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Progressive Taxation and Macroeconomic (In)stability with Utility-Generating Government Spending

  • Jang-Ting Guo


    (Department of Economics, University of California Riverside)

  • Shu-Hua Chen

    (National Taipei University)

We examine the theoretical interrelations between progressive income taxation and macroeconomic (in)stability in an otherwise standard one-sector real business cycle model with utility-generating government purchases of goods and services. When private and public consumption expenditures are complements in the household utility and the tax schedule is progressive, we analytically show that the economy exhibits indeterminacy and sunspots if and only if the degree of government-spending preference externality is higher than a critical threshold. Unlike traditional Keynesian-type stabilization policies, raising the tax progressivity may destabilize this version of our model by generating endogenous cyclical áuctuations. Moreover, the economy always displays saddle-path stability and equilibrium uniqueness under utility substitutability between private and public consumptions and progressive taxation.

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Paper provided by University of California at Riverside, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 201302.

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Date of creation: Apr 2013
Date of revision: Apr 2013
Handle: RePEc:ucr:wpaper:201302
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  1. Chen, Shu-Hua & Guo, Jang-Ting, 2013. "Progressive taxation and macroeconomic (In) stability with productive government spending," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 951-963.
  2. Sergey Slobodyan, 2006. "One Sector Models, Indeterminacy, and Productive Public Spending," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp293, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
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  5. Christiano, Lawrence J. & G. Harrison, Sharon, 1999. "Chaos, sunspots and automatic stabilizers," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 3-31, August.
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  7. Bean, Charles R, 1986. "The Estimation of "Surprise" Models and the "Surprise" Consumption Function," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(4), pages 497-516, August.
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  11. Gary Hansen, 2010. "Indivisible Labor and the Business Cycle," Levine's Working Paper Archive 233, David K. Levine.
  12. Alfred Greiner, 2006. "Progressive Taxation, Public Capital, and Endogenous Growth," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 62(3), pages 353-366, September.
  13. Theodore Palivos & Chong K. Yip & Junxi Zhang, 2003. "Transitional Dynamics and Indeterminacy of Equilibria in an Endogenous Growth Model with a Public Input," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(1), pages 86-98, February.
  14. Cazzavillan, Guido, 1996. "Public Spending, Endogenous Growth, and Endogenous Fluctuations," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 394-415, November.
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  16. Chen, Been-Lon, 2006. "Public capital, endogenous growth, and endogenous fluctuations," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 768-774, December.
  17. ShuHua Chen & JangTing Guo, 2013. "On indeterminacy and growth under progressive taxation and productive government spending," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 46(3), pages 865-880, August.
  18. Yunfang Hu & Ryoji Ohdoi & Koji Shimomura, 2004. "Indeterminacy in a Two-sector Endogenous Growth Model with Productive Government Spending," Discussion Paper Series 149, Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration, Kobe University.
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