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The Laffer Curve in an Incomplete-Market Economy


  • Fève, P.
  • Matheron, J.
  • Sahuc,J-G.


This paper investigates the characteristics of the Laffer curve in a neoclassical growth model of the US economy with incomplete markets and heterogeneous agents. The shape of the Laffer curve changes depending on which of transfers or government debt are varied to balance the government budget constraint. While the Laffer curve has the traditional shape when transfers vary, it looks like a horizontal S when debt varies. In this case, fiscal revenues can be associated with up to three different levels of taxation. This finding occurs because the tax rates change non-monotonically with public debt when markets are incomplete.

Suggested Citation

  • Fève, P. & Matheron, J. & Sahuc,J-G., 2013. "The Laffer Curve in an Incomplete-Market Economy," Working papers 438, Banque de France.
  • Handle: RePEc:bfr:banfra:438

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Juraj Gazda & Viliam Kováč & Peter Tóth & Peter Drotár & Vladimír Gazda, 2017. "Tax optimization in an agent-based model of real-time spectrum secondary market," Telecommunication Systems: Modelling, Analysis, Design and Management, Springer, vol. 64(3), pages 543-558, March.
    2. Shuhei Takahashi & Tomoyuki Nakajima, 2016. "Consumption Taxes and Divisibility of Labor under Incomplete Markets," 2016 Meeting Papers 797, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    3. Christine Ma & Chung Tran, 2016. "Fiscal Space under Demographic Shift," ANU Working Papers in Economics and Econometrics 2016-642, Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics.
    4. Tomoyuki Nakajima & Shuhei Takahashi, 2016. "The Effectiveness of Consumption Taxes and Transfers as Insurance against Idiosyncratic Risk," KIER Working Papers 933, Kyoto University, Institute of Economic Research.
    5. F Guedes de Oliveira & L Costa, 2015. "The VAT Laffer Curve and the Business Cycle in the EU27: An Empirical Approach," Economic Issues Journal Articles, Economic Issues, vol. 20(2), pages 29-43, September.
    6. Holter, Hans A. & Krueger, Dirk & Stepanchuk, Serhiy, 2014. "How does tax progressivity and household heterogeneity affect Laffer curves?," CFS Working Paper Series 490, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
    7. Guner, Nezih & Lopez-Daneri, Martin & Ventura, Gustavo, 2016. "Heterogeneity and Government revenues: Higher taxes at the top?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 69-85.
    8. B. Campagne & A. Poissonnier, 2016. "Laffer curves and fiscal multipliers: lessons from Mélèze model," Documents de Travail de la DESE - Working Papers of the DESE g2016-06, Institut National de la Statistique et des Etudes Economiques, DESE.

    More about this item


    Laffer Curve; Incomplete Markets; Labor Supply; Precautionary Savings; Public Debt.;

    JEL classification:

    • E0 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General
    • E60 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General

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