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Optimal Fiscal Policy with Rationing in the Labor Market

This paper studies the implications for the optimal policy of introducing an exogenous minimum wage into a standard public finance model. We present a dynamic general equilibrium model with a Ramsey planner deciding about public spending, labor income taxes and debt. We find that, for sufficiently high minimum wages, equilibria in which the labor supply is rationed and involuntary unemployment arises may be optimal in bad times. For not too high minimum wages, the government will set taxes to reduce labor supply and avoid non desirable rationing. As regards the cyclical properties of the optimal policy, state contingent returns on debt are used as shock absorbers so as to smooth private consumption over time and across states of nature.

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Paper provided by Centro de Estudios Andaluces in its series Economic Working Papers at Centro de Estudios Andaluces with number E2004/10.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cea:doctra:e2004_10
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  1. Gorostiaga, A., 1999. "Should Fiscal Policy be Different in a Non-Competitive Framework?," Papers 9901, Centro de Estudios Monetarios Y Financieros-.
  2. Chari, V.V. & Kehoe, Patrick J., 1999. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 26, pages 1671-1745 Elsevier.
  3. Andrew Levin & Christopher J. Erceg & Dale W. Henderson, 1999. "Optimal Monetary Policy with Staggered Wage and Price Contracts," Computing in Economics and Finance 1999 1151, Society for Computational Economics.
  4. Gorostiaga Alonso, Miren Arantzazu, 2002. "Should Fiscal Policy be different in a Non-Competitive Framework?," DFAEII Working Papers 2002-28, University of the Basque Country - Department of Foundations of Economic Analysis II.
  5. Schmitt-Grohé, Stephanie & Uribe, Martín, 2001. "Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy Under Sticky Prices," CEPR Discussion Papers 2942, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Albert Marcet & Thomas J. Sargent & Juha Seppala, 1996. "Optimal taxation without state-contingent debt," Economics Working Papers 170, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Oct 2001.
  7. Pissarides, Christopher A, 1989. "Unemployment and Macroeconomics," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 56(221), pages 1-14, February.
  8. Chari, V V & Christiano, Lawrence J & Kehoe, Patrick J, 1994. "Optimal Fiscal Policy in a Business Cycle Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(4), pages 617-52, August.
  9. Kydland, Finn E. & Prescott, Edward C., 1980. "Dynamic optimal taxation, rational expectations and optimal control," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 79-91, May.
  10. Julio J. Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1999. "Interest Rate Rules in an Estimated Sticky Price Model," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 57-126 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Barro, Robert J & Grossman, Herschel I, 1971. "A General Disequilibrium Model of Income and Employment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(1), pages 82-93, March.
  12. V.V. Chari & Lawrence J. Christiano & Patrick J. Kehoe, 1991. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy: some recent results," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 519-546.
  13. Jang-Ting Guo & Kevin J. Lansing, 1998. "Optimal taxation of capital income with imperfectly competitive product markets," Working Papers in Applied Economic Theory 98-04, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  14. Bernheim, B Douglas, 1991. "Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy: Some Recent Results," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 23(3), pages 540-42, August.
  15. Kenneth L. Judd, 1997. "The Optimal Tax Rate for Capital Income is Negative," NBER Working Papers 6004, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Drazen, Allan, 1980. "Recent Developments in Macroeconomic Disequilibrium Theory," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(2), pages 283-306, March.
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