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Optimal taxation in an RBC model: A linear-quadratic approach

  • Pierpaolo Benigno

    ()

    (New York University - Department of Economics)

  • Michael Woodford

    ()

    (Columbia University - Department of Economics)

We reconsider the optimal taxation of income from labor and capital in the stochastic growth model analyzed by Chari et al. (1994, 1995), but using a linear-quadratic (LQ) approximation to derive a log-linear approximation to the optimal policy rules. The example illustrates how inaccurate "naive" LQ approximation - in which the quadratic objective is obtained from a simple Taylor expansion of the utility function of the representative household - an be, but also shows how a correct LQ approximation can be obtained, which will provide a correct local approximation to the optimal policy rules in the case of small enough shocks. We also consider the numerical accuracy of the LQ approximation in the case of shocks of the size assumed in the calibration of Chari et al. We find that the correct LQ approximation yields results that are quite accurate, and similar in most respects to the results obtained by Chari et al. using a more computationally intensive numerical method.

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Paper provided by Columbia University, Department of Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 0405-16.

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Length: 59 pages
Date of creation: 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:clu:wpaper:0405-16
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  1. Schmitt-Grohe, Stephanie & Uribe, Martin, 2004. "Solving dynamic general equilibrium models using a second-order approximation to the policy function," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 755-775, January.
  2. Schmitt-Grohé, Stephanie & Uribe, Martín, 2001. "Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy Under Sticky Prices," CEPR Discussion Papers 2942, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Pierpaolo Benigno & Michael Woodford, 2008. "Linear-Quadratic Approximation of Optimal Policy Problems," Discussion Papers 0809-01, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  4. Jinill Kim & Sunghyun Henry Kim, 1999. "Spurious Welfare Reversals in International Business Cycle Models," Virginia Economics Online Papers 319, University of Virginia, Department of Economics.
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  7. Kim, Jinill & Henderson, Dale W., 2005. "Inflation targeting and nominal-income-growth targeting: When and why are they suboptimal?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(8), pages 1463-1495, November.
  8. Lars Peter Hansen & Thomas J. Sargent, 1990. "Recursive Linear Models of Dynamic Economies," NBER Working Papers 3479, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Kenneth L. Judd, 1982. "Redistributive Taxation in a Simple Perfect Foresight Model," Discussion Papers 572, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  10. Pierpaolo Benigno & Michael Woodford, 2004. "Inflation stabilization and welfare: The case of a distorted steady state," Discussion Papers 0405-04, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  11. Michael Woodford, 2001. "Inflation Stabilization and Welfare," NBER Working Papers 8071, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Magill, Michael J. P., 1977. "A local analysis of N-sector capital accumulation under uncertainty," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 211-219, June.
  13. Chamley, Christophe, 1986. "Optimal Taxation of Capital Income in General Equilibrium with Infinite Lives," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 607-22, May.
  14. 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.
  15. Christopher A. Sims & Jinill Kim & Sunghyun Kim, 2004. "Calculating and Using Second Order Accurate Solution of Discrete Time Dynamic Equilibrium Models," Econometric Society 2004 North American Winter Meetings 411, Econometric Society.
  16. Judd, Kenneth L., 1996. "Approximation, perturbation, and projection methods in economic analysis," Handbook of Computational Economics, in: H. M. Amman & D. A. Kendrick & J. Rust (ed.), Handbook of Computational Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 12, pages 509-585 Elsevier.
  17. Hans M. Amman & David A. Kendrick, . "Computational Economics," Online economics textbooks, SUNY-Oswego, Department of Economics, number comp1, September.
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