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Tax Policy Under Keeping Up with the Joneses and Imperfectly Competitive Product Markets


  • Jang-Ting Guo


This paper examines the optimal (first-best) fiscal policy in a stochastic representative agent model that exhibits a ``keeping up with the Joneses'' utility function and imperfectly competitive product markets. We find that the optimal labor tax is a constant, whose sign is determined by the relative strength of consumption externality and monopoly power. Moreover, the optimal capital tax is unambiguously negative and affects the economy countercyclically. Our analysis shows that models with capital accumulation, imperfect competition, and ``keeping up with the Joneses'' preferences call for traditional Keynesian demand-management policies that are designed to mitigate business cycle fluctuations

Suggested Citation

  • Jang-Ting Guo, 2004. "Tax Policy Under Keeping Up with the Joneses and Imperfectly Competitive Product Markets," Econometric Society 2004 North American Winter Meetings 17, Econometric Society.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecm:nawm04:17

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Mehra, Rajnish & Prescott, Edward C., 1985. "The equity premium: A puzzle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 145-161, March.
    2. Hansen, Gary D., 1985. "Indivisible labor and the business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 309-327, November.
    3. Abel, Andrew B, 1990. "Asset Prices under Habit Formation and Catching Up with the Joneses," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 38-42, May.
    4. Benhabib, Jess & Rustichini, Aldo, 1997. "Optimal Taxes without Commitment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 231-259, December.
    5. Jaime Alonso-Carrera & Jordi Caballé & Xavier Raurich, 2004. "Consumption Externalities, Habit Formation and Equilibrium Efficiency," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 106(2), pages 231-251, June.
    6. Rogerson, Richard, 1988. "Indivisible labor, lotteries and equilibrium," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 3-16, January.
    7. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
    8. Aiyagari, S Rao, 1995. "Optimal Capital Income Taxation with Incomplete Markets, Borrowing Constraints, and Constant Discounting," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(6), pages 1158-1175, December.
    9. Gali, Jordi, 1994. "Keeping Up with the Joneses: Consumption Externalities, Portfolio Choice, and Asset Prices," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 26(1), pages 1-8, February.
    10. Correia, Isabel H., 1996. "Should capital income be taxed in the steady state?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 147-151, April.
    11. Guo, Jang-Ting & Lansing, Kevin J., 1999. "Optimal taxation of capital income with imperfectly competitive product markets," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 23(7), pages 967-995, June.
    12. Jaime Alonso-Carrera & Jordi Caball?Author-Email: & Xavier Raurich, 2001. "Income Taxation with Habit Formation and Consumption Externalities," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 496.01, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
    13. Narayana R. Kocherlakota, 1996. "The Equity Premium: It's Still a Puzzle," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(1), pages 42-71, March.
    14. Harald Uhlig & Lars Ljungqvist, 2000. "Tax Policy and Aggregate Demand Management under Catching Up with the Joneses," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 356-366, June.
    15. Abel, Andrew B., 1999. "Risk premia and term premia in general equilibrium," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 3-33, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Shu-Hua Chen, 2012. "On the Growth and Stability Effects of Habit Formation and Durability in Consumption," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 13(2), pages 283-298, November.
    2. Jang-Ting Guo & Juin-Jen Chang, 2008. "Social Status and Optimal Income Taxation," Working Papers 200814, University of California at Riverside, Department of Economics, revised Dec 2008.

    More about this item


    Fiscal Policy; Keeping Up with the Joneses; Imperfect Competition;

    JEL classification:

    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • 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
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation

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