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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. 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.
  2. V.V. Chari & Lawrence J. Christiano & Patrick J. Kehoe, 1993. "Optimal fiscal policy in a business cycle model," Staff Report 160, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  3. V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe, 1998. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy," Staff Report 251, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  4. Kenneth L. Judd, 1997. "The Optimal Tax Rate for Capital Income is Negative," NBER Working Papers 6004, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. 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.
  6. Christopher J. Erceg & Dale W. Henderson & Andrew T. Levin, 1999. "Optimal monetary policy with staggered wage and price contracts," International Finance Discussion Papers 640, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  7. 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.
  8. Gorostiaga, Arantza, 2003. "Should fiscal policy be different in a non-competitive framework?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(6), pages 1311-1331, September.
  9. Martin Uribe & Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe, 2001. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy under sticky prices," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Jun.
  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. 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.
  12. Drazen, Allan, 1980. "Recent Developments in Macroeconomic Disequilibrium Theory," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(2), pages 283-306, March.
  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. V. V. Chari & Lawrence J. Christiano & Patrick J. Kehoe, 1991. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy: some recent results," Staff Report 147, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  15. Pissarides, Christopher A, 1989. "Unemployment and Macroeconomics," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 56(221), pages 1-14, February.
  16. 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.
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