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Tax Policy and Consumer Spending: Evidence from Japanese Fiscal Experiments

Author

Listed:
  • Katsunori Watanabe
  • Takayuki Watanabe
  • Tsutomu Watanabe

Abstract

This paper studies the extent to which the impact of tax policy on consumer spending differs between temporary and permanent, as well as anticipated and unanticipated tax changes. To discriminate between them, we use institutional information such as legal distinction between temporary and permanent tax changes, as well as timing of policy announcement and implementation. We find that the impact of temporary changes is significantly smaller than the impact of permanent changes. We also find that more than 80 per cent of Japanese consumers, including those who distinguish between temporary and permanent tax changes, respond to tax changes at the time of their implementation and not at the time of a policy announcement. We suggest an interpretation that these consumers follow a near-rational decision rule.

Suggested Citation

  • Katsunori Watanabe & Takayuki Watanabe & Tsutomu Watanabe, 1999. "Tax Policy and Consumer Spending: Evidence from Japanese Fiscal Experiments," NBER Working Papers 7252, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7252 Note: PE
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. George A. Akerlof & Janet L. Yellen, 1985. "A Near-Rational Model of the Business Cycle, with Wage and Price Inertia," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 100(Supplemen), pages 823-838.
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    3. Francesco Giavazzi & Marco Pagano, 1990. "Can Severe Fiscal Contractions Be Expansionary? Tales of Two Small European Countries," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1990, Volume 5, pages 75-122 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. John Campbell & Angus Deaton, 1989. "Why is Consumption So Smooth?," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(3), pages 357-373.
    5. Francesco Giavazzi & Marco Pagano, 1995. "Non-Keynesian Effects of Fiscal Policy Changes: International Evidence and the Swedish Experience," NBER Working Papers 5332, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Campbell, John Y & Mankiw, N Gregory, 1990. "Permanent Income, Current Income, and Consumption," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 8(3), pages 265-279, July.
    7. Shea, John, 1995. "Union Contracts and the Life-Cycle/Permanent-Income Hypothesis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 186-200, March.
    8. Fumio Hayashi, 1985. "The Permanent Income Hypothesis and Consumption Durability: Analysis Based on Japanese Panel Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 100(4), pages 1083-1113.
    9. Blinder, Alan S, 1981. "Temporary Income Taxes and Consumer Spending," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(1), pages 26-53, February.
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    12. Quah, Danny, 1990. "Permanent and Transitory Movements in Labor Income: An Explanation for "Excess Smoothness" in Consumption," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(3), pages 449-475, June.
    13. Poterba, James M, 1988. "Are Consumers Forward Looking? Evidence from Fiscal Experiments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(2), pages 413-418, May.
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    15. Campbell, John Y. & Mankiw, N. Gregory, 1991. "The response of consumption to income : A cross-country investigation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 723-756, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Watanabe, Katsunori & Watanabe, Takayuki & Watanabe, Tsutomu, 2001. "Tax policy and consumer spending: evidence from Japanese fiscal experiments," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 261-281, April.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household

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