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Capital taxation during the U.S. Great Depression

Author

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  • Ellen R. McGrattan

Abstract

Previous studies of the U.S. Great Depression find that increased taxation contributed little to either the dramatic downturn or the slow recovery. These studies include only one type of capital taxation: a business profits tax. The contribution is much greater when the analysis includes other types of capital taxes. A general equilibrium model extended to include taxes on dividends, property, capital stock, and excess and undistributed profits predicts patterns of output, investment, and hours worked more like those in the 1930s than found in earlier studies. The greatest effects come from the increased tax on corporate dividends.

Suggested Citation

  • Ellen R. McGrattan, 2010. "Capital taxation during the U.S. Great Depression," Staff Report 451, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedmsr:451
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Raj Chetty & Emmanuel Saez, 2005. "Dividend Taxes and Corporate Behavior: Evidence from the 2003 Dividend Tax Cut," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(3), pages 791-833.
    2. Harold L. Cole & Lee E. Ohanian, 1999. "The Great Depression in the United States from a neoclassical perspective," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Win, pages 2-24.
    3. Timothy J. Kehoe & Edward C. Prescott, 2002. "Great Depressions of the Twentieth Century," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 5(1), pages 1-18, January.
    4. Harold L. Cole & Lee E. Ohanian, 2004. "New Deal Policies and the Persistence of the Great Depression: A General Equilibrium Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(4), pages 779-816, August.
    5. Timothy J. Kehoe & Edward C. Prescott(), 2007. "Great depressions of the twentieth century," Monograph, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, number 2007gdott.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Jordan Roulleau-Pasdeloup & Anastasia Zhutova, 2015. "Labor Market Policies and the "Missing Deflation" Puzzle: Lessons from Hoover Policies during the U.S Great Depression," Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) 15.05, Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP.
    2. Anagnostopoulos, Alexis & Cárceles-Poveda, Eva & Lin, Danmo, 2012. "Dividend and capital gains taxation under incomplete markets," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(7), pages 599-611.
    3. Prescott, E.C., 2016. "RBC Methodology and the Development of Aggregate Economic Theory," Handbook of Macroeconomics, Elsevier.
    4. Born, Benjamin & Peter, Alexandra & Pfeifer, Johannes, 2013. "Fiscal news and macroeconomic volatility," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(12), pages 2582-2601.
    5. Nancy Stokey, 2016. "Wait-and See: Investment Options under Policy Uncertainty," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 21, pages 246-265, July.
    6. repec:eee:dyncon:v:89:y:2018:i:c:p:100-116 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Kydland, Finn E. & Zarazaga, Carlos E.J.M., 2016. "Fiscal sentiment and the weak recovery from the Great Recession: A quantitative exploration," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 109-125.
    8. Andrew Foerster & Troy Davig, 2014. "Uncertainty and Fiscal Cliffs," 2014 Meeting Papers 717, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    9. Chen, Daphne & Qi, Shi & Schlagenhauf, Don E., 2014. "Corporate income tax, legal form of organization, and employment," Working Papers 2014-18, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    10. repec:eee:ecolet:v:167:y:2018:i:c:p:147-151 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Hansen, G.D. & Ohanian, L.E., 2016. "Neoclassical Models in Macroeconomics," Handbook of Macroeconomics, Elsevier.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E13 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Neoclassical
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies

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