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Nonlinear Effects of Taxation on Growth

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  • Nir Jaimovich
  • Sergio Rebelo

Abstract

We propose a model consistent with two observations. First, the tax rates adopted by different countries are generally uncorrelated with their growth performance. Second, countries that drastically reduce private incentives to invest severely hurt their growth performance. In our model, the effects of taxation on growth are highly nonlinear. Low tax rates have a very small impact on long-run growth rates. But as tax rates rise, their negative impact on growth rises dramatically. The median voter chooses tax rates that have a small impact on growth prospects, making the relation between tax rates and economic growth difficult to measure empirically.

Suggested Citation

  • Nir Jaimovich & Sergio Rebelo, 2017. "Nonlinear Effects of Taxation on Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 125(1), pages 265-291.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:doi:10.1086/689607
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    Cited by:

    1. Du Rietz, Gunnar & Johansson, Dan & Stenkula, Mikael, 2013. "Swedish Labor Income Taxation (1862–2013)," Working Paper Series 977, Research Institute of Industrial Economics, revised 10 Sep 2015.
    2. Jonathan D. Ostry & Andrew Berg & Charalambos G. Tsangarides, 2014. "Redistribución, desigualdad y crecimiento," Revista de Economía Institucional, Universidad Externado de Colombia - Facultad de Economía, vol. 16(30), pages 53-81, January-J.
    3. 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.
    4. Andrew Phiri, 2016. "The Growth Trade-off between Direct and Indirect Taxes in South Africa: Evidence from a STR Model," Managing Global Transitions, University of Primorska, Faculty of Management Koper, vol. 14(3 (Fall)), pages 233-250.
    5. Chernov, Mikhail & Schmid, Lukas & Schneider, Andres, 2016. "A Macrofinance View of U.S. Sovereign CDS Premiums," CEPR Discussion Papers 11576, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Claudio Borio & Marco Jacopo Lombardi & Fabrizio Zampolli, 2016. "Fiscal sustainability and the financial cycle," BIS Working Papers 552, Bank for International Settlements.
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    8. Novales, Alfonso & Pérez, Rafaela & Ruiz, Jesús, 2014. "Optimal time-consistent fiscal policy in an endogenous growth economy with public consumption and capital," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 104-117.
    9. Alex Bell & Raj Chetty & Xavier Jaravel & Neviana Petkova & John Van Reenen, 2017. "Who Becomes an Inventor in America? The Importance of Exposure to Innovation," CEP Discussion Papers dp1519, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    10. 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.
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    12. repec:kap:jecgro:v:23:y:2018:i:3:d:10.1007_s10887-017-9150-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Gilbert Mbaraa & Ryszard Kokoszczyński, 2018. "Corporate governance, tax evasion and business cycles," Working Papers 2018-10, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.
    14. repec:kap:jeczfn:v:123:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s00712-017-0549-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. José Alves, 2018. "A DSGE Model to Evaluate the Macroeconomic Impacts of Taxation," Working Papers REM 2018/62, ISEG - Lisbon School of Economics and Management, REM, Universidade de Lisboa.
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    17. Mino, Kazuo, 2015. "A simple model of endogenous growth with financial frictions and firm heterogeneity," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 20-23.
    18. repec:eee:moneco:v:94:y:2018:i:c:p:79-93 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. repec:liu:liucej:v:14:y:2017:i:2:p:265-301 is not listed on IDEAS
    20. Giampaolo Arachi & Valeria Bucci & Alessandra Casarico, 2015. "Tax structure and macroeconomic performance," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 22(4), pages 635-662, August.
    21. Arawatari, Ryo & Hori, Takeo & Mino, Kazuo, 2018. "On the nonlinear relationship between inflation and growth: A theoretical exposition," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 79-93.
    22. Croce, Mariano Massimiliano & Nguyen, Thiên Tung & Raymond, Steve & Schmid, Lukas, 2018. "Government Debt and the Returns to Innovation," CEPR Discussion Papers 12617, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    23. Bishnu, Monisankar & Ghate, Chetan & Gopalakrishnan, Pawan, 2016. "Factor income taxation, growth, and investment specific technological change," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 133-152.
    24. repec:eee:reecon:v:71:y:2017:i:3:p:373-383 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • O4 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity

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