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How Large Are the Effects of Tax Changes?

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  • Favero, Carlo A.
  • Giavazzi, Francesco

Abstract

We use the time series of shifts in U.S. Federal tax liabilities constructed by Romer and Romer to estimate tax multipliers. Differently from the single-equation approach adopted by Romer and Romer, our estimation strategy (a Var that includes output, government spending and revenues, inflation and the nominal interest rate) does not rely upon the assumption that tax shocks are orthogonal to each other as well as to lagged values of other macro variables. Our estimated multiplier is much smaller: one, rather than three at a three-year horizon. When we split the sample in two sub-samples (before and after 1980) we find, before 1980, a multiplier whose size is never greater than one, after 1980 a multiplier not significantly different from zero. Following the findings in Bohn (1998), we also experiment with a model that includes debt and the non-linear government budget constraint. We find that, while in general not very important, the non-linearity that arises from the budget constraint makes a difference after 1980, when the response of fiscal variables to the level of the debt becomes stronger.

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  • Favero, Carlo A. & Giavazzi, Francesco, 2009. "How Large Are the Effects of Tax Changes?," CEPR Discussion Papers 7439, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7439
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    1. Bagliano, Fabio C. & Favero, Carlo A., 1999. "Information from financial markets and VAR measures of monetary policy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(4-6), pages 825-837, April.
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    3. Burnside, Craig & Eichenbaum, Martin & Fisher, Jonas D. M., 2004. "Fiscal shocks and their consequences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 115(1), pages 89-117, March.
    4. Mertens, Karel & Ravn, Morten O, 2008. "The Aggregate Effects of Anticipated and Unanticipated U.S. Tax Policy Shocks: Theory and Empirical Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 6673, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Eric M. Leeper & Todd B. Walker & Shu-Chun Susan Yang, 2008. "Fiscal Foresight: Analytics and Econometrics," CAEPR Working Papers 2008-013, Center for Applied Economics and Policy Research, Department of Economics, Indiana University Bloomington.
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    1. Shafik Hebous, 2011. "The Effects Of Discretionary Fiscal Policy On Macroeconomic Aggregates: A Reappraisal," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(4), pages 674-707, September.
    2. Willem H. Buiter, 2010. "The limits to fiscal stimulus," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 26(1), pages 48-70, Spring.
    3. Alan J. Auerbach & William G. Gale & Benjamin H. Harris, 2010. "Activist Fiscal Policy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(4), pages 141-164, Fall.
    4. Yawovi Mawussé Isaac Amedanou, 2019. "Optimal Taxation and Economic Growth in Togo: Empirical Investigation in Time Series [Taxation Optimale et Croissance Economique au Togo : une Evidence Empirique en Séries Temporelles]," Post-Print hal-01990213, HAL.
    5. Attinasi, Maria Grazia & Metelli, Luca, 2017. "Is fiscal consolidation self-defeating? A panel-VAR analysis for the Euro area countries," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 147-164.
    6. Bouakez, Hafedh & Chihi, Foued & Normandin, Michel, 2014. "Measuring the effects of fiscal policy," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 123-151.
    7. AMEDANOU, Yawovi M. Isaac, 2018. "Examen de l'optimalité de la performance fiscale dans les pays en développement : le cas de l’UEMOA [Review of the optimality of tax performance in developing countries: evidence from WAEMU]," MPRA Paper 89513, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Luc Eyraud & Anke Weber, 2013. "The Challenge of Debt Reduction during Fiscal Consolidation," IMF Working Papers 2013/067, International Monetary Fund.
    9. Baum, Anja & Koester, Gerrit B., 2011. "The impact of fiscal policy on economic activity over the business cycle - evidence from a threshold VAR analysis," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2011,03, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    10. Alan J. Auerbach & William G. Gale, 2009. "Activist fiscal policy to stabilize economic activity," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 327-374.
    11. Günter Coenen & Christopher J. Erceg & Charles Freedman & Davide Furceri & Michael Kumhof & René Lalonde & Douglas Laxton & Jesper Lindé & Annabelle Mourougane & Dirk Muir & Susanna Mursula & Carlos d, 2012. "Effects of Fiscal Stimulus in Structural Models," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(1), pages 22-68, January.
    12. Bossie, Andrew, 2020. "The asymmetric response of the economy to tax changes before and after 1980," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 51(C).
    13. Siraj G. Bawa & Nam T. Vu, 2020. "International effects of corporate tax cuts on income distribution," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(5), pages 1164-1190, November.
    14. Andrew Bossie, 2013. "The Effect of Fiscal Policy Shocks on the Flow of Funds," 2013 Papers pbo741, Job Market Papers.
    15. Reda Cherif & Fuad Hasanov, 2018. "Public debt dynamics: the effects of austerity, inflation, and growth shocks," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 54(3), pages 1087-1105, May.
    16. Reda, Cherif & Fuad, Hasanov, 2010. "Public Debt Dynamics and Debt Feedback," MPRA Paper 27918, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    17. Kenta Inoue, 2014. "Is Correlation Puzzle Really Puzzling? Reassessing Motives Of Foreign Asset Holdings By Us Investors," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(2), pages 160-172, March.
    18. Bernd Hayo & Matthias Uhl, 2011. "The Effects of Legislated Tax Changes in Germany," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201142, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    19. AMEDANOU, Yawovi M. Isaac, 2019. "Taxation Optimale et Croissance Economique au Togo : une Evidence Empirique en Séries Temporelles [Optimal Taxation and Economic Growth in Togo: Empirical Investigation in Time Series]," MPRA Paper 92003, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    fiscal policy; government budget constraint; public debt; VAR models;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H60 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - General

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