IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/fip/fedhwp/wp-2014-13.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Saving Europe?: The Unpleasant Arithmetic of Fiscal Austerity in Integrated Economies

Author

Abstract

What are the macroeconomic effects of tax adjustments in response to large public debt shocks in highly integrated economies? The answer from standard closed-economy models is deceptive, because they underestimate the elasticity of capital tax revenues and ignore cross-country spillovers of tax changes. Instead, we examine this issue using a two-country model that matches the observed elasticity of the capital tax base by introducing endogenous capacity utilization and a partial depreciation allowance. Tax hikes have adverse effects on macro aggregates and welfare, and trigger strong cross-country externalities. Quantitative analysis calibrated to European data shows that unilateral capital tax increases cannot restore fiscal solvency, because the dynamic Laffer curve peaks below the required revenue increase. Unilateral labor tax hikes can do it, but have negative output and welfare effects at home and raise welfare and output abroad. Large spillovers also imply that unilateral capital tax hikes are much less costly under autarky than under free trade. Allowing for one-shot Nash tax competition, the model predicts a ?race to the bottom? in capital taxes and higher labor taxes. The cooperative equilibrium is preferable, but capital (labor) taxes are still lower (higher) than initially. Moreover, autarky can produce higher welfare than both Nash and Cooperative equilibria.

