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Can Taxes Stabilize the Economy in the Presence of Consumption Externalities?

  • Lloyd-Braga, Teresa

    ()

    (Católica Lisbon)

  • Modesto, Leonor

    ()

    (Universidade Catolica Portuguesa, Lisbon)

Considering a finance constrained economy, we discuss the stabilization role of variable labour and capital income taxes under a balanced-budget rule in the presence of consumption externalities of the "keeping up with the Joneses" type. We find that sufficiently procyclical labor and/or capital income taxes are able to ensure saddle path stability eliminating belief-driven cyclical fluctuations. Moreover, for higher values of consumption externalities, saddle path stability can only be reached with more procyclical labor or capital income taxation. We therefore conclude that finance constrained models with "keeping up with the Joneses" preferences call for traditional Keynesian demand-management policies in order to stabilize business cycle fluctuations.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6876.

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Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6876
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  1. Wendner, Ronald, 2009. "Growth and Keeping up with the Joneses," MPRA Paper 18001, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Frédéric Dufourt & Teresa Lloyd-Braga & Leonor Modesto, 2008. "Indeterminacy, bifurcations and unemployment fluctuations," Post-Print halshs-00815504, HAL.
  3. Mark Weder, 2000. "Consumption Externalities, Production Externalities and Indeterminacy," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(4), pages 435-453, November.
  4. Jaime Alonso-Carrera & Jordi Caballé & Xavier Raurich, 2005. "Can consumption spillovers be a source of equilibrium indeterminacy?," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 657.05, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  5. Christiano, Lawrence J. & G. Harrison, Sharon, 1999. "Chaos, sunspots and automatic stabilizers," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 3-31, August.
  6. Gary Hansen, 2010. "Indivisible Labor and the Business Cycle," Levine's Working Paper Archive 233, David K. Levine.
  7. Jürgen Maurer & André Meier, 2008. "Smooth it Like the “Joneses?” Estimating Peer-Group Effects in Intertemporal Consumption Choice," MEA discussion paper series 08167, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
  8. Lloyd-Braga, Teresa & Modesto, Leonor & Seegmuller, Thomas, 2006. "Tax Rate Variability and Public Spending as Sources of Inderterminacy," CEPR Discussion Papers 5796, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Guo, Jang-Ting, 1999. "Multiple equilibria and progressive taxation of labor income," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 97-103, October.
  10. Guo, Jang-Ting & Harrison, Sharon G., 2004. "Balanced-budget rules and macroeconomic (in)stability," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 119(2), pages 357-363, December.
  11. Sharon Harrison & Jang-Ting Guo, 2006. "Useful Government Spending and Macroeconomic (In)stability under Balanced-Budget Rules," Working Papers 0701, Barnard College, Department of Economics.
  12. Jean-Michel Grandmont & P, A, Pintus & R, De Vilder, 1997. "Capital-Labor Substitution and Competitive Nonlinear Endogenous Business Cycles," Working Papers 97-28, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  13. Kamiguchi, Akira & Tamai, Toshiki, 2011. "Can productive government spending be a source of equilibrium indeterminacy?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 1335-1340, May.
  14. Aldo Barba & Massimo Pivetti, 2009. "Rising household debt: Its causes and macroeconomic implications--a long-period analysis," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 33(1), pages 113-137, January.
  15. Rogerson, Richard, 1988. "Indivisible labor, lotteries and equilibrium," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 3-16, January.
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