about three per cent during the VAT cut. Finally, we find that the VAT cut policy would have provided better results if it had been announced earlier.

Suggested Citation

  • Gonzalo Fernandez-de-Cordoba & Jose L Torres, 2011. "The Transitory VAT Cut in the UK: A Dynamic General Equilibrium Analysis," Economic Issues Journal Articles, Economic Issues, vol. 16(1), pages 1-18, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eis:articl:111afernandez
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    1. Thomas F. Crossley & Hamish Low & Matthew Wakefield, 2009. "The Economics of a Temporary VAT Cut," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 30(1), pages 3-16, March.
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    5. Barro, Robert J, 1990. "Government Spending in a Simple Model of Endogenous Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 103-126, October.
    6. Ray Barrell & Martin Weale, 2009. "The Economics of a Reduction in VAT," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 30(1), pages 17-30, March.
    7. Glomm, Gerhard & Ravikumar, B., 1994. "Public investment in infrastructure in a simple growth model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 18(6), pages 1173-1187, November.
    8. Baxter, Marianne & King, Robert G, 1993. "Fiscal Policy in General Equilibrium," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(3), pages 315-334, June.
    9. Richard Blundell, 2009. "Assessing the Temporary VAT Cut Policy in the UK," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 30(1), pages 31-38, March.
    10. Ray Barrell & Tatiana Fic & Iana Liadze, 2009. "Fiscal Policy Effectiveness in the Banking Crisis," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 207(1), pages 43-50, January.
    11. repec:nsr:niesrd:325 is not listed on IDEAS
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