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Optimal fiscal policy with recursive preferences


  • Anastasios Karantounias

    (Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta)


When the intertemporal elasticity of substitution is disentangled from risk aversion as in the recursive preferences of Epstein and Zin (1989) and Weil (1990), news about the intertemporal profile of consumption and leisure affect the equilibrium value of the government's portfolio of securities and, therefore, the extent to which the government has to resort to distortionary taxation in order to finance government expenditures. This paper studies the implications of this channel for the optimal capital and labor income taxation over the business cycle. In contrast to the case of time-additive expected utility, the excess burden of taxation becomes time-varying and persistent, causing taxation at the intertemporal margin and variation of taxation at the intratemporal margin. Optimal labor taxes become endogenously persistent.

Suggested Citation

  • Anastasios Karantounias, 2012. "Optimal fiscal policy with recursive preferences," 2012 Meeting Papers 1085, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed012:1085

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Anthony Diercks, 2016. "The Equity Premium, Long-Run Risk, and Optimal Monetary Policy," 2016 Meeting Papers 207, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. Benigno, Pierpaolo & Paciello, Luigi, 2014. "Monetary policy, doubts and asset prices," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 85-98.
    3. Steve Raymond & Lukas Schmid & Anastasios Karantounias & Mariano Croce, 2017. "A Tax Plan for Endogenous Innovation," 2017 Meeting Papers 109, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    4. Piero Gottardi & Atsushi Kajii & Tomoyuki Nakajima, 2015. "Optimal Taxation and Debt with Uninsurable Risks to Human Capital Accumulation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(11), pages 3443-3470, November.
    5. Hengjie Ai & Ravi Bansal, 2016. "Risk Preferences and The Macro Announcement Premium," NBER Working Papers 22527, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • H63 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt


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