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Tax Policy and Stability in a Model with Sector-Specific Externalities

  • Jang-Ting Guo

    (University of California, Riverside)

  • Sharon G. Harrison

    (Barnard College, Columbia University)

We show that in a two-sector real business cycle model wtih sufficiently strong investment externalities, a regressive tax policy can stabilize the economy against fluctuations driven by agents' animal spirits. By contrast, this economy with a flat or progressive tax scheme (such as that in the U.S.) is more susceptible to indeterminacy and sunspot fluctuations. In the model with an aggregate constant returns-to-scale technology or a low investment externality, we show that a regressive tax policy can destablize the economy by causing belief-driven flucutations. Moreover, depending on the size of investment externalities and the slope parameter of the tax schedule, the economy exhibits various types of endogenous fluctuations, including Hopf or saddle-node bifurcations and stochastic sunspot equilibria. (Copyright: Elsevier)

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Article provided by Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics in its journal Review of Economic Dynamics.

Volume (Year): 4 (2001)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 75-89

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Handle: RePEc:red:issued:v:4:y:2001:i:1:p:75-89
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  1. Benhabib, Jess & Farmer, Roger E.A., 1996. "Indeterminacy and Sector-Specific Externalities," Working Papers 96-12, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  2. Roger E.A. Farmer & Jang Ting Guo, 1992. "Real Business Cycles and the Animal Spirits Hypothesis," UCLA Economics Working Papers 680, UCLA Department of Economics.
  3. Weder, Mark, 2000. "Animal spirits, technology shocks and the business cycle," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 273-295, February.
  4. Perli, Roberto, 1998. "Indeterminacy, home production, and the business cycle: A calibrated analysis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 105-125, February.
  5. Bennett, R.L. & Farmer, R.E.A., 1999. "Indeterminacy with Non-Separable Utility," Economics Working Papers eco99/34, European University Institute.
  6. Harrison, Sharon & Weder, Mark, 2000. "Indeterminacy in a model with aggregate and sector-specific externalities," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 173-179, November.
  7. Benhabib, Jess & Farmer, Roger E.A., 1999. "Indeterminacy and sunspots in macroeconomics," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 6, pages 387-448 Elsevier.
  8. Benhabib, Jess & Farmer, Roger E.A., 1991. "Indeterminacy and Increasing Returns," Working Papers 91-59, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  9. Harrison, Sharon G., 2001. "Indeterminacy in a model with sector-specific externalities," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 747-764, May.
  10. Jang-Ting Guo & Kevin Lansing, 1999. "Fiscal policy, increasing returns, and endogenous fluctuations," Working Papers in Applied Economic Theory 99-08, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  11. Jang-Ting Guo & Kevin J. Lansing, 1997. "Indeterminacy and stabilization policy," Working Paper 9708, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  12. Shea, J., 1991. "Do Supply Curves Slope Up?," Working papers 9116, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  13. Schmitt-Grohe, Stephanie & Uribe, Martin, 1997. "Balanced-Budget Rules, Distortionary Taxes, and Aggregate Instability," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(5), pages 976-1000, October.
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