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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.

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Paper provided by Banque de France in its series Working papers with number 438.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bfr:banfra:438
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. Feldstein, Martin, 1986. "Supply Side Economics: Old Truths and New Claims," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 26-30, May.
  2. Josep Pijoan-Mas, 2003. "Precautionary Savings Or Working Longer Hours?," Working Papers wp2003_0311, CEMFI.
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  4. Aiyagari, S Rao, 1994. "Uninsured Idiosyncratic Risk and Aggregate Saving," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(3), pages 659-84, August.
  5. Jorge Alonso-Ortiz & Richard Rogerson, 2010. "Taxes, transfers, and employment in an incomplete markets model," CQER Working Paper 2010-07, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  6. Jonathan Heathcote, 2005. "Fiscal Policy with Heterogeneous Agents and Incomplete Markets," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(1), pages 161-188.
  7. Barillas, Francisco & Fernandez-Villaverde, Jesus, 2007. "A generalization of the endogenous grid method," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(8), pages 2698-2712, August.
  8. Trabandt, Mathias & Uhlig, Harald, 2011. "The Laffer curve revisited," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(4), pages 305-327.
  9. Christopher Carroll, 2005. "The Method of Endogenous Gridpoints for Solving Dynamic Stochastic Optimization Problems," Economics Working Paper Archive 520, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
  10. Tauchen, George, 1986. "Finite state markov-chain approximations to univariate and vector autoregressions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 177-181.
  11. Edward C. Prescott, 2004. "Why do Americans work so much more than Europeans?," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Jul, pages 2-13.
  12. Aiyagari, S. Rao & McGrattan, Ellen R., 1998. "The optimum quantity of debt," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 447-469, October.
  13. 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.
  14. David Domeij & Jonathan Heathcote, 2004. "On The Distributional Effects Of Reducing Capital Taxes," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(2), pages 523-554, 05.
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