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Does Redistribution Increase Output? The Centrality of Labor Supply

Author

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  • Athreya, Kartik B.

    (Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond)

  • Owens, Andrew

    (Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond)

  • Schwartzman, Felipe

    (Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond)

Abstract

The aftermath of the recent recession has seen numerous calls to use transfers to poorer households as a means to enhance aggregate activity. We show that the key to understanding the direction and size of such interventions lies in labor supply decisions. We study the aggregate impact of short-term redistributive economic policy in a standard incomplete-markets model. We characterize analytically conditions under which redistribution leads to an increase or decrease in effective hours worked, and hence, output. We then show that under the parameterization that matches the wealth distribution in the U.S. economy (Castaneda et al., 2003), wealth redistribution leads to a boom in consumption, but not in output.

Suggested Citation

  • Athreya, Kartik B. & Owens, Andrew & Schwartzman, Felipe, 2014. "Does Redistribution Increase Output? The Centrality of Labor Supply," Working Paper 14-4, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedrwp:14-04
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Alonso-Ortiz, Jorge & Rogerson, Richard, 2010. "Taxes, transfers and employment in an incomplete markets model," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(8), pages 949-958, November.
    2. Alisdair McKay & Ricardo Reis, 2016. "The Role of Automatic Stabilizers in the U.S. Business Cycle," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 84, pages 141-194, January.
    3. Conesa, Juan Carlos & Krueger, Dirk, 2006. "On the optimal progressivity of the income tax code," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(7), pages 1425-1450, October.
    4. Jonathan Heathcote, 2005. "Fiscal Policy with Heterogeneous Agents and Incomplete Markets," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(1), pages 161-188.
    5. Tullio Jappelli & Luigi Pistaferri, 2014. "Fiscal Policy and MPC Heterogeneity," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(4), pages 107-136, October.
    6. S. Rao Aiyagari, 1994. "Uninsured Idiosyncratic Risk and Aggregate Saving," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(3), pages 659-684.
    7. J. Stephen Ferris, 2013. "Fiscal policy," Chapters,in: The Elgar Companion to Public Choice, Second Edition, chapter 16, pages 260-283 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    8. Per Krusell & Anthony A. Smith & Jr., 1998. "Income and Wealth Heterogeneity in the Macroeconomy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(5), pages 867-896, October.
    9. Oh, Hyunseung & Reis, Ricardo, 2012. "Targeted transfers and the fiscal response to the great recession," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(S), pages 50-64.
    10. Jonathan Huntley & Valentina Michelangeli, 2014. "Can Tax Rebates Stimulate Consumption Spending in a Life-Cycle Model?," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(1), pages 162-189, January.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Does Redistribution Increase Output? The Centrality of Labor Supply
      by Christian Zimmermann in NEP-DGE blog on 2014-05-08 19:26:59

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    Cited by:

    1. Krueger, D. & Mitman, K. & Perri, F., 2016. "Macroeconomics and Household Heterogeneity," Handbook of Macroeconomics, Elsevier.
    2. Alisdair McKay & Ricardo Reis, 2016. "The Role of Automatic Stabilizers in the U.S. Business Cycle," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 84, pages 141-194, January.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Multipliers; Redistribution; Labor supply; Idiosyncratic Risk;

    JEL classification:

    • D90 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - General
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • E25 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Aggregate Factor Income Distribution
    • E63 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Comparative or Joint Analysis of Fiscal and Monetary Policy; Stabilization; Treasury Policy

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