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Empirical evidence on the aggregate effects of anticipated and unanticipated US tax policy shocks

Listed author(s):
  • Karel Mertens

    (Cornell University)

  • Morten O. Ravn

    (University College London
    University of Southampton
    CEPR)

The authors provide empirical evidence on the dynamic effects of tax liability changes in the United States. We distinguish between surprise and anticipated tax changes using a timing convention. We document that pre-announced but not yet implemented tax cuts give rise to contractions in output, investment and hours worked, while real wages increase. In contrast, there are no significant anticipation effects on aggregate consumption. Implemented tax cuts, regardless of their timing, have expansionary and persistent effects on output, consumption, investment, hours worked and real wages. The findings are shown to be very robust. We argue that tax shocks are empirically important impulses to the US business cycle and that anticipation effects have been significant over several business cycle episodes

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File URL: https://www.nbb.be/doc/oc/repec/reswpp/wp181en.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bank of Belgium in its series Working Paper Research with number 181.

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Length: 60 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2009
Handle: RePEc:nbb:reswpp:200911-13
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  2. Morten O. Ravn & Karel Mertens, 2008. "The Aggregate Effects of Anticipated and Unanticipated U.S. Tax Policy Shocks: Theory and Empirical Evidence," 2008 Meeting Papers 575, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  3. Karel Mertens & Morten O. Ravn, 2009. "Empirical evidence on the aggregate effects of anticipated and unanticipated US tax policy shocks," Working Paper Research 181, National Bank of Belgium.
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  9. Morten O. Ravn & Karel Mertens, 2009. "Understanding the Aggregate Effects of Anticipated and Unanticipated Tax Policy shocks," 2009 Meeting Papers 480, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  10. Eric M. Leeper & Todd B. Walker & Shu-Chun Susan Yang, 2008. "Fiscal Foresight: Analytics and Econometrics," Caepr Working Papers 2008-013, Center for Applied Economics and Policy Research, Economics Department, Indiana University Bloomington.
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  19. Karel Mertens & Morten Overgaard Ravn, 2010. "Online Appendix to "Understanding the Aggregate Effects of Anticipated and Unanticipated Tax Policy Shocks"," Technical Appendices 09-221, Review of Economic Dynamics.
  20. Beaudry, Paul & Portier, Franck, 2001. "An Exploration into Pigou's Theory of Cycles," CEPR Discussion Papers 2996, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  22. R. E. Hall, 1971. "The Dynamic Effects of Fiscal Policy in an Economy with Foresight," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(2), pages 229-244.
  23. Mertens, Karel & Ravn, Morten O, 2009. "Measuring the Impact of Fiscal Policy in the Face of Anticipation: A Structural VAR Approach," CEPR Discussion Papers 7423, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  24. Nicholas S. Souleles, 1999. "The Response of Household Consumption to Income Tax Refunds," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 947-958, September.
  25. Susan Yang, Shu-Chun, 2005. "Quantifying tax effects under policy foresight," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(8), pages 1557-1568, November.
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