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Tax Reforms, “Free Lunches”, and “Cheap Lunches” in Open Economies

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  • Juha Tervala
  • Giovanni Ganelli

Abstract

This paper focuses on the macroeconomic and budgetary impact of tax reforms in a New Keynesian two-country model. Our results show that both income and consumption unilateral tax rate reductions do not constitute a "free lunch", in the sense that they have negative budgetary consequences for the country which implements them. In addition, the degree of self-financing implied by our model is in the 8½-24 percent range. Since the degree of self-financing estimated in previous literature was larger, we conclude that in our model not only the "lunch" is not "free", but is also not that "cheap". A comparison of alternative (income-tax versus consumption-tax based) fiscal stimulus packages shows that consumption tax cuts imply a larger short-run impact on domestic output but the income tax cuts stimulate the domestic economy more in the long run. We also look at the implications of a revenue-neutral tax reform in which consumption taxes are increased to compensate for lower income tax collection.

Suggested Citation

  • Juha Tervala & Giovanni Ganelli, 2008. "Tax Reforms, “Free Lunches”, and “Cheap Lunches” in Open Economies," IMF Working Papers 08/227, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:08/227
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    Cited by:

    1. Lehmus, Markku, 2011. "Labor or consumption taxes? An application with a dynamic general equilibrium model with heterogeneous agents," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 1984-1992, July.
    2. Ruud A. de Mooij & Ikuo Saito, 2014. "Japan’s Corporate Income Tax; Facts, Issues and Reform Options," IMF Working Papers 14/138, International Monetary Fund.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Economic models; Consumption taxes; Budgetary policy; Income taxes; Tax reforms; Tax rates; Tax Cuts; Dynamic Laffer Effects; Self-financing; revenue collection; consumption tax; tax collection; tax revenues;

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics
    • H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue

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