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On the Almost Neutrality of Inflation: Notes on Taxation and the Welfare Costs of Inflation

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  • Joseph E. Stiglitz

Abstract

In this paper I attempt to clarify the nature of the losses associated with inflation within a conventional model of a competitive economy. I shall argue that were inflation fully anticipated, it would be "almost neutral" provided (a) that the tax system were fully indexed and (b) that interest were paid on bank deposits (as to an increasing extent it is in the United States). However, unanticipated inflation may have significant effects.

Suggested Citation

  • Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1980. "On the Almost Neutrality of Inflation: Notes on Taxation and the Welfare Costs of Inflation," NBER Working Papers 0499, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:0499
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Green, Jerry R & Sheshinski, Eytan, 1978. "Optimal Capital-Gains Taxation under Limited Information," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(6), pages 1143-1158, December.
    2. Barro, Robert J, 1974. "Are Government Bonds Net Wealth?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1095-1117, Nov.-Dec..
    3. Martin Feldstein & Lawrence Summers, 1977. "Is the Rate of Profit Falling?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 8(1), pages 211-228.
    4. Grossman, Sanford J & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1980. "On the Impossibility of Informationally Efficient Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(3), pages 393-408, June.
    5. Paul A. Samuelson, 1964. "Tax Deductibility of Economic Depreciation to Insure Invariant Valuations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 72, pages 604-604.
    6. Diamond, P. A., 1975. "Inflation and the comprehensive tax base," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(3), pages 227-244, August.
    7. Martin Feldstein & Lawrence Summers, 1983. "Inflation and the Taxation of Capital Income in the Corporate Sector," NBER Chapters,in: Inflation, Tax Rules, and Capital Formation, pages 116-152 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1976. "The corporation tax," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(3-4), pages 303-311.
    9. Martin Feldstein & Joel Slemrod, 1983. "Inflation and the Excess Taxation of Capital Gains on Corporate Stock," NBER Chapters,in: Inflation, Tax Rules, and Capital Formation, pages 101-115 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. K. Shell & M. Sidrauski & J. E. Stiglitz, 1969. "Capital Gains, Income, and Saving," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 36(1), pages 15-26.
    11. Grossman, Sanford J & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1976. "Information and Competitive Price Systems," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(2), pages 246-253, May.
    12. Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1973. "Taxation, corporate financial policy, and the cost of capital," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 1-34, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. David F. Bradford & Don Fullerton, 1981. "Pitfalls in the Construction and Use of Effective Tax Rates," NBER Working Papers 0688, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Edward E. Leamer & Jeffrey Sachs, 1981. "The International Economics of Transitional Growth: The Case of the United States," NBER Working Papers 0773, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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