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Tax analysis in a real business cycle model: on measuring Harberger triangles and Okun gaps

Listed author(s):
  • Jeremy Greenwood
  • Gregory W. Huffman

A tax distorted real business cycle model is parameterized, calibrated, and solved numerically in an attempt to measure the size of Harberger Triangles relative to Okun Gaps. In particular, the model constructed is used to study, quantitatively, the impact of various distortional government tax and subsidy schemes. It is shown that the government can use tax policy to stabilize cyclical fluctuations, and this is done for the economy being studied. The benefits of implementing such a stabilization policy are calculated and compared with the size of the welfare gains realized from reducing various tax distortions.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis in its series Staff Report with number 138.

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Date of creation: 1991
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedmsr:138
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  1. Auerbach, Alan J & Kotlikoff, Laurence J & Skinner, Jonathan, 1983. "The Efficiency Gains from Dynamic Tax Reform," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 24(1), pages 81-100, February.
  2. Hansen, Gary D., 1985. "Indivisible labor and the business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 309-327, November.
  3. Don Fullerton & Roger H. Gordon, 1981. "A Reexamination of Tax Distortions in General Equilibrium Models," NBER Working Papers 0673, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. David Aschauer, 1988. "Is public expenditure productive?," Staff Memoranda 88-7, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  5. Judd, Kenneth L, 1987. "The Welfare Cost of Factor Taxation in a Perfect-Foresight Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(4), pages 675-709, August.
  6. King, Robert G. & Plosser, Charles I. & Rebelo, Sergio T., 1988. "Production, growth and business cycles : II. New directions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 309-341.
  7. Cooley, Thomas F & Hansen, Gary D, 1989. "The Inflation Tax in a Real Business Cycle Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 733-748, September.
  8. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1980. "Methods and Problems in Business Cycle Theory," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 12(4), pages 696-715, November.
  9. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-1370, November.
  10. Bizer, David S & Judd, Kenneth L, 1989. "Taxation and Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(2), pages 331-336, May.
  11. L. Wade, 1988. "Review," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 58(1), pages 99-100, July.
  12. Aschauer, David Alan, 1985. "Fiscal Policy and Aggregate Demand," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(1), pages 117-127, March.
  13. Wilbur John Coleman, 1988. "Money, interest, and capital in a cash-in-advance economy," International Finance Discussion Papers 323, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  14. Robert E. Hall, 1981. "Intertemporal Substitution in Consumption," NBER Working Papers 0720, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Gregory W. Huffman & Jeremy Greenwood, 1989. "Tax analysis in a dynamic stochastic model: on measuring Harberger triangles and Okun gaps," Research Working Paper 89-01, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  16. Baxter, M., 1988. "Approximating Suboptimal Dynamic Equilibria: An Euler Equation Approach," RCER Working Papers 139, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  17. Long, John B, Jr & Plosser, Charles I, 1983. "Real Business Cycles," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(1), pages 39-69, February.
  18. McGrattan, Ellen R., 1994. "The macroeconomic effects of distortionary taxation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 573-601, June.
  19. Aschauer, David Alan & Greenwood, Jeremy, 1985. "Macroeconomic effects of fiscal policy," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 91-138, January.
  20. Gregory W. Huffman, 1988. "The accuracy of the grid approximation method," Research Working Paper 88-06, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  21. Greenwood, Jeremy & Hercowitz, Zvi & Huffman, Gregory W, 1988. "Investment, Capacity Utilization, and the Real Business Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(3), pages 402-417, June.
  22. Mendoza, Enrique G, 1991. "Real Business Cycles in a Small Open Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 797-818, September.
  23. Brock, William A & Turnovsky, Stephen J, 1981. "The Analysis of Macroeconomic Policies in Perfect Foresight Equilibrium," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 22(1), pages 179-209, February.
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