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The Laffer Curve in an Incomplete-Market Economy

  • Fève, Patrick
  • Matheron, Julien
  • Sahuc, Jean-Guillaume

This paper is a quantitative investigation into the characteristics of the Laffer curve in a neoclassical growth model with incomplete markets and heterogeneous, liquidity-constrained agents. We show that the shape of the Laffer curves related to taxes on labor, capital and consumption dramatically changes depending on which of transfers or government debt are adjusted to make the government budget constraint hold. When transfers are adjusted, the Laffer curve has the traditional shape. However, when debt is adjusted, the Laffer curve looks like a horizontal S, in which case fiscal revenues can be associated with up to three diferent levels of taxation. This finding occurs because the tax rates change non monotonically with public debt when markets are incomplete.

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Paper provided by Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse in its series IDEI Working Papers with number 707.

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Date of creation: Apr 2012
Date of revision: Jul 2013
Handle: RePEc:ide:wpaper:25753
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  8. Aiyagari, S Rao, 1994. "Uninsured Idiosyncratic Risk and Aggregate Saving," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(3), pages 659-84, August.
  9. Jonathan Heathcote, 2005. "Fiscal Policy with Heterogeneous Agents and Incomplete Markets," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(1), pages 161-188.
  10. Tauchen, George, 1986. "Finite state markov-chain approximations to univariate and vector autoregressions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 177-181.
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  17. Ljungqvist, Lars & Sargent, Thomas J., 2008. "Taxes, benefits, and careers: Complete versus incomplete markets," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 98-125, January.
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