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Optimal Fiscal Policy in a Business Cycle Model

  • Chari, V V
  • Christiano, Lawrence J
  • Kehoe, Patrick J

This paper develops the quantitative implications of optimal fiscal policy in a business cycle model. In a stationary equilibrium, the ex ante tax rate on capital income is approximately zero. The tax rate on labor income fluctuates very little and inherits the persistence properties of the exogenous shocks; thus there is no presumption that optimal labor tax rates follow a random walk. Most of the welfare gains realized by switching from a tax system like that of the United States to the Ramsey system come from an initial period of high taxation on capital income. Copyright 1994 by University of Chicago Press.

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/261949
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Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Political Economy.

Volume (Year): 102 (1994)
Issue (Month): 4 (August)
Pages: 617-52

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:102:y:1994:i:4:p:617-52
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  1. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-70, November.
  2. Lucas, Robert Jr. & Stokey, Nancy L., 1983. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy in an economy without capital," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 55-93.
  3. Cooley, Thomas F. & Hansen, Gary D., 1992. "Tax distortions in a neoclassical monetary economy," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 290-316, December.
  4. Barro, Robert J., 1979. "On the Determination of the Public Debt," Scholarly Articles 3451400, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  5. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1990. "Supply-Side Economics: An Analytical Review," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 42(2), pages 293-316, April.
  6. V. V. Chari & Lawrence J. Christiano & Patrick J. Kehoe, 1993. "Optimal fiscal policy in a business cycle model," Staff Report 160, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  7. Pestieau, P. M., 1974. "Optimal taxation and discount rate for public investment in a growth setting," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 217-235, August.
  8. Prescott, Edward C., 1986. "Theory ahead of business-cycle measurement," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 11-44, January.
  9. A. B. Atkinson, 1971. "Capital Taxes, the Redistribution of Wealth and Individual Savings," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(2), pages 209-227.
  10. Jones, Larry E & Manuelli, Rodolfo E & Rossi, Peter E, 1993. "Optimal Taxation in Models of Endogenous Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 485-517, June.
  11. Barro, Robert J. & Sahasakul, Chaipat, 1983. "Measuring the Average Marginal Tax Rate from the Individual Income Tax," Scholarly Articles 3451293, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  12. anonymous, 1993. "Southeastern job growth will quicken in 1994," Regional Update, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, issue Oct, pages 1-4.
  13. Jones, Larry E. & Manuelli, Rodolfo E., 1995. "Growth and the effects of inflation," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 19(8), pages 1405-1428, November.
  14. Martin L. Weitzman, 1973. "Duality Theory for Infinite Horizon Convex Models," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 19(7), pages 783-789, March.
  15. Kenneth L. Judd, 1982. "Redistributive Taxation in a Simple Perfect Foresight Model," Discussion Papers 572, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  16. Christiano, Lawrence J., 1988. "Why does inventory investment fluctuate so much?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 247-280.
  17. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum, 1990. "Current real business cycle theories and aggregate labor market fluctuations," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 90, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  18. anonymous, 1993. "Florida likely to post moderate growth in 1994," Regional Update, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, issue Oct, pages 7-9.
  19. anonymous, 1993. "Georgia should lead region in growth in '94," Regional Update, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, issue Oct, pages 9-12.
  20. Atkinson, A. B. & Stiglitz, J. E., 1972. "The structure of indirect taxation and economic efficiency," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 97-119, April.
  21. Chamley, Christophe, 1986. "Optimal Taxation of Capital Income in General Equilibrium with Infinite Lives," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 607-22, May.
  22. Judd, Kenneth L., 1992. "Projection methods for solving aggregate growth models," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 410-452, December.
  23. Zhu, Xiaodong, 1992. "Optimal fiscal policy in a stochastic growth model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 250-289, December.
  24. Garnaut, Ross & Ma, Guonan, 1993. "Economic growth and stability in China," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(1), pages 5-24.
  25. Atkinson, A B & Sandmo, A, 1980. "Welfare Implications of the Taxation of Savings," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(359), pages 529-49, September.
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  1. Quantitative Macroeconomics and Real Business Cycles (QM&RBC)

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