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Tax incentives, material inputs, and the supply curve for capital equipment

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  • Karl Whelan

Abstract

The slope of the supply curve for capital equipment has important implications for the macroeconomics of investment and the effects of tax reform on capital accumulation. Goolsbee (1998) has used changes in investment tax incentives to identify whether this supply curve is significantly upward-sloping and has concluded that it is. This paper shows that investment tax incentives are a poor instrument for identifying this supply curve because they are spuriously correlated with supply shocks for equipment producers. Once input costs for equipment producers are controlled for, there is no evidence of a relationship between tax incentives and equipment prices. In fact, the evidence favors the interpretation that the supply curve is flat.

Suggested Citation

  • Karl Whelan, 1999. "Tax incentives, material inputs, and the supply curve for capital equipment," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1999-21, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:1999-21
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. John Shea, 1993. "Do Supply Curves Slope Up?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(1), pages 1-32.
    2. Peter K. Clark, 1993. "Tax Incentives and Equipment Investment," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 24(1), pages 317-347.
    3. Hassett, Kevin A & Hubbard, R Glenn, 1998. "Are Investment Incentives Blunted by Changes in Prices of Capital Goods?," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 1(1), pages 103-125, October.
    4. Eric J. Bartelsman & Wayne Gray, 1996. "The NBER Manufacturing Productivity Database," NBER Technical Working Papers 0205, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Greenwood, Jeremy & Hercowitz, Zvi & Krusell, Per, 1997. "Long-Run Implications of Investment-Specific Technological Change," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 342-362, June.
    6. Jason G. Cummins & Kevin A. Hassett & R. Glenn Hubbard, 1994. "A Reconsideration of Investment Behavior Using Tax Reforms as Natural Experiments," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 25(2), pages 1-74.
    7. Austan Goolsbee, 1998. "Investment Tax Incentives, Prices, and the Supply of Capital Goods," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(1), pages 121-148.
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    Cited by:

    1. Robert Chirinko & Steven M. Fazzari & Andrew P. Meyer, 2002. "That Elusive Elasticity: A Long-panel Approach to Estimating the Price Sensitivity of Business Capital," Emory Economics 0202, Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta).
    2. Oliner, Stephen D. & Sichel, Daniel E., 2003. "Information technology and productivity: where are we now and where are we going?," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 477-503, July.
    3. Robert S. Chirinko & Steven M. Fazzari & Andrew P. Meyer, 2004. "That Elusive Elasticity: A Long-Panel Approach to Estimating the Capital-Labor Substitution Elasticity," CESifo Working Paper Series 1240, CESifo Group Munich.
    4. Oliner, Stephen D. & Sichel, Daniel E., 2005. "Les technologies de l’information et la productivité : situation actuelle et perspectives d’avenir," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 81(1), pages 339-400, Mars-Juin.
    5. Jesse Edgerton, 2011. "Estimating machinery supply elasticities using output price booms," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2011-03, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Tax reform ; Capital investments;

    JEL classification:

    • E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity
    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General

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