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The Laffer Curve in an Incomplete-Market Economy

  • Fève, Patrick
  • Matheron, Julien
  • Sahuc, Jean-Guillaume

This paper is a quantitative investigation into the characteristics of the Laffer curve in a neoclassical growth model with incomplete markets and heterogeneous, liquidity-constrained agents. We show that the shape of the Laffer curves related to taxes on labor, capital and consumption dramatically changes depending on which of transfers or government debt are adjusted to make the government budget constraint hold. When transfers are adjusted, the Laffer curve has the traditional shape. However, when debt is adjusted, the Laffer curve looks like a horizontal S, in which case fiscal revenues can be associated with up to three diferent levels of taxation. This finding occurs because the tax rates change non monotonically with public debt when markets are incomplete.

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Paper provided by Toulouse School of Economics (TSE) in its series TSE Working Papers with number 12-288.

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Date of creation: Apr 2012
Date of revision: Jul 2013
Handle: RePEc:tse:wpaper:25754
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  1. Mendoza, Enrique G. & Razin, Assaf & Tesar, Linda L., 1994. "Effective tax rates in macroeconomics: Cross-country estimates of tax rates on factor incomes and consumption," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 297-323, December.
  2. Mathias Trabandt & Harald Uhlig, 2006. "How Far Are We From The Slippery Slope? The Laffer Curve Revisited," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2006-023, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
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  7. S. Rao Aiyagari & Ellen R. McGrattan, 1994. "The optimal quantity of debt," Working Papers 538, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
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  9. Jonathan Heathcote, 2005. "Fiscal Policy with Heterogeneous Agents and Incomplete Markets," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(1), pages 161-188.
  10. Ljungqvist, Lars & Sargent, Thomas J., 2008. "Taxes, benefits, and careers: Complete versus incomplete markets," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 98-125, January.
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  13. Barillas, Francisco & Fernandez-Villaverde, Jesus, 2007. "A generalization of the endogenous grid method," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(8), pages 2698-2712, August.
  14. Jorge Alonso-Ortiz & Richard Rogerson, 2010. "Taxes, transfers, and employment in an incomplete markets model," CQER Working Paper 2010-07, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  15. Feldstein, Martin, 1986. "Supply Side Economics: Old Truths and New Claims," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 26-30, May.
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