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Short-Term Distributional Effects of Structural Reforms: Selected Simulations in a DGSE Framework

Listed author(s):
  • Annabelle Mourougane

    (OECD)

  • Lukas Vogel

    (OECD)

This paper examines the short-term distributional effects of a number of tax and labour market reforms in the euro area, drawing on simulations using a micro-founded dynamic general equilibrium model. A heterogeneous household sector with two groups of consumers is considered. The first group maximises intertemporal utility over an infinite horizon in the presence of habit persistence. The second group is liquidity constrained and has no access to financial markets for intertemporal income transfers. It thus spends its disposable income entirely on current consumption. Although the examined reforms are estimated to boost aggregate consumption and output immediately after implementation, they have sizeable distributional effects. In particular, liquidity-constrained households may incur transitional losses after a cut in the benefit replacement ratio. Lowering employment and/or price adjustment costs could markedly reduce these short-term costs. A suitable compensation scheme could also reduce the uneven distribution of transitional losses, but at the expense of lower aggregate gains in the long run. Effets redistributifs de court terme de réformes structurelles : Simulations dans le cadre d'un modèle dynamique d'équilibre général Cet article examine les effets redistributifs de court terme d’un certain nombre de réformes dans les domaines de la fiscalité et du marché du travail dans la zone euro, à partir de simulations réalisées à l’aide d’un modèle dynamique d’équilibre général. Le secteur des ménages est hétérogène et composé de deux groupes de consommateurs. Le premier groupe maximise sa fonction d’utilité intertemporelle sur un horizon infini en présence de persistance dans son comportement de consommation. Le second groupe est contraint en matière de liquidité et n’a pas accès aux marchés financiers pour optimiser sa consommation dans le temps. Il dépense en conséquence tout son revenu disponible en consommation courante. Les réformes considérées sont estimées augmenter la consommation et la production au niveau agrégé immédiatement après leur mise en oeuvre, mais ont des effets redistributifs importants. En particulier, les ménages contraints au niveau de leur liquidité peuvent souffrir de pertes durant la période de transition après une diminution du taux de remplacement. Diminuer les coûts d’ajustement liés à l’emploi ou aux prix pourrait réduire de manière significative ces coûts de court terme. Un programme de compensation adéquate pourrait aussi lisser une distribution inégale des pertes durant la période de transition, mais au prix d’une diminution des gains de long terme au niveau agrégé.

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/234214803027
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Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Economics Department Working Papers with number 648.

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Date of creation: 28 Oct 2008
Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:648-en
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