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Catching up with the Keynesians

Author

Listed:
  • Ljungqvist, L.
  • Uhlig, H.F.H.V.S.

    (Tilburg University, Center For Economic Research)

Abstract

This paper examines the role for tax policies in productivity-shock driven economies with \catching-up-with-the-Joneses" utility functions.The optimal tax policy is shown to a ect the economy countercyclically via procyclical taxes, i.e., \cooling down" the economy with higher taxes when it is \overheating" in booms and \stimulating" the economy with lower taxes in recessions to keep consumption up.Thus, models with catching-up-with-the-Joneses utility functions call for traditional Keynesian demand management policies.Parameter values from Campbell and Cochrane (1995) are also used to illustrate that the necessary labor taxes can be very high, in the order of 50 percent.However, Campbell and Cochrane's nonlinear version of the aspiration level in the catching-up-with-the-Joneses preferences has the additional implication that consumption bunching can be welfare enhancing.

Suggested Citation

  • Ljungqvist, L. & Uhlig, H.F.H.V.S., 1996. "Catching up with the Keynesians," Discussion Paper 1996-96, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:tiu:tiucen:f678c765-1782-4a88-8b02-c02cf5dbf264
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Michele Boldrin & Lawrence J. Christiano & Jonas D.M. Fisher, 1995. "Asset Pricing Lessons for Modeling Business Cycles," NBER Working Papers 5262, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Mehra, Rajnish & Prescott, Edward C., 1985. "The equity premium: A puzzle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 145-161, March.
    3. Hansen, Gary D., 1985. "Indivisible labor and the business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 309-327, November.
    4. Abel Andrew B. & Mailath George J., 1994. "Financing Losers in Competitive Markets," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, pages 139-165.
    5. Michael J. Boskin & Eytan Sheshinski, 1978. "Optimal Redistributive Taxation When Individual Welfare Depends upon Relative Income," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 92(4), pages 589-601.
    6. John Y. Campbell & John H. Cochrane, 1994. "By Force of Habit: A Consumption-Based Explanation of Aggregate Stock Market Behavior," CRSP working papers 412, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
    7. Gali, Jordi, 1994. "Keeping Up with the Joneses: Consumption Externalities, Portfolio Choice, and Asset Prices," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 26(1), pages 1-8, February.
    8. Kevin M. Murphy & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1989. "Building Blocks of Market Clearing Business Cycle Models," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1989, Volume 4, pages 247-302 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Abel, Andrew B, 1990. "Asset Prices under Habit Formation and Catching Up with the Joneses," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 38-42.
    10. Constantinides, George M, 1990. "Habit Formation: A Resolution of the Equity Premium Puzzle," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(3), pages 519-543, June.
    11. repec:dgr:kubcen:199554 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Persson, Mats, 1995. " Why Are Taxes So High in Egalitarian Societies?," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 97(4), pages 569-580, December.
    13. Martin Lettau & Harald Uhlig, 2000. "Can Habit Formation be Reconciled with Business Cycle Facts?," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 3(1), pages 79-99, January.
    14. Abel, Andrew B., 1999. "Risk premia and term premia in general equilibrium," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 3-33, February.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    fiscal policy; business cycles; productivity; utility theory;

    JEL classification:

    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • E63 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Comparative or Joint Analysis of Fiscal and Monetary Policy; Stabilization; Treasury Policy

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