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Did Tax Policies mitigate US Business Cycles?

  • Jimborean, R.
  • Ferroni, F.

I study whether US Tax Policies affected economic volatility during the post World War II period. I employ a Real Business Cycle model with distorting taxation on household income and tax rules, and assume that taxes respond to the cyclical conditions of the economy. I estimate the deep parameters of the model using Bayesian techniques. My findings are; (a) fiscal policies display a strong countercyclical behavior, (b) help to reduce the cyclical and raw volatility of GDP, consumption, investment when the government can issue debt, and (c) unexpected changes in tax policies do not affect the volatility of the macroeconomic variables.

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File URL: http://www.banque-france.fr/uploads/tx_bdfdocumentstravail/DT296.pdf
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Paper provided by Banque de France in its series Working papers with number 296.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bfr:banfra:296
Contact details of provider: Postal: Banque de France 31 Rue Croix des Petits Champs LABOLOG - 49-1404 75049 PARIS
Web page: http://www.banque-france.fr/

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  1. Mendoza, Enrique G. & Razin, Assaf & Tesar, Linda L., 1994. "Effective tax rates in macroeconomics: Cross-country estimates of tax rates on factor incomes and consumption," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 297-323, December.
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  3. Fabio Canova & Filippo Ferroni, 2009. "Multiple filtering devices for the estimation of cyclical DSGE models," Economics Working Papers 1135, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Sep 2010.
  4. Fatás, Antonio & Mihov, Ilian, 2004. "The Macroeconomic Effects of Fiscal Rules in the US States," CEPR Discussion Papers 4372, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  7. Joines, Douglas H, 1981. "Estimates of Effective Marginal Tax Rates on Factor Incomes," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(2), pages 191-226, April.
  8. John Bailey Jones, 1999. "Has Fiscal Policy Helped Stabilize the Postwar U.S. Economy?," Discussion Papers 99-03, University at Albany, SUNY, Department of Economics.
  9. David B. Gordon & Eric M. Leeper, 2005. "Are Countercyclical Fiscal Policies Counterproductive?," NBER Working Papers 11869, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Alan J. Auerbach, 2003. "Fiscal Policy, Past and Present," NBER Working Papers 10023, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Smets, Frank & Wouters, Rafael, 2007. "Shocks and Frictions in US Business Cycles: A Bayesian DSGE Approach," CEPR Discussion Papers 6112, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Harvey, A C & Jaeger, A, 1993. "Detrending, Stylized Facts and the Business Cycle," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(3), pages 231-47, July-Sept.
  13. V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe & Ellen R. McGrattan, 2002. "Business cycle accounting," Working Papers 625, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  14. Roberto Perotti, 2002. "Estimating the effects of fiscal policy in OECD countries," Economics Working Papers 015, European Network of Economic Policy Research Institutes.
  15. Fabio Canova & Evi Pappa, 2003. "Price differentials in monetary unions: The role of fiscal shocks," Economics Working Papers 923, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Jun 2005.
  16. Christina D. Romer & David H. Romer, 1994. "What Ends Recessions?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1994, Volume 9, pages 13-80 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Frank Schorfheide, 2000. "Loss function-based evaluation of DSGE models," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(6), pages 645-670.
  18. Canova, Fabio & Gambetti, Luca, 2009. "Structural changes in the US economy: Is there a role for monetary policy?," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 477-490, February.
  19. DeJong, David N. & Ingram, Beth F. & Whiteman, Charles H., 2000. "A Bayesian approach to dynamic macroeconomics," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 98(2), pages 203-223, October.
  20. Sungbae An & Frank Schorfheide, 2006. "Bayesian analysis of DSGE models," Working Papers 06-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  21. Blinder, Alan S. & Solow, Robert M., 1973. "Does fiscal policy matter?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(4), pages 319-337.
  22. Christina D. Romer, 1999. "Changes in Business Cycles: Evidence and Explanations," NBER Working Papers 6948, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. McGrattan, Ellen R., 1994. "The macroeconomic effects of distortionary taxation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 573-601, June.
  24. Ferroni Filippo, 2011. "Trend Agnostic One-Step Estimation of DSGE Models," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 1-36, July.
  25. Fatás, Antonio & Mihov, Ilian, 1999. "Government Size and Automatic Stabilizers: International and Intranational Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 2259, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  26. Anton Braun, R., 1994. "Tax disturbances and real economic activity in the postwar United States," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 441-462, June.
  27. Frank Smets & Raf Wouters, 2002. "An estimated dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model of the euro area," Working Paper Research 35, National Bank of Belgium.
  28. Sungbae An & Frank Schorfheide, 2007. "Bayesian Analysis of DSGE Models—Rejoinder," Econometric Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 26(2-4), pages 211-219.
  29. Perotti, Roberto, 2002. "Estimating the effects of fiscal policy in OECD countries," Working Paper Series 0168, European Central Bank.
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