Suggested Citation

  • Enrique G. Mendoza & Linda L. Tesar & Jing Zhang, 2014. "Saving Europe?: The Unpleasant Arithmetic of Fiscal Austerity in Integrated Economies," Working Paper Series WP-2014-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedhwp:wp-2014-13
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.chicagofed.org/digital_assets/publications/working_papers/2014/wp2014_13.pdf
    File Function: Full text
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Stéphane Auray & Aurélien Eyquem & Paul Gomme, 2016. "A Tale Of Tax Policies In Open Economies," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 57(4), pages 1299-1333, November.
    2. Mathias Trabandt & Harald Uhlig, 2006. "How Far Are We From The Slippery Slope? The Laffer Curve Revisited," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2006-023, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
    3. Mendoza, Enrique G. & Tesar, Linda L., 2005. "Why hasn't tax competition triggered a race to the bottom? Some quantitative lessons from the EU," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 163-204, January.
    4. Sorensen, Peter Birch, 1999. "Optimal tax progressivity in imperfect labour markets," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 435-452, September.
    5. Stephen J. Turnovsky, 1997. "International Macroeconomic Dynamics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262201119.
    6. Mendoza, Enrique G. & Ostry, Jonathan D., 2008. "International evidence on fiscal solvency: Is fiscal policy "responsible"?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(6), pages 1081-1093, September.
    7. Edward C. Prescott, 2004. "Why do Americans work so much more than Europeans?," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, vol. 28(Jul), pages 2-13.
    8. Jacob Frenkel & Assaf Razin & Efraim Sadka, 1991. "International Taxation in an Integrated World," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061430.
    9. Mendoza, Enrique G. & Razin, Assaf & Tesar, Linda L., 1994. "Effective tax rates in macroeconomics: Cross-country estimates of tax rates on factor incomes and consumption," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 297-323, December.
    10. Sørensen, Peter Birch, 2003. "International Tax Competition: A New Framework for Analysis," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 179-192, September.
    11. MaCurdy, Thomas E, 1981. "An Empirical Model of Labor Supply in a Life-Cycle Setting," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(6), pages 1059-1085, December.
    12. Mathias Trabandt & Harald Uhlig, 2012. "How Do Laffer Curves Differ across Countries?," NBER Chapters, in: Fiscal Policy after the Financial Crisis, pages 211-249, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Enrique G. Mendoza & Linda L. Tesar, 1995. "Supply-Side Economics in a Global Economy," NBER Working Papers 5086, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Mendoza, Enrique G. & Milesi-Ferretti, Gian Maria & Asea, Patrick, 1997. "On the ineffectiveness of tax policy in altering long-run growth: Harberger's superneutrality conjecture," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 99-126, October.
    15. Trabandt, Mathias & Uhlig, Harald, 2006. "How Far Are We From the Slippery Slope? The Laffer Curve Revisited," CEPR Discussion Papers 5657, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    16. Mathias Trabandt & Harald Uhlig, 2012. "How Do Laffer Curves Differ across Countries?," NBER Chapters, in: Fiscal Policy after the Financial Crisis, pages 211-249, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Mendoza, Enrique G & Tesar, Linda L, 1998. "The International Ramifications of Tax Reforms: Supply-Side Economics in a Global Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 226-245, March.
    18. Bohn, Henning, 2007. "Are stationarity and cointegration restrictions really necessary for the intertemporal budget constraint?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(7), pages 1837-1847, October.
    19. G. M. Grossman & K. Rogoff (ed.), 1995. "Handbook of International Economics," Handbook of International Economics, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 3, number 3.
    20. Gernot Hutschenreiter, 2003. "International Tax Competition: A New Framework for Analysis," WIFO Studies, WIFO, number 24931.
    21. Christopher L. House & Matthew D. Shapiro, 2008. "Temporary Investment Tax Incentives: Theory with Evidence from Bonus Depreciation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 737-768, June.
    22. Dwenger, Nadja & Steiner, Viktor, 2012. "Profit Taxation and the Elasticity of the Corporate Income Tax Base: Evidence From German Corporate Tax Return Data," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 65(1), pages 118-150, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Jing Zhang, 2015. "Saving Europe?," 2015 Meeting Papers 599, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. D’Erasmo, P. & Mendoza, E.G. & Zhang, J., 2016. "What is a Sustainable Public Debt?," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & Harald Uhlig (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 0, pages 2493-2597, Elsevier.
    3. Enrique G. Mendoza, 2001. "The International Macroeconomics of Taxation and the Case Against European Tax Harmonization," NBER Working Papers 8217, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Alejandro Cunat & Szabolcs Deak & Marco Maffezzoli, 2022. "Tax Cuts in Open Economies," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 45, pages 83-108, July.
    5. Mendoza, Enrique G. & Tesar, Linda L., 2005. "Why hasn't tax competition triggered a race to the bottom? Some quantitative lessons from the EU," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 163-204, January.
    6. Francesco Busato & Bruno Chiarini, 2013. "Steady State Laffer Curve with the Underground Economy," Public Finance Review, , vol. 41(5), pages 608-632, September.
    7. Kotamäki Mauri, 2017. "Laffer Curves and Home Production," Nordic Tax Journal, Sciendo, vol. 2017(1), pages 59-69, January.
    8. Peter Lindert, 2003. "Why The Welfare State Looks Like a Free Lunch," Working Papers 59, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
    9. Jeffrey Carpenter & Stephen Burks & Lorenz Götte, 2006. "Performance Pay and the Erosion of Worker Cooperation: Field experimental evidence," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 0603, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
    10. Mathias Trabandt & Harald Uhlig, 2006. "How Far Are We From The Slippery Slope? The Laffer Curve Revisited," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2006-023, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
    11. Enrique G. Mendoza & Linda L. Tesar, 2003. "A Quantitative Analysis of Tax Competition v. Tax Coordination under Perfect Capital Mobility," NBER Working Papers 9746, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Trabandt, Mathias & Uhlig, Harald, 2011. "The Laffer curve revisited," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(4), pages 305-327.
    13. Ignacio Lozano-Espitia & Fernando Arias-Rodríguez & Jesus Bejarano & Andres Gonzalez & Clark Granger-Castaño & Franz Hamann & Yurany Hernández-Turca & Juan Manuel Julio-Román & Martha López & Juan C. , 2019. "La política fiscal y la estabilización macroeconómica en Colombia," Revista ESPE - Ensayos sobre Política Económica, Banco de la Republica de Colombia, issue 90, pages 1-60, April.
    14. Enrique G. Mendoza & Linda L. Tesar, 2003. "Winners and Losers of Tax Competition in the European Union," NBER Working Papers 10051, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. van Oudheusden, P., 2012. "Dynamic Scoring Through Creative Destruction," Other publications TiSEM 13955715-2cbb-443b-a099-9, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    16. Jinill Kim & Sunghyun Kim, 2017. "How much to share: Welfare effects of fiscal transfers," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 50(3), pages 636-659, August.
    17. Raj Chetty & Adam Guren & Day Manoli & Andrea Weber, 2013. "Does Indivisible Labor Explain the Difference between Micro and Macro Elasticities? A Meta-Analysis of Extensive Margin Elasticities," NBER Macroeconomics Annual, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(1), pages 1-56.
    18. Eusepi, Stefano & Preston, Bruce, 2015. "Consumption heterogeneity, employment dynamics and macroeconomic co-movement," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 13-32.
    19. Leon Bettendorf & Joeri Gorter & Albert van der Horst, 2006. "Who benefits from tax competition in the European Union?," CPB Document 125, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    20. Dimitris Papageorgiou, 2009. "Macroeconomic Implications of Alternative Tax Regimes: The Case of Greece," Working Papers 97, Bank of Greece.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    European debt crisis; tax competition; capacity utilization; fiscal austerity;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • E66 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General Outlook and Conditions
    • F34 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Lending and Debt Problems
    • F42 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - International Policy Coordination and Transmission
    • F62 - International Economics - - Economic Impacts of Globalization - - - Macroeconomic Impacts

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fip:fedhwp:wp-2014-13. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/frbchus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Deng Pan (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/frbchus.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.