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Public policies as specification errors

Author

Listed:
  • Casey B. Mulligan

    (University of Chicago)

Abstract

Treating public policies as computable dynamic general equilibrium model specification errors offers computational and conceptional advantages for comparing models with data. By calculating the set of policies that rationalize observed behavior, the substantive economic question then becomes whether, in any particular market, actual public policies sufficiently coincide with the model's behavior­rationalizing policy, or whether the model offers correct hypotheses about the determinants of demand and supply. As illustrations, public policies are calculated to rationalize, with respect to the stochastic neoclassical growth model, capital market behavior since WWII and labor market behavior 1929-50. One conclusion is that capital taxation drives a wedge between consumption growth and the expected pre-tax capital return, in the direction and amount predicted by the theory, and that capital taxation is the major intertemporal distortion in the postwar capital market. Second, a good theory of the Great Depression labor market must explain why measured MRS and MPL diverged so dramatically 1929-33 and why the wedge persisted. (Copyright: Elsevier)

Suggested Citation

  • Casey B. Mulligan, 2005. "Public policies as specification errors," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 8(4), pages 902-926, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:issued:v:8:y:2005:i:4:p:902-926
    DOI: 10.1016/j.red.2005.01.014
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Juan C. Conesa & Timothy J. Kehoe, 2017. "Productivity, taxes, and hours worked in Spain: 1970–2015," SERIEs: Journal of the Spanish Economic Association, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 8(3), pages 201-223, August.
    2. Amartya Lahiri & Kei-Mu Yi, 2009. "A Tale of Two States: Maharashtra and West Bengal," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 12(3), pages 523-542, July.
    3. Lu, Shu-Shiuan, 2013. "The role of capital market efficiency in long-term growth: A quantitative exploration," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 161-174.
    4. Shu-Shiuan Lu, 2012. "East Asian growth experience revisited from the perspective of a neoclassical model," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 15(3), pages 359-376, July.
    5. Ohanian, Lee E., 2009. "What - or who - started the great depression?," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(6), pages 2310-2335, November.
    6. John Bailey Jones & Sohini Sahu, 2017. "Transition accounting for India in a multi-sector dynamic general equilibrium model," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, vol. 50(4), pages 299-339, November.
    7. Casey B. Mulligan, 2013. "Uncertainty, Redistribution, and the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 19553, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Casey B. Mulligan, 2011. "Rising Labor Productivity during the 2008-9 Recession," NBER Working Papers 17584, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Hansen, G.D. & Ohanian, L.E., 2016. "Neoclassical Models in Macroeconomics," Handbook of Macroeconomics, Elsevier.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Computable dynamic general equilibrium models; Market distortions; Taxes;

    JEL classification:

    • H30 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - General
    • C68 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Computable General Equilibrium Models
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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