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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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  4. Smets, Frank & Wouters, Raf, 2007. "Shocks and frictions in US business cycles: a Bayesian DSGE approach," Working Paper Series 0722, European Central Bank.
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  8. 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.
  9. Fabio Canova & Luca Gambetti, 2003. "Structural changes in the US economy: is there a role for monetary policy?," Economics Working Papers 918, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Apr 2008.
  10. Alan J. Auerbach, 2009. "Implementing the New Fiscal Policy Activism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 543-49, May.
  11. Frank Smets & Raf Wouters, 2002. "An estimated dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model of the euro area," Working Paper Research 35, National Bank of Belgium.
  12. 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.
  13. Sungbae An & Frank Schorfheide, 2007. "Bayesian Analysis of DSGE Models—Rejoinder," Econometric Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 26(2-4), pages 211-219.
  14. 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.
  15. Christina D. Romer & David H. Romer, 2010. "The Macroeconomic Effects of Tax Changes: Estimates Based on a New Measure of Fiscal Shocks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(3), pages 763-801, June.
  16. 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.
  17. Alan J. Auerbach, 2003. "Fiscal Policy, Past and Present," NBER Working Papers 10023, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Perotti, Roberto, 2002. "Estimating the effects of fiscal policy in OECD countries," Working Paper Series 0168, European Central Bank.
  19. David B. Gordon & Eric M. Leeper, 2005. "Are Countercyclical Fiscal Policies Counterproductive?," NBER Working Papers 11869, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Fabio Canova & Filippo Ferroni, 2011. "Multiple filtering devices for the estimation of cyclical DSGE models," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 2(1), pages 73-98, 03.
  21. Blinder, Alan S. & Solow, Robert M., 1973. "Does fiscal policy matter?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(4), pages 319-337.
  22. Jones, John Bailey, 2002. "Has fiscal policy helped stabilize the postwar U.S. economy?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 709-746, May.
  23. McGrattan, Ellen R., 1994. "The macroeconomic effects of distortionary taxation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 573-601, June.
  24. Troy Davig & Eric M. Leeper, 2005. "Fluctuating Macro Policies and the Fiscal Theory," NBER Working Papers 11212, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Fabio Canova & Evi Pappa, 2007. "Price Differentials in Monetary Unions: The Role of Fiscal Shocks," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(520), pages 713-737, 04.
  26. 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.
  27. Roberto Perotti, 2002. "Estimating the effects of fiscal policy in OECD countries," Economics Working Papers 015, European Network of Economic Policy Research Institutes.
  28. 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.
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