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Do taxes matter for long-run growth?: Harberger's superneutrality conjecture

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  • Enrique G. Mendoza
  • Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti
  • Patrick K. Asea

Abstract

Harberger's supemeutrality conjecture contends that, although in theory the mix of direct and indirect taxes affects investment and growth, in practice growth effects of taxation are negligible. This paper provides evidence in support of this view by testing the predictions of endogenous growth models driven by human capital accumulation. Theoretical analysis highlights implications of different taxes for growth and investment in these models. The empirical work is based on cross-country regressions and numerical simulations, using a new methodology for estimating aggregate effective tax rates. Results show significant investment effects from income and consumption taxes that are consistent with small growth effects. The results are robust to the introduction of other growth determinants.

Suggested Citation

  • Enrique G. Mendoza & Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti & Patrick K. Asea, 1995. "Do taxes matter for long-run growth?: Harberger's superneutrality conjecture," International Finance Discussion Papers 511, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgif:511
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    Cited by:

    1. Ahmed, Shaghil & Rogers, John H., 2000. "Inflation and the great ratios: Long term evidence from the U.S," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 3-35, February.
    2. Munir, Kashif & Sultan, Maryam, 2016. "Are Some Taxes Better for Growth in Pakistan?A Time Series Analysis," MPRA Paper 68828, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. NANTOB, N'Yilimon, 2014. "Taxation and Economic Growth : An Empirical Analysis on Dynamic Panel Data of WAEMU Countries," MPRA Paper 61370, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 30 Jan 2015.
    4. Zeng, Jinli, 2003. "Reexamining the interaction between innovation and capital accumulation," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 541-560, December.
    5. Gian Maria Milesi-Ferrett & Nouriel Roubini, 1995. "Growth Effects of Income and Consumption Taxes: Positive and Normative Analysis," NBER Working Papers 5317, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Marcin Piatkowski & Mariusz Jarmuzek, 2008. "Zero Corporate Income Tax in Moldova; Tax Competition and Its Implications for Eastern Europe," IMF Working Papers 08/203, International Monetary Fund.
    7. José E. Boscá & José R. García & David Tagüas, 2005. "Effective Tax rates and Fiscal Convergence in the OECD: 1965-2001," Hacienda Pública Española, IEF, vol. 174(3), pages 119-141, September.

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