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Savings Promotion, Investment Promotion, and International Competitiveness

  • Lawrence H. Goulder
  • Barry Eichengreen

In an open economy, savings- and investment-promoting policies may have very different effects on the capital account and on the viability of export-oriented and import-competing industries. The nature of the effects is often ambiguous in analytical models. This paper employs a simulation model that combines a detailed treatment of industry interactions, attention to adjustment dynamics, and an integrated treatment of current and capital account transactions to investigate these effects in both the short and long run. We focus on the different effects of savings- and investment-promoting U.S. tax policies on the viability of U.S. export industries. We compare results under the assumption of no international capital mobility (and no international asset transactions) with those under the assumption of full international mobility (which assumes no barriers to or costs of such transactions). Within the case of capital mobility, we consider the importance of the degree of international asset substitutability -- the extent to which individuals respond to differences in anticipated rates of return by altering their portfolios. Simulation results show that the impacts on export industries differ fundamentally depending on the degree of international capital mobility. In the absence of such mobility, savings- and investment- promoting policies have similar effects on U.S. export industries, with insubstantial effects in the short run and larger. beneficial long-run effects that reflect increases in the productiveness of the U.S. economy. Once international capital mobility is accounted for, however, the effects of the two policies differ from one another in both the short and long run. Subsidizing saving helps U.S. export industries initially but hurts them over the longer term. The reverse is true for a policy that subsidizes investment. These differences, which are robust across a range of model specifications and parameter assumptions, stem from the very different implications of the two types of policies for the capital account of the balance of payments.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 2635.

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Date of creation: Jun 1988
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Publication status: published as Trade Policies for International Competitiveness, edited by Robert C. Feenstra, pp. 5-44. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1989.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2635
Note: ITI PE IFM
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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  1. Rachel McCulloch, 1987. "International Competition in Services," NBER Working Papers 2235, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Fair, Ray C & Taylor, John B, 1983. "Solution and Maximum Likelihood Estimation of Dynamic Nonlinear Rational Expectations Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(4), pages 1169-85, July.
  3. Lawrence H. Goulder & Lawrence H. Summers, 1987. "Tax Policy, Asset Prices, and Growth: A General Equilibrium Analysis," NBER Working Papers 2128, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. James M. Poterba & Lawrence H. Summers, 1984. "The Economic Effects of Dividend Taxation," Working papers 343, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  5. Mutti, John & Grubert, Harry, 1985. "The taxation of capital income in an open economy: the importance of resident-nonresident tax treatment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 291-309, August.
  6. Pentti J.K. Kouri, 1978. "Balance of Payments and the Foreign Exchange Market: A Dynamic Partial Equilibrium Model," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 510, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  7. Duffie, Darrell & Zame, William, 1989. "The Consumption-Based Capital Asset Pricing Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(6), pages 1279-97, November.
  8. Adler, Michael & Dumas, Bernard, 1983. " International Portfolio Choice and Corporation Finance: A Synthesis," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 38(3), pages 925-84, June.
  9. Alberto Giovannini, 1987. "International Capital Mobility and Tax Evasion," NBER Working Papers 2460, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Lawrence H. Summers, 1981. "Taxation and Corporate Investment: A q-Theory Approach," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 12(1), pages 67-140.
  11. Warwick J. McKibbin & Jeffrey Sachs, 1986. "Coordination of Monetary and Fiscal Policies in the OECD," NBER Working Papers 1800, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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