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Optimal Fiscal Policy with Labor Selection

Author

Listed:
  • Sanjay K. Chugh

    (Boston College)

  • Wolfgang Lechthalerz

    (Kiel Institute for the World Economy)

  • Christian Merkl

    (Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg)

Abstract

This paper characterizes long-run and short-run optimal fiscal policy in the labor selection framework. Quantitatively, the time-series volatility of the labor income tax rate is orders of magnitude larger than the "tax-smoothing" results based on Walrasian labor markets, but is a few times smaller than the results based on search and matching labor markets. To understand these results in terms of model primitives, we develop a welfare-relevant analytic concept of externalities for the selection model, which we label "tightness." This concept of tightness is the source of the decentralized economy's inefficient cross-sectional wage premia between the average newly-hired worker and the marginal newly-hired worker. Compared to the traditional concept of labor-market tightness in the search and matching literature, this new concept of tightness plays a highly similar role, and, like in the matching model, is crucial for understanding efficiency and optimal policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Sanjay K. Chugh & Wolfgang Lechthalerz & Christian Merkl, 2015. "Optimal Fiscal Policy with Labor Selection," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 884, Boston College Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:boc:bocoec:884
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Philip Jung & Keith Kuester, 2015. "Optimal Labor-Market Policy in Recessions," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(2), pages 124-156, April.
    2. Brown, Alessio & Merkl, Christian & Snower, Dennis, 2015. "An Incentive Theory Of Matching," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 19(03), pages 643-668, April.
    3. Matteo Cacciatore & Giuseppe Fiori, 2016. "The Macroeconomic Effects of Goods and Labor Marlet Deregulation," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 20, pages 1-24, April.
    4. Lechthaler, Wolfgang & Merkl, Christian & Snower, Dennis J., 2010. "Monetary persistence and the labor market: A new perspective," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 34(5), pages 968-983, May.
    5. David M. Arseneau & Ryan Chahrour & Sanjay K. Chugh & Alan Finkelstein Shapiro, 2015. "Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy in Customer Markets," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 47(4), pages 617-672, June.
    6. Sanjay K. Chugh & Christian Merkl, 2016. "Efficiency And Labor Market Dynamics In A Model Of Labor Selection," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 57, pages 1371-1404, November.
    7. Ester Faia & Wolfgang Lechthaler & Christian Merkl, 2014. "Labor Selection, Turnover Costs, and Optimal Monetary Policy," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 46(1), pages 115-144, February.
    8. Pascal Michaillat & Emmanuel Saez, 2015. "The Optimal Use of Government Purchases for Stabilization," NBER Working Papers 21322, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Stefania Albanesi & Roc Armenter, 2012. "Intertemporal Distortions in the Second Best," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(4), pages 1271-1307.
    10. Mas-Colell, Andreu & Whinston, Michael D. & Green, Jerry R., 1995. "Microeconomic Theory," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195102680.
    11. Den Haan, Wouter J. & Kaltenbrunner, Georg, 2009. "Anticipated growth and business cycles in matching models," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 309-327, April.
    12. Siu, Henry E., 2004. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy with sticky prices," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(3), pages 575-607, April.
    13. Ljungqvist, Lars & Sargent, Thomas J., 2012. "Recursive Macroeconomic Theory, Third Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 3, volume 1, number 0262018748, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kohlbrecher, Britta & Merkl, Christian, 2016. "Business Cycle Asymmetries and the Labor Market," IZA Discussion Papers 9816, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    labor market frictions; hiring costs; efficiency; optimal taxation; labor wedge; zero intertemporal distortions;

    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
    • E50 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - General
    • 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
    • J20 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - General

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