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Optimal fiscal policy with recursive preferences

  • Karantounias, Anastasios G.

    ()

    (Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta)

I study optimal capital and labor income taxation in a business cycle model with the recursive preferences of Epstein and Zin (1989) and Weil (1990). In contrast to the case of time-additive expected utility, I find that it is no longer optimal to make the welfare cost of distortionary taxes constant over states and dates. This dramatically alters standard taxation prescriptions: optimal policy calls for taxation at the intertemporal margin, variation of taxation at the intratemporal margin, and persistence of labor taxes independent of the stochastic properties of exogenous shocks. Ignoring the distinction between smoothing over time and smoothing over states is not an innocuous assumption for optimal policy.

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File URL: http://www.frbatlanta.org/documents/pubs/wp/wp1307.pdf
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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta in its series Working Paper with number 2013-07.

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Length: 47 pages
Date of creation: 01 Sep 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedawp:2013-07
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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Weil, Philippe, 1990. "Nonexpected Utility in Macroeconomics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(1), pages 29-42, February.
  4. Lilia Maliar & Serguei Maliar, 2013. "Envelope condition method versus endogenous grid method for solving dynamic programming problems," Working Papers. Serie AD 2013-07, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
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  7. 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.
  8. Anderson, Evan W., 2005. "The dynamics of risk-sensitive allocations," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 125(2), pages 93-150, December.
  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. Lars Peter Hansen & John Heaton & Nan Li, 2005. "Consumption Strikes Back?: Measuring Long-Run Risk," NBER Working Papers 11476, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Ravi Bansal & Amir Yaron, 2004. "Risks for the Long Run: A Potential Resolution of Asset Pricing Puzzles," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(4), pages 1481-1509, 08.
  12. Sleet, Christopher & Yeltekin, Sevin, 2006. "Optimal taxation with endogenously incomplete debt markets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 127(1), pages 36-73, March.
  13. David M Kreps & Evan L Porteus, 1978. "Temporal Resolution of Uncertainty and Dynamic Choice Theory," Levine's Working Paper Archive 625018000000000009, David K. Levine.
  14. TallariniJr., Thomas D., 2000. "Risk-sensitive real business cycles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 507-532, June.
  15. Karantounias, Anastasios G., 2013. "Managing pessimistic expectations and fiscal policy," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 8(1), January.
  16. Emmanuel Farhi, 2010. "Capital Taxation and Ownership When Markets Are Incomplete," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(5), pages 908 - 948.
  17. Epstein, Larry G & Zin, Stanley E, 1989. "Substitution, Risk Aversion, and the Temporal Behavior of Consumption and Asset Returns: A Theoretical Framework," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(4), pages 937-69, July.
  18. Geoffard, Pierre-Yves, 1996. "Discounting and Optimizing: Capital Accumulation Problems as Variational Minmax Problems," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 53-70, April.
  19. Thomas J. Sargent & LarsPeter Hansen, 2001. "Robust Control and Model Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 60-66, May.
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