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Taxes and stabilization in contemporary macroeconomic models

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  • Kenneth Kletzer

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Abstract

The role of proportional and procyclic labor income taxes for automatic stabilization with stochastic productivity is analyzed in a contemporary macroeconomic model based on imperfect competition. The importance of short-run nominal wage rigidity for the effectiveness of progressive taxes on labor income for stabilizing output and raising household welfare is examined in a model that yields complete analytical solutions with stochastic output shocks. Increasing the procyclicity of labor income tax rates raises welfare with and without rigid nominal wages in the model economy. With fully flexible prices and wages, a positive covariance between the distortionary tax rate and productivity reduces the volatility of production and employment. This effect disappears under nominal wage rigidity, although progressive taxation can still raise welfare by reducing the distortion caused by a proportional labor tax. With rigid nominal wages and flexible consumer goods prices, payroll taxes levied at rates that rise with output can serve as automatic stabilizers. Copyright Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2006

Suggested Citation

  • Kenneth Kletzer, 2006. "Taxes and stabilization in contemporary macroeconomic models," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 13(4), pages 351-371, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:itaxpf:v:13:y:2006:i:4:p:351-371 DOI: 10.1007/s10797-006-9178-2
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kletzer, Kenneth & von Hagen, Jürgen, 2000. "Monetary Union and Fiscal Federalism," CEPR Discussion Papers 2615, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Kleven, Henrik Jacobsen & Kreiner, Claus Thustrup, 2003. "The role of taxes as automatic destabilizers in New Keynesian economics," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(5-6), pages 1123-1136, May.
    3. David Bowman & Brian M. Doyle, 2003. "New Keynesian, open-economy models and their implications for monetary policy," International Finance Discussion Papers 762, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    4. Barro, Robert J, 1979. "On the Determination of the Public Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 940-971, October.
    5. Obstfeld, Maurice & Rogoff, Kenneth, 2000. "New directions for stochastic open economy models," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 117-153, February.
    6. Kenneth L. Judd, 2002. "Capital-Income Taxation with Imperfect Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 417-421, May.
    7. Agell, Jonas & Dillen, Mats, 1994. "Macroeconomic externalities : Are Pigouvian taxes the answer?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 111-126, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Moldovan, Ioana R., 2010. "Countercyclical taxes in a monopolistically competitive environment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(5), pages 692-717, July.
    2. Ioana Moldovan, 2008. "Countercyclical Fiscal Policy and Cyclical Factor Utilization," Working Papers 2008_15, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.

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