IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/bge/wpaper/234.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Stabilization versus insurance: welfare effects of procyclical taxation under incomplete markets

Author

Listed:
  • James S. Costain
  • Michael Reiter

Abstract

We construct and calibrate a general equilibrium business cycle model with unemployment and precautionary saving. We compute the cost of business cycles and locate the optimum in a set of simple cyclical fiscal policies. Our economy exhibits productivity shocks, giving firms an incentive to hire more when productivity is high. However, business cycles make workers' income riskier, both by increasing the unconditional probability of unusually long unemployment spells, and by making wages more variable, and therefore they decrease social welfare by around one-fourth or one-third of 1% of consumption. Optimal fiscal policy offsets the cycle, holding unemployment benefits constant but varying the tax rate procyclically to smooth hiring. By running a deficit of 4% to 5% of output in recessions, the government eliminates half the variation in the unemployment rate, most of the variation in workers' aggregate consumption, and most of the welfare cost of business cycles.

Suggested Citation

  • James S. Costain & Michael Reiter, 2004. "Stabilization versus insurance: welfare effects of procyclical taxation under incomplete markets," Working Papers 234, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:234
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.barcelonagse.eu/sites/default/files/working_paper_pdfs/234.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. tom krebs, 2004. "welfare cost of business cycles when markets are incomplete," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 283, Econometric Society.
    2. Barro, Robert J, 1979. "On the Determination of the Public Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 940-971, October.
    3. Robert Shimer, 2005. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 25-49, March.
    4. Costain, James S. & Reiter, Michael, 2008. "Business cycles, unemployment insurance, and the calibration of matching models," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 1120-1155, April.
    5. Schmitt-Grohe, Stephanie & Uribe, Martin, 2004. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy under imperfect competition," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 183-209, June.
    6. Andrew Atkeson & Christopher Phelan, 1994. "Reconsidering the Costs of Business Cycles with Incomplete Markets," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1994, Volume 9, pages 187-218 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Gomes, Joao & Greenwood, Jeremy & Rebelo, Sergio, 2001. "Equilibrium unemployment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 109-152, August.
    8. Tom Krebs, 2007. "Job Displacement Risk and the Cost of Business Cycles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 664-686, June.
    9. S. Rao Aiyagari & Albert Marcet & Thomas J. Sargent & Juha Seppala, 2002. "Optimal Taxation without State-Contingent Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(6), pages 1220-1254, December.
    10. Tom Krebs, 2003. "Growth and Welfare Effects of Business Cycles in Economies with Idiosyncratic Human Capital Risk," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 6(4), pages 846-868, October.
    11. Greenwood, Jeremy & Huffman, Gregory W., 1991. "Tax analysis in a real-business-cycle model : On measuring Harberger triangles and Okun gaps," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 167-190, April.
    12. Storesletten, Kjetil & Telmer, Chris I. & Yaron, Amir, 2001. "The welfare cost of business cycles revisited: Finite lives and cyclical variation in idiosyncratic risk," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(7), pages 1311-1339.
    13. Robert Shimer, 2004. "The Consequences of Rigid Wages in Search Models," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(2-3), pages 469-479, 04/05.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Andersen, Torben M. & Svarer, Michael, 2009. "Business cycle dependent unemployment insurance," Kiel Working Papers 1498, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    2. Philip Jung & Keith Kuester, 2008. "The (un)importance of unemployment fluctuations for welfare," Working Papers 08-31, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, revised 29 Apr 2009.
    3. Leena Rudanko, 2011. "Aggregate and Idiosyncratic Risk in a Frictional Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(6), pages 2823-2843, October.
    4. Eerola, Essi & Määttänen, Niku, 2015. "Matching and credit frictions in the housing market," Research Discussion Papers 20/2015, Bank of Finland.
    5. Singh, Aarti, 2010. "Human capital risk in life-cycle economies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(6), pages 729-738, September.
    6. Alisdair McKay & Tamas Papp, 2011. "Accounting for Idiosyncratic Wage Risk Over the Business Cycle," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2011-028, Boston University - Department of Economics.
    7. Miguel Casares & Antonio Moreno & Jesús Vázquez, 2012. "Wage stickiness and unemployment fluctuations: an alternative approach," SERIEs: Journal of the Spanish Economic Association, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 395-422, September.
    8. repec:eee:ecmode:v:67:y:2017:i:c:p:125-135 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Moyen, Stéphane & Stähler, Nikolai, 2009. "Unemployment insurance and the business cycle: prolong benefit entitlements in bad times?," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2009,30, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    10. Nils Gornemann & Keith Kuester & Makoto Nakajima, 2012. "Monetary policy with heterogeneous agents," Working Papers 12-21, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    11. Per Krusell & Toshihiko Mukoyama & Ayşegül Şahin, 2010. "Labour-Market Matching with Precautionary Savings and Aggregate Fluctuations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(4), pages 1477-1507.
    12. repec:bof:bofrdp:urn:nbn:fi:bof-201510061415 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Mauro F Roca, 2009. "Search in the Labor Market under Imperfectly Insurable Income Risk," IMF Working Papers 09/188, International Monetary Fund.
    14. Mark Strøm Kristoffersen, 2012. "Business Cycle Dependent Unemployment Benefits with Wealth Heterogeneity and Precautionary Savings," Economics Working Papers 2012-19, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
    15. Eerola, Essi & Määttänen, Niku, 2013. "Matching in the housing market with risk aversion and savings," ETLA Working Papers 3, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
    16. Carl Walsh, 2007. "Inflation Targeting and the Role of Real Objectives," Research and Policy Notes 2007/02, Czech National Bank, Research Department.
    17. Moyen, Stéphane & Stähler, Nikolai, 2014. "Unemployment Insurance And The Business Cycle: Should Benefit Entitlement Duration React To The Cycle?," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 18(03), pages 497-525, April.
    18. Tom Krebs & Martin Scheffel, 2013. "Macroeconomic Evaluation of Labor Market Reform in Germany," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 61(4), pages 664-701, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    real business cycles; Matching; precautionary saving; Unemployment Insurance; fiscal policy; incomplete markets; heterogeneity; computation;

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • E63 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Comparative or Joint Analysis of Fiscal and Monetary Policy; Stabilization; Treasury Policy
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:234. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Bruno Guallar). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/bargses.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.