Capital-labor substitution, equilibrium indeterminacy, and the cyclical behavior of labor income
This paper examines the quantitative relationship between the elasticity of capital-labor substitution and the conditions needed for equilibrium indeterminacy (and belief-driven fluctuations) in a one-sector neoclassical growth model. Our analysis employs a ?normalized? version of the CES production function so that all steady-state allocations and factor income shares are held constant as the elasticity of substitution is varied. We demonstrate numerically that higher elasticities cause the threshold degree of increasing returns for indeterminacy to decline monotonically, albeit very ...
Tax structure, optimal fiscal policy, and the business cycle
The development of a real business cycle model in which government fiscal variables such as tax rates and public expenditures are endogenous. The authors characterize the "optimal" behavior of these policy variables over the business cycle and relate this behavior to movements in private-sector variables like output, consumption, labor hours, and investment.
Tax structure and welfare in a model of optimal fiscal policy
A study of the welfare implications of some basic structural features of the U.S. tax code, including the tax deductibility of depreciation and the practice of taxing labor income differently than capital income. The results show that long-run welfare and output can be improved by a policy of accelerated depreciation, whereby the depreciation rate for tax purposes exceeds the rate of economic depreciation.
Maintenance expenditures and indeterminacy under increasing returns to scale
This paper develops a one-sector real business cycle model in which competitive firms allocate resources for the production of goods, investment in new capital, and maintenance of existing capital. Firms also choose the utilization rate of existing capital. A higher utilization rate leads to faster capital depreciation, while an increase in maintenance activity has the opposite effect. We show that as the equilibrium ratio of maintenance expenditures to GDP rises, the required degree of increasing returns for local indeterminacy declines over a wide range of parameter combinations. When the ...
On business cycles and countercyclical policies
Since the third quarter of 2000, the U.S. economy began to experience a slowdown in its rate of growth. This slowdown serves as a reminder that the business cycle is still alive and raises the following questions: What do we know about the driving forces behind the business cycle? What should policymakers do in the face of economic fluctuations? ; The authors examine two explanations for business cycles that are well-known in academic circles: the animal spirits theory and the real business cycle theory. The former is closely connected with the Keynesian economic tradition and identifies ...
Fiscal policy, increasing returns, and endogenous fluctuations
We examine the quantitative implications of government fiscal policy in a discrete-time one-sector growth model with a productive externality that generates social increasing returns to scale. Starting from a laissez-faire economy that exhibits an indeterminate steady state (a sink), we show that the introduction of a constant capital tax or subsidy can lead to various forms of endogenous fluctuations, including stable 2-, 4-, 8-, and 10- cycles, quasi-periodic orbits, and chaos. In contrast, a constant labor tax or subsidy has no effect on the qualitative nature of the model's dynamics. ...
Optimal taxation of capital income with imperfectly competitive product markets
We show that the steady-state optimal tax on capital income can be negative, positive, or zero in a neoclassical growth model that allows for imperfectly competitive product markets. The sign of the optimal tax rate depends crucially on (1) the degree of monopoly power, (2) the extent to which monopoly profits can be taxed, (3) the size of the depreciation allowance, and (4) the magnitude of government expenditures. For an empirically plausible set of parameters, we find that the steady-state optimal capital tax can range between -10 and 22%.
Tax structure, welfare, and the stability of equilibrium in a model of dynamic optimal fiscal policy
A demonstration that the assumed structure of taxation can have dramatic effects on economic welfare and on the stability of the steady state in a dynamic general-equilibrium model of optimal fiscal policy. The authors find that household welfare is highest under a structure that includes separate tax rates on labor and capital incomes, double taxation of dividends, and tax-deductible depreciation.
Optimal taxation of capital income in a growth model with monopoly profits
An extension of the standard neoclassical growth model, demonstrating that the optimal steady-state tax on capital income can be positive, negative, or zero, depending on the level of monopoly profits and the degree to which profits can be taxed.
Indeterminacy and stabilization policy
A demonstration of how an income tax schedule that exhibits a progressivity feature can ensure saddle-path stability in a one-sector, real business-cycle model with sufficient increasing returns in production, thereby shielding the economy against sunspot fluctuations.