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Intergenerational policy and the measurement of tax incidence

  • Conesa, Juan Carlos


    (Stony Brook University)

  • Garriga, Carlos


    (Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis)

We evaluate the ability of generational accounting to assess the potential welfare implications of policy reforms. In an intergenerational context policy reforms usually have redistributive, efficiency, and general equilibrium implications. Our analysis shows that when the policy reform implies changes in economic efficiency, generational accounts can be misleading not only about the magnitude of welfare changes, but also about the identity of who wins and who losses. In contrast the generational accounts correctly identify welfare changes when the policy reform has only a pure intergenerational redistribution component. We illustrate and quantify this issue in the context of widely considered policy reforms (substitution of consumption for labor taxation, and the increase of retirement age) and in a more general context of optimal policy.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis in its series Working Papers with number 2013-016.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision: 16 Oct 2015
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:2013-016
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  1. Conesa, Juan Carlos & Kitao, Sagiri & Krueger, Dirk, 2006. "Taxing capital? Not a bad idea after all!," CFS Working Paper Series 2006/21, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  2. Juan C. Conesa & Carlos Garriga, 2008. "Optimal Fiscal Policy In The Design Of Social Security Reforms," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 49(1), pages 291-318, 02.
  3. Hansen, G D, 1993. "The Cyclical and Secular Behaviour of the Labour Input: Comparing Efficiency Units and Hours Worked," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(1), pages 71-80, Jan.-Marc.
  4. Andres Erosa & Martin Gervais, 2000. "Optimal taxation in life-cycle economies," Working Paper 00-02, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  5. 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.
  6. Conesa, Juan Carlos & Garriga, Carlos, 2013. "Intertemporal discounting and policy selection," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Mar, pages 165-180.
  7. Carlos Garriga-Calvet, 2000. "Optimal Fiscal Policy in Overlapping Generations Models," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1772, Econometric Society.
  8. Selahattin Imrohoroglu & Aise Imrohoroglu, 2005. "Elimination of Social Security in a Dynastic Framework," 2005 Meeting Papers 928, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  9. Shinichi Nishiyama & Kent Smetters, 2007. "Does Social Security Privatization Produce Efficiency Gains?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(4), pages 1677-1719.
  10. Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Kent Smetters & Jan Walliser, 2002. "Distributional Effects in a General Equilibrium Analysis of Social Security," NBER Chapters, in: The Distributional Aspects of Social Security and Social Security Reform, pages 327-370 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Juan C. Conesa & Dirk Krueger, 1999. "Social Security Reform with Heterogeneous Agents," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 2(4), pages 757-795, October.
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