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Taxation and Savings - A Neoclassical Perspective

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  • Laurence J. Kotlikoff

Abstract

This paper discusses recent neoclassical analyses of taxation and savings.Contrary to the popular view that fiscal policy has highly ambiguous impacts on savings, neoclassical models admit a host of policies with clear and potentially quite powerful affects on the accumulation of wealth.The paper considers four fundamental types of fiscal policies and compares their quantitative affect on savings.The essential elements of these policies involve inter- and intragenerational redistribution, marginal and intra-marginal taxation, and the level of government consumption. Conventional accounting measures of "taxes", "spending", and "deficits" provide, at best, little guide to changes in underlying fiscal instruments and, at worst, precisely opposite indicators of the direction of such changes. Indeed, the continued use of and concern with conventional fiscal measures is symptomatic of wide spread fiscal illusion.These points are developed within the context of certainty models. The paper also considers the role of fiscal policy in both mitigating and exacerbating economic risks facing the private sector. Since precaution is a major motivation for saving, governments can greatly influence wealth accumulation either by using fiscal policy to pool private risks or by making fiscal policy itself highly uncertain.

Suggested Citation

  • Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 1984. "Taxation and Savings - A Neoclassical Perspective," NBER Working Papers 1302, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:1302
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    Cited by:

    1. Steven F. Venti & David A. Wise, 1990. "Have IRAs Increased U. S. Saving?: Evidence from Consumer Expenditure Surveys," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(3), pages 661-698.
    2. Alan J. Auerbach & Jagadeesh Gokhale & Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 1991. "Generational Accounts: A Meaningful Alternative to Deficit Accounting," NBER Chapters,in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 5, pages 55-110 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. R. Glenn Hubbard & Kenneth L. Judd, 1985. "Social Security and Individual Welfare: Precautionary Saving, LiquidityConstraints, and the Payroll Tax," NBER Working Papers 1736, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. David F. Bradford, 1989. "Market Value Vs. Financial Accounting Measures of National Saving," NBER Working Papers 2906, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 1986. "Is Debt Neutral in the Life Cycle Model?," NBER Working Papers 2053, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Rómulo A. Chumacero & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel, 2005. "General Equilibrium Models: An Overview," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series,in: Rómulo A. Chumacero & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel & Norman Loayza (Series Editor) & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel (S (ed.), General Equilibrium Models for the Chilean Economy, edition 1, volume 9, chapter 1, pages 001-027 Central Bank of Chile.
    7. Auerbach, Alan J & Gokhale, Jagadeesh & Kotlikoff, Laurence J, 1992. " Generational Accounting: A New Approach to Understanding the Effects of Fiscal Policy on Saving," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 94(2), pages 303-318.
    8. Miguel Angel Lopez Garcia, 1994. "On taxation in a model of intergenerational altruism," Investigaciones Economicas, Fundación SEPI, vol. 18(2), pages 381-389, May.
    9. Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Willi Leibfritz, 1999. "From Deficit Delusion to the Fiscal Balance Rule: Looking for an Economically Meaningful Way to Assess Fiscal Policy," NBER Chapters,in: Generational Accounting around the World, pages 9-30 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    11. David G. Hartman, 1985. "On the Optimal Taxation of Capital Income in the Open Economy," NBER Working Papers 1550, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Chakraborty, Lekha, 2012. "Determination of Interest Rate in India: Empirical Evidence on Fiscal Deficit-Interest Links and Financial Crowding Out," Working Papers 12/110, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy.
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    14. David F. Bradford, 1985. "A Problem of Financial Market Equilibrium When the Timing of Tax Payments is Indeterminate," NBER Working Papers 1713, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    17. Savaş ÇEVİK, 2015. "Domestic Saving and Tax Structure: Evidence from Turkey," Sosyoekonomi Journal, Sosyoekonomi Society, issue 23(23).
    18. Dominique Hachette, 1998. "Ahorro Privado en Chile," Latin American Journal of Economics-formerly Cuadernos de Economía, Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile., vol. 35(104), pages 3-48.
    19. Laurian Lungu & Patrick Minford, 2006. "Explaining The Equity Risk Premium," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 74(6), pages 670-700, December.
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