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On the macroeconomic and fiscal effects of the tax cuts and jobs act

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  • Lieberknecht, Philipp
  • Wieland, Volker

Abstract

There is substantial disagreement about the consequences of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017, which constitutes the most extensive tax reform in the United States in more than 30 years. Using a large-scale two-country dynamic general equilibrium model with nominal rigidities, we find that the TCJA increases GDP by about 2% in the medium-run and by about 2.5% in the long-run. The short-run impact depends crucially on the degree and costs of variable capital utilization, with GDP effects ranging from 1 to 3%. At the same time, the TCJA does not pay for itself. In our analysis, the reform decreases tax revenues and raises the debt-to-GDP ratio by about 15 percentage points in the medium-run until 2025. We show that combining the TCJA with spending cuts can dampen the increase in government indebtedness without reducing its expansionary effect.

Suggested Citation

  • Lieberknecht, Philipp & Wieland, Volker, 2019. "On the macroeconomic and fiscal effects of the tax cuts and jobs act," Working Papers 10/2018, German Council of Economic Experts / Sachverständigenrat zur Begutachtung der gesamtwirtschaftlichen Entwicklung.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:svrwwp:102018
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    1. Bofinger, Peter & Feld, Lars P. & Schmidt, Christoph M. & Schnabel, Isabel & Wieland, Volker, 2018. "Vor wichtigen wirtschaftspolitischen Weichenstellungen. Jahresgutachten 2018/19," Annual Economic Reports / Jahresgutachten, German Council of Economic Experts / Sachverständigenrat zur Begutachtung der gesamtwirtschaftlichen Entwicklung, volume 127, number 201819.
    2. Kempkes, Gerhard & Stähler, Nikolai, 2021. "Re-allocating taxing rights and minimum tax rates in international profit taxation," Discussion Papers 03/2021, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    3. Feld, Lars P. & Schmidt, Christoph M. & Schnabel, Isabel & Truger, Achim & Wieland, Volker, 2019. "Den Strukturwandel meistern. Jahresgutachten 2019/20," Annual Economic Reports / Jahresgutachten, German Council of Economic Experts / Sachverständigenrat zur Begutachtung der gesamtwirtschaftlichen Entwicklung, volume 127, number 201920.
    4. Böhl, Gregor, 2021. "Efficient solution and computation of models with occasionally binding constraints," IMFS Working Paper Series 148, Goethe University Frankfurt, Institute for Monetary and Financial Stability (IMFS).
    5. Christofzik, Désirée I. & Elstner, Steffen, 2018. "International spillover effects of U.S. tax reforms: Evidence from Germany," Working Papers 08/2018, German Council of Economic Experts / Sachverständigenrat zur Begutachtung der gesamtwirtschaftlichen Entwicklung.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    tax reform; corporate taxes; capital taxes; labor income taxes; spending cuts; fiscal stimulus;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • E65 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Studies of Particular Policy Episodes

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