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Progressive Taxation and Macroeconomic (In)stability with Productive Government Spending

  • Jang-Ting Guo

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of California Riverside)

  • Shu-Hua Chen

    ()

    (National Taipei University)

This paper systematically examines the interrelations between a progressive income tax schedule and macroeconomic (in)stability in an otherwise standard one-sector real business model with productive government spending. We analytically show that the economy exhibits indeterminacy and sunspots only if the equilibrium wage-hours locus is positively sloped and steeper than the household's labor supply curve. Unlike in the framework with useless public expenditures, a less progressive tax policy may operate like an automatic stabilizer that mitigates belief-driven cyclical aÌ uctuations. Our quantitative analysis shows that this result is able to provide a theoretically plausible explanation for the discernible reduction in U.S. output volatility after the Tax Reform Act of 1986 was implemented.

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File URL: http://economics.ucr.edu/repec/ucr/wpaper/10-06.pdf
File Function: First version, 2010
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Paper provided by University of California at Riverside, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 201006.

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Date of creation: Aug 2010
Date of revision: Aug 2010
Handle: RePEc:ucr:wpaper:201006
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  2. Jang-Ting Guo & Sharon G. Harrison, 2008. "Useful Government Spending and Macroeconomic (In)stability under Balanced-Budget Rules," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 10(3), pages 383-397, 06.
  3. Gary Hansen, 2010. "Indivisible Labor and the Business Cycle," Levine's Working Paper Archive 233, David K. Levine.
  4. Guo, Jang-Ting & Harrison, Sharon G., 2004. "Balanced-budget rules and macroeconomic (in)stability," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 119(2), pages 357-363, December.
  5. Jess Benhabib & Roger E.A. Farmer, 1992. "Indeterminacy and Increasing Returns," UCLA Economics Working Papers 646, UCLA Department of Economics.
  6. Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Martin Uribe, 1995. "Balanced-budget rules, distortionary taxes, and aggregate instability," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 95-44, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  7. Benhabib, Jess & Nishimura, Kazuo, 1996. "Indeterminancy and Sunspots with Constant Returns," Working Papers 96-44, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  8. Lawrence J. Christiano & Sharon G. Harrison, 1996. "Chaos, sunspots, and automatic stabilizers," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues WP-96-16, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  9. Clarida, R. & Gali, J. & Gertler, M., 1998. "Monetary Policy Rules and Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence and some Theory," Working Papers 98-01, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
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  15. Barro, Robert J, 1990. "Government Spending in a Simple Model of Endogenous Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages S103-26, October.
  16. Woodford, Michael, 1986. "Stationary sunspot equilibria in a finance constrained economy," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 128-137, October.
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  18. Aschauer, David Alan, 1989. "Is public expenditure productive?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 177-200, March.
  19. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2003. "Understanding Changes in International Business Cycle Dynamics," NBER Working Papers 9859, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Li Wenli & Pierre -Daniel Sarte, 2004. "Progressive Taxation and Long-Run Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1705-1716, December.
  21. James A. Kahn & Margaret M. McConnell & Gabriel Perez-Quiros, 2002. "On the causes of the increased stability of the U.S. economy," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue May, pages 183-202.
  22. Jang-Ting Guo & Sharon G. Harrison, 2001. "Tax Policy and Stability in a Model with Sector-Specific Externalities," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 4(1), pages 75-89, January.
  23. Guo, Jang-Ting & Lansing, Kevin J., 1998. "Indeterminacy and Stabilization Policy," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 481-490, October.
  24. Benhabib, Jess & Farmer, Roger E.A., 1999. "Indeterminacy and sunspots in macroeconomics," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 6, pages 387-448 Elsevier.
  25. Richard Rogerson, 2010. "Indivisible Labor, Lotteries and Equilibrium," Levine's Working Paper Archive 250, David K. Levine.
  26. Kazuo Mino & Yasuhiro Nakamoto, 2008. "Progressive Taxation, Wealth Distribution, and Macroeconomic Stability," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 08-22, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP).
  27. Steven P. Cassou & Kevin J. Lansing, 2004. "Growth Effects of Shifting from a Graduated-rate Tax System to a Flat Tax," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 42(2), pages 194-213, April.
